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The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers


An innovative new valuation framework with truly useful economic indicators

The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers shows how the ubiquitous financial reports have become useless in capital market decisions and lays out an actionable alternative. Based on a comprehensive, large-sample empirical analysis, this book reports financial documents' continuous deterioration in relevance to investors' decisions. An enlightening discussion details the reasons why accounting is losing relevance in today's market, backed by numerous examples with real-world impact. Beyond simply identifying the problem, this report offers a solution—the Value Creation Report—and demonstrates its utility in key industries. New indicators focus on strategy and execution to identify and evaluate a company's true value-creating resources for a more up-to-date approach to critical investment decision-making.

While entire industries have come to rely on financial reports for vital information, these documents are flawed and insufficient when it comes to the way investors and lenders work in the current economic climate. This book demonstrates an alternative, giving you a new framework for more informed decision making.

  • Discover a new, comprehensive system of economic indicators
  • Focus on strategic, value-creating resources in company valuation
  • Learn how traditional financial documents are quickly losing their utility
  • Find a path forward with actionable, up-to-date information

Major corporate decisions, such as restructuring and M&A, are predicated on financial indicators of profitability and asset/liabilities values. These documents move mountains, so what happens if they're based on faulty indicators that fail to show the true value of the company? The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers shows you the reality and offers a new blueprint for more accurate valuation.

BARUCH LEV is the Philip Bardes Professor of Accounting and Finance at the NYU Stern School of Business. He has authored more than 100 research studies and five books, including Winning Investors Over.

FENG GU is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Accounting and Law at the University at Buffalo. He has written numerous articles for top research journals.

Acknowledgments xi

The Book in a Nutshell xiii

Prologue xxv

CHAPTER 1 Corporate Reporting Then and Now: A Century of “Progress” 1

CHAPTER 2 And You Thought Earnings Are the Bottom Line 15

PART ONE Matter of Fact 27

CHAPTER 3 The Widening Chasm between Financial Information and Stock Prices 29

CHAPTER 4 Worse Than at First Sight 41

CHAPTER 5 Investors’ Fault or Accounting’s? 50

CHAPTER 6 Finally, For the Still Unconvinced 61

CHAPTER 7 The Meaning of It All 67

PART TWO Why Is the Relevance Lost? 77

CHAPTER 8 The Rise of Intangibles and Fall of Accounting 81

CHAPTER 9 Accounting: Facts or Fiction? 94

CHAPTER 10 Sins of Omission and Commission 104

PART THREE So, What’s to Be Done? 113

CHAPTER 11 What Really Matters to Investors (and Managers) 119

CHAPTER 12 Strategic Resources & Consequences Report: Case No. I--Media and Entertainment 133

CHAPTER 13 Strategic Resources & Consequences Report: Case No. 2--Property and Casualty Insurance 146

CHAPTER 14 Strategic Resources & Consequences Report:

Case No. 3--Pharmaceutics and Biotech 163

CHAPTER 15 Strategic Resources & Consequences Report:

Case No. 4--Oil and Gas Companies 179

PART FOUR Practical Matters 197

CHAPTER 16 Implementation 199

CHAPTER 17 So, What to Do with Accounting? A Reform Agenda 213

CHAPTER 18 Investors’ Operating Instructions 230

Epilogue: Advocacy Needed 241

Author Index 243

Subject Index 247