How To Choose An Accounting Paper Format?

Nowadays everyone is used to word processing. For everyday documents the most common layouts have become whatever the default is in Microsoft Word’s template, and generally that works just fine. It doesn’t work all the time, though. Many specialist fields had developed their own standard formats long before computing came on the scene, and cultural inertia makes it difficult to change. There’s no point in deciding to break the mould, either; if your employer is used to seeing documents laid out a certain way, and you hand him something different, you’re just going to be asked to do it again in the “proper” format.

One profession that has its own way of doing things is accountancy. Accountancy-related documents, including academic papers, have their own formatting rules and some of these are very different from normal practice (or what your computer will do for you.) If you’re going to be handing in an accountancy paper here is a list of points you need to bear in mind.

  • Margins - Make sure your paper has a margin of at least an inch on all sides.
  • Font - The standard font in accountancy is Times New Roman. You should size it at between nine and twelve points.
  • Titles - The title of the paper should be in bold, but generally not underlined. It shouldn’t be larger than 12 points.
  • Page numbering - Pages in an accountancy paper are not usually numbered.
  • Formulae - Accountancy papers often contain formulae. It’s essential that these are clearly presented and easy to understand. The standard way to do this is to centre them. The font size should be the same as that in the body text. Don’t italicise formulae unless told to do so.
  • References - All sources used need to be properly referenced, and the reference list needs to be in a recognised style such as Harvard or APA. Your school or firm may specify which style to use; if not, choose the one you’re happiest with then use it consistently.
  • Spacing - In accountancy papers it’s normal to use double line spacing. No extra spacing should be used between paragraphs.

Of course these are just general rules. It’s likely that your school will have its own special requirements, and obviously those need to tale precedence. If no special format is specified, though, sticking with this advice will give you a paper that looks professional and will be acceptable to most accountants.

Posted by December 6th, 2016