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Depreciation during the second industrial revolution: the British cycle and motor vehicle industries, c.1896-c.1922

Boyns, Trevor ORCID: 2021. Depreciation during the second industrial revolution: the British cycle and motor vehicle industries, c.1896-c.1922. Accounting History Review 31 (1) , pp. 73-112. 10.1080/21552851.2021.1922123

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This study examines the approach to depreciation adopted by companies engaged in two light engineering industries associated with the second industrial revolution: the cycle and motor vehicle industries. Through an examination of the published accounts of 21 companies engaged in these sectors at some time during the study period, and the archival records of two of them (Birmingham Small Arms and Daimler), this study examines the extent to which firm depreciation practices differed from those in more traditional sectors (iron and steel, coal, transport) previously examined by historians. It is found that depreciation was applied more regularly and, at least in some cases, according to set rates and using sophisticated systems. Nevertheless, the depreciation practices of firms, especially in the motor vehicle sector, have been deemed to render net profit figures unusable as a means of comparing business performance before the introduction of new legal requirements relating to financial reporting introduced by the 1928 Companies Act.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 2155-2851
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 15 March 2021
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2022 00:48

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