In the United States, the most common accounting framework for the preparation of financial statements is Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This framework provides a common set of rules in order for readers to properly understand and interpret financial results. GAAP is also the most common framework used when composing contract language for a merger or acquisition transaction.
Errors or omissions in applying GAAP can be costly in a business transaction; impacting credibility with lenders and leading to incorrect decisions. These violations can cause inaccurate reporting for internal and budgeting purposes, as well as a reduced reliance on prepared financial statements for 3rd party readers. Damaged credibility can furthermore cause a negative impact to the purchase price when going through a sale of the business.
As such, we have composed a list of the five most common GAAP violations routinely uncovered when we begin working with a new client.