consistency principle

  

Definition

Accounting: The idea in accounting that once an accounting method is adopted, it should be followed consistently from one accounting period to the next. If, for any reason, the accounting method is changed, a full disclosure of the change and an explanation of its effects on the items of the financial statements must be given.

One of the duties of an auditor is to make sure the consistency principle is being followed because, without this, any change might make correct interpretation of the financial data impossible. Also called consistency concept. See also accounting concepts.

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