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Part II: The Tools > Looking Ahead: The Core Roadmap

Chapter 9. Looking Ahead: The Core Roadmap

Financial information works much like a road atlas. A complex map of the interstate freeway system is of little value if you simply want to figure out how to get across town. This book has been designed to narrow your search for valid and useful information; to serve as an atlas to direct yourself through a maze of financial one-way streets, dead ends, and roads under construction; and to provide shortcuts and fast routes to the answers you need and want.

The difference between how corporations report information and how they should report it is at the heart of fundamental analysis. We need accurate, complete, and reliable information; it would also be nice if we could find information presented in a consistent manner for many different corporations. It is frustrating that so many variations in formats of reporting are found on corporate Web sites. As a matter of corporate governance, the format used by corporations should be as strictly consistent as the accounting rules themselves. We will eventually arrive at a universally agreed-upon set of rules for making core earnings adjustments. Part of the reform should also include guidelines by which corporations format and present their financial statements, analysis, and notes.


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