46 HASKINS & SELLS June
Bell, William H. Accountants' Reports,
second edition. (New York, The Ronald
Press Company, 1925. 386 p.)
The work of an accountant may be rendered
well-nigh futile if the report which he
prepares does not set forth the results of
his efforts in such a way that those to
whom it is addressed may profit thereby.
The millennium in report writing, however,
has not been reached; hence, there can be
no question as to the appropriateness of an
authoritative work on the subject. The
first edition of the present book filled a
long-felt need, and has become a classic
in the accounting library.
In many respects the second edition is a
new book rather than a revision of the old.
It has been doubled in size and revised so
as to reflect the trend of the times.
The matter on the preparation of financial
statements has been added to, and the
number of illustrative forms has been considerably
increased. The accounting problems
involved in connection with several of
the items which constitute the balance sheet
and profit and loss statement—notably
reserves—have been given a more adequate
treatment. Although the practical value
of a work of this kind usually is enhanced
by the omission of long expositions on
accounting principles, there are many cases
where a brief statement of the theory involved
may be an aid to a more thorough
understanding of the author's position.
The second edition is an improvement over
the first in this respect. Items which have
ceased to be of current interest have been
omitted from the present text, as, for example,
the treatment of employes' subscriptions
to liberty bonds. Several very
interesting exhibits have been inserted
in the chapter on Miscellaneous Statements,
particularly in the nature of comparative
and operating statements.