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Three reasons for learning the consolidation of accounts by Pechiney in the 1960s

Abstract : Accounting historians showed that the practice of consolidated financial statements was first developed in the United States in the late nineteenth century (Walker, 1978) ; and in the United Kingdom in the early twentieth century (Edwards & Webb, 1991). Only in the 1930s, directors of Australian companies will begin to publish consolidated accounts (Whitred, 1986). The practice of consolidated financial statements came later in France. It was not until the late 1960s that some French companies with an international dimension began to publish voluntarily consolidated financial statements. This communication aims to show why Pechiney has been a one of the first French company learning consolidation of accounts in the 1960s. An examination of accounting records and minutes of board of directors reveals directors' motivations. On the one hand, Pechiney wish to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in order to finance mergers in the United States. One of the conditions required by the Securities and Exchange Commission was the production of consolidated accounts. In France, where this technique is virtually unknown, it is to the audit firm Price Waterhouse that directors will look to produce these accounts. On the other hand, in a phase of very strong growth, consolidated financial statements turned out to be a management tool suited to monitor and control the group. Finally, in a context where demand for consolidated information is increasingly approached by investors, the expertise gained in the consolidation allowed Pechiney directors to obtain a strategic position in case a regulation of the consolidated would be developed by public authorities in France.
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Contributor : Didier Bensadon <>
Submitted on : Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 12:22:33 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-00640539, version 1



Didier Bensadon. Three reasons for learning the consolidation of accounts by Pechiney in the 1960s. 21st Accounting, Business & Financial History (ABFH), Annual Conference, Cardiff, Sep 2009, Cardiff, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-00640539⟩



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