6 HASKINS & SELLS January
Gordon, William D., and Lockwood,
Jeremiah. Modern Accounting Systems.
(New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1924.
To write a one-volume treatise on accounting
systems, which is sufficiently
comprehensive to afford a clear understanding
of the accounting for a number of
different businesses, is not an easy task.
The authors of "Modern Accounting Systems"
have performed it exceedingly well.
Nothing, for example, could be more
difficult than to describe briefly, and at
the same time clearly, the involved accounts
and records of a stock broker. Yet
the treatment of the subject leaves little
wanting towards an adequate conception
of the principal features of brokerage
The purpose of the book as stated in the
introduction is "to study the application
of accounting principles in detail to various
types of industry." The problems involved
are presented in the order of their
increasing complexity. Financial institutions,
because of their dependence largely
on the use of a cash book, seem to the
authors to present the simplest form of
accounting from the standpoint of books
required, and are therefore examined first.
Four classes of financial institutions are
studied: building and loan associations,
insurance companies, both life and fire,
banks, and stock brokerage establishments.
The latter, involving transactions in securities
as well as in cash, represent a
transition from the financial to the merchandising
group, which is considered next,
in an exposition of the accounting for department
stores. A gas manufacturing
company has been selected as illustrative
of the manufacturing industries, and is
next studied. The wisdom of this may be
slightly questioned, in view of the quasi-public
nature of gas companies. As representative
of public service corporations,
the accounting for a railroad is described.