Corporate accounting in Australia can be said to have passed through four phases. The initial phase involved the introduction of minimum standards of statutory disclosure. The second phase was largely an extension of these statutory requirements to include income statements and consolidated statements. This was followed by the activities of the accounting profession, stock exchanges and others to improve the details of disclosure.

The final phase which is still under way has directed attention more and more to the problems of accounting measurement reflected in the financial statements. It has been marked by efforts to formulate accounting standards and to enforce compliance with those standards. Modern developments have been marked by a gradual shift from change based on statutory demands towards change based on the role of such non statutory influences as the accounting profession.

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