Course Outline
Join PRO

What is the consistency principle?

Author:
Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Consistency

In accounting, consistency requires that a company’s financial statements follow the same accounting principles, methods, practices and procedures from one accounting period to the next. This allows the readers of the financial statements to make meaningful comparisons between years.

Consistency does allow a company to make a change to a more preferred accounting method. However, the change and its effects must be clearly disclosed for the benefit of the readers of the financial statements.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board refers to consistency as one of the characteristics or qualities that makes accounting information useful.

Example of Consistency

Let’s assume that a U.S. corporation uses the FIFO cost flow assumption for valuing its inventory and determining its cost of goods sold. Due to the increasing cost of its materials, it concludes that LIFO will better indicate the company’s true profit. In the year of the change from FIFO to LIFO (and in years when comparisons are presented), the company must disclose the break in consistency.

Join PRO to Track Progress
Must-Watch Video

Advance Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Career

  • Perform better at your job
  • Get hired for a new position
  • Understand your small business
  • Pass your accounting class
Watch the Video

Join PRO or PRO Plus and Get Lifetime Access to Our Premium Materials

Read all 2,645 reviews

Features

PRO

PRO Plus

Features
Lifetime Access (One-Time Fee)
Explanations
Quizzes
Q&A
Word Scrambles
Crosswords
Bookkeeping Video Training
Financial Statements Video Training
Flashcards
Visual Tutorials
Quick Tests
Quick Tests with Coaching
Cheat Sheets
Business Forms
All PDF Files
Progress Tracking
Earn Badges and Points
Certificate - Debits and Credits
Certificate - Adjusting Entries
Certificate - Financial Statements
Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
Certificate - Working Capital
Certificate - Financial Ratios
Certificate - Bank Reconciliation
Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

Learn More About Harold

Certificates of
Achievement

Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
Badges and Points
  • Work towards and earn 30 badges
  • Earn points as you work towards completing our course
View PRO Plus Features
Course Outline
Take the Tour Join Pro Upgrade to Pro Plus