At Economia I’m asking ‘why do we think accounts should be books?’

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I've begun a new column for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales's Economia magazine. The first is entitled 'Why do we think accounts should be books?' The nub of the argument is:

Surely the problem we are really facing is not the sheer number of pages that might now be included in a set of financial statements but the fact that we think in 2014 that financial statements should be produced in a format that looks and reads like a book.

Isn't it extraordinary that in this digital age one of the key pieces of financial information is as web friendly as a PDF? I recently heard this format described as ‘the file format where data goes to die' and I have a lot of sympathy.

There's 700 or so more words on that theme, here.