+7 495 989 9610, 9am6pm (GMT+3), Monday – Friday
ИД «Финансы и кредит»






International Accounting

The first attempt to uniform accounting in the USA: Individual and consolidated financial statements

Vol. 25, Iss. 4, APRIL 2022

Received: 17 February 2022

Received in revised form: 28 February 2022

Accepted: 31 March 2022

Available online: 15 April 2022


JEL Classification: B15, M41

Pages: 459–482


Sergei V. KOLCHUGIN Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management (NSUEM), Novosibirsk, Russian Federation


Subject. This article examines the first attempts to unify accounting in the United States and analyzes the information needs of users of accounting information, which led to the emergence of consolidated financial statements.
Objectives. The article aims to study the theoretical and methodological foundations of unification of US accounting in the context of individual and consolidated financial statements, as well as identify the theoretical and methodological foundations of consolidated financial statements as an independent type of financial reporting.
Methods. For the study, I used combinations of analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, and historical and logical research methods.
Results. The article shows that the unification of accounting in the United States took place through the adoption of uniform rules, not through the recognition of generally accepted accounting principles. The first unified accounting rules were focused on meeting the information needs of banks and banking organizations as the main source of investment of commercial companies. Despite the existence of theoretical developments in the field of consolidated financial statements and the preparation of the first consolidated balance sheets in practice, preference was given to individual financial statements, which was due to the need to assess the creditworthiness of a potential borrower applying for bank financing.
Relevance. The results obtained can be used in the development of the theory and methodology of consolidated accounting as an independent type of accounting of a group of companies.

Keywords: harmonization, individual financial statements, consolidated financial statements, accounting theory, accounting methodology


  1. AIA. Uniform Accounting. The Journal of Accountancy, 1917, June, no. 23, pp. 401–433.
  2. Carlill J.A. The Principles of Bookkeeping. London, Gee & Co., 1896, 106 p.
  3. Hamilton W.R. The Principles of Modern Bookkeeping. London, Gee & Co., 1912, 144 p.
  4. Van Cleve C.M. Principles of Double-Entry Bookkeeping. New York, Printed by the James Kempster Printing Company, 1913, 210 p.
  5. Bexell J.A., Nichols F.G. Principles of Bookkeeping and Farm Accounts. New York, Cincinnati, American Book Co., 1913, 184 p.
  6. Miner G.W., Elwell F.H. Principles of Bookkeeping: Complete Course Illustrating the Journal Method of Closing the Ledger. Boston, Ginn and Company, 1918, 416 p.
  7. Most K.S. Accounting Theory. Columbus, Ohio, Grid, 1977, 385 p.
  8. Richard J. Bukhgalterskii uchet: teoriya i praktika [Comptabilités et pratigues comptables]. Moscow, Finansy i statistika Publ., 2000, 158 p.
  9. Baetge J. Balansovedenie [Bilanzen]. Moscow, Bukhgalterskii uchet Publ., 2000, 454 p.
  10. Previts G.J., Merino B.D. A History of Accounting in America. An Historical Interpretation of the Culture Significance of Accounting. New York, Wiley, 1979, 378 p.
  11. Edwards J.R. Process of Accounting Innovation: The Publication of Consolidated Accounts in Britain in 1910. The Accounting Historians Journal, 1991, vol. 18, iss. 2, pp. 113–132. URL: Link
  12. Dickinson A.L. Notes on Some Problems Relating to the Accounts of Holding Companies. Journal of Accountancy, 1906, (April), pp. 487–491.
  13. Shaw J.C. Criteria for Consolidation. Accounting and Business Research, 1976, vol. 7, iss. 25, pp. 71–78. URL: Link
  14. Krimpmann A. Principles of Group Accounting under IFRS. United Kingdom, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2015, 856 p.
  15. May G.O. Improvement in Financial Accounts. Journal of Accountancy, 1937, May, pp. 333–369.
  16. May G.O. Financial Accounting: A Distillation of Experience. New York, Macmillan Company, 1943, 274 p.
  17. May G.O. Twenty-Five Years of Accounting Responsibility, 1911–1936; Essays and Discussions. New York, American Institute Publishing Co., Inc, 1936, vol. 1, 368 p. URL: Link

View all articles of issue


ISSN 2311-9381 (Online)
ISSN 2073-5081 (Print)

Journal current issue

Vol. 25, Iss. 5
May 2022