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International Accounting Standards and Changes in Accounting Terminology

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The language of accounting is subject to continuous change. One of the reasons for a change in terminology is the introduction of new legal requirements that bring about a change in the underlying concepts and therefore the need for new specific terms. Such a situation was created by the Regulation (EC) No. 1606/2002 on the application of international accounting standards (IAS). This regulation aims at harmonising ac-counting standards and procedures relating to the preparation and presentation of financial statements. It requires all EU companies listed on a regulated stock market to prepare accounts in accordance with IAS for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2005. We look at the texts of the mentioned regulation in several EU languages in order to identify changes regarding the designations of individual items of financial state-ments compared with the traditional terms and to find out whether the changes found differ from language to language. Then we choose the frequently used accounting term property, plant and equipment and compare financial statements published by large companies over a four-year period beginning in 2004 to find out whether there are changes in terminology in the year 2005, i.e. when listed companies were first re-quired to prepare their financial statements in accordance with IAS. (authorĀ“s abstract) ; Series: WU Online Papers in International Business Communication Series Two: Business and Economic Terminology

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Gerhard Edelmann

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