I am working on a research paper on the unit of account. Well, no it’s really about bifurcation of compound financial instruments. But wait, it’s really about aggregation. I guess one could say it’s about linking the presentation of things too. My head is whirling. Exactly. The point of the paper is not about the terminology, but I’m finding myself thinking a lot about this terminology.

So I’m wondering your opinions on these not-well-defined terms we use in financial reporting.

I consider the unit of account to be the high-level concept. Under it are bifurcation (splitting apart some ONE thing that has multiple parts). Also under it is the issue of aggregation which “goes the other way.” Bringing together different items. Bifurcation and aggregation don’t quite seem to be on the same dimension, though. That is to say, to aggregate doesn’t mean to “not bifurcate.” And finally, linked presentation, well i’m not sure but if you ask me right now, today, i would say that this is just how it looks on a financial statement, but that’s not precise at all. Isn’t that the same as the unit of account issue? Yes, you can see why my head is whirling.

Thoughts?