The article under analysis is called “Accounting for Contingencies: Disclosure of Future Business Risks” and is written by Jonathan Schiff, Allen Schiff, and Hanna Rozen. The scholars have researched the importance of introducing transparent accounting to regular gains and losses during contingencies. The article also provides a brief overview of accounting for contingencies and a comparison of U.S. IFRS and GAAP requirements connected to the potential losses and gains. The authors also introduce the modern illustrations demonstrating cases of companies that comply with standards of financial reporting for contingencies. The intended audience of the article is the readers who are concerned with the recent cases of fraud or inadequate exposition of financial materials. The article can also draw attention to the large company’s executives who are willing to keep control of the recent changes in accounting. While comparing various acts of handling accounting as well as empirical cases of famous companies, the authors expect to make the reader realize the importance of introducing transparent reporting in case of contingencies to prevent the frequency of unpredictable situations. From a rhetoric perspective, the scholars have introduced a complex synthesis of logos, pathos, and ethos to capture the attention of the target audience. Specifically, use of case studies, documents, facts, and tables are among the most salient logos that the authors used. Appeal to the audience was slightly supported by pathos because most of information is represented through direct interpretation of facts.
As it has been mentioned in the theme description, the scholars have resorted to contrast and compare analysis discourse as a basis for the appeal strategy. Specifically, the article singles out five main elements according to which the comparison has been carried out. These attributes include definition of probable, range of outcomes, disclosure exceptions, discounting, and contingent gains. The choice of these elements is explained by the possibility to highlight the tangible distinction between U.S. GAAP and IFRS in conducting accounting for loss and gain contingencies. For instance, U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are less likely to introduce the definition of probable than International Financial Reporting Standards. The contrast and compare strategy employed in the article attracts the readers and makes them get a better understanding of various theoretical frameworks, principles, and definitions involved in accounting for contingencies. Another example of contrast and compare principle is confined to the representation of case studies, such as Microsoft, Inc. vs. the European Commission. The case itself reflects on the comparative analysis of outlooks on the existing standards in managing accounting for contingencies. These examples also allow the readers to understand how the previously identified accounting principles differ. The contrast and compare feature is also represented through the heading and subsections discussing the differences and similarities within specific topics. This technique is beneficial for expanding readers’ knowledge about the spheres of influence of accounting.
Logos is accurately used in the article in terms of logical representation of theoretical and practical information. The definitions and logical deductions make it possible for the readers to understand the main underpinnings of loss and gain contingencies. Classifications of these issues are especially important for defining further directions for comparison. The entire organization of the text is premised on induction and deduction techniques. In particular, while discussing the issue of product warranties and guarantees, the scholars immediately introduce the example of General Motors company right after discussing the definitions and main aspects of this process (Schiff, Schiff, and Rozen 5). While introducing the argument, the authors place an emphasis on the analysis of existing standards, such as IAS 37 and ASC 450. Finally, the article provides statistical information supporting the main idea. For instance, the scholars have included the table illustrating how treatment of loss contingency is conducted at Air Franc-KLM, Inc. The table also shows the evident changes in treating provision amount during the period from 2006 to 2010 (Schiff et al. 3). Specifically, Air France-KLM has estimated that the treatment of losses should be taken into consideration. Although the text discusses financial issues, the authors rarely refer to numerical data. Nevertheless, some of the cases are worth representing as example. Specifically, the scholars frequently indicate various percentages and dates to emphasize the comparative stance in the paper. In the article, the authors analyze, “…entities …only recognize tax-related uncertainties and generally only recognize tax-related uncertainties with greater than 50 % change of being realized” (Schiff et al. 2) Therefore, logos could be regarded as the predominant approach to representing information and conveying the main argument in the article.
The use of figures and facts is accompanied by ethos that, in turn, introduces the visual representation of information. Although the authors do not provide images and illustrations, the article is accompanied with bullet points. The division into headings and sub-points is also essential for understanding the topic and split into thematic nodes. The allocation and prioritization of topics is also essential for readers to grasp the importance of information delivered. As an example, the authors represent background information on various standards, acts, and legal documents related to the researched topic. Further, the graphical representation of information has distinguished features as well. For instance, the case evaluation is highlighted with a different color, which makes it possible for the readers to distinguish between theoretical and practical information.
Use of ethos is also revealed through the representation of tables providing a concise summary of information conveyed in the text. In this way, the readers could grasp the main idea of a specific topic representation in the text. By combining these examples, the researchers seek to outline and reiterate the leading points of the article. For instance, the table demonstrates the differences and similarities related to loss and gain contingencies. In order to highlight important information, the scholars resort to various graphic representations of information. For instance, such words as liabilities, impairment, Accounting Standards Codification, loss and gains, and many other topic-related words have been represented in italics. The use of bold font performs the function of introducing new headings and sections in the article.
Although the text is abundant with logos and ethos, the article lacks pathos because the scholars fail to introduce a vivid and emotional language filled with sensory details. Nevertheless, the authors still provide a number of interesting devices. For instance, the emotional stance is revealed through the description of case studies, where the authors introduce a number of parentheses, such as however, furthermore, or generally. The use of enumerating parenthesis is also aimed at capturing the readers’ attention and makes them keep focused on the main idea of the article. In fact, the lack of pathos in the text could be considered to be the main advantage of the article due to the style and genre the authors have chosen. Since the main thesis refers to the sphere of business and economics, use of emotional language would not be relevant. Therefore, the choice of rhetoric devices and the overall organization correspond with the genre of the text.
As it has been mentioned before, the scholars have chosen the contrast and compare strategy to comply with the topic requirements. In fact, use of logos permits the authors not only to delve deeply into the thematic discourse but also embrace other important topics referring to the main argument. Therefore, the patterns of data representation are based primarily on description of definitions and comparisons of those definitions with each other. Although the comparative analysis is chosen, some extracts in the article do not allow the reader to understand the differences between the identified standards and the peculiarities of each. In this respect, the authors rely predominantly on descriptive narration. The rationale for the chosen pattern also explains why no viable conclusions have been made.
In general, the choice of the rhetoric pattern depends on plethora of circumstances and aspects, such as the purpose of discussion, the intended audience, and the spheres highlighted in the paper. Due to the fact that the main purpose of rhetoric consists in representing facts and ideas in a persuasive and accurate way, the authors employ various combinations of ethos, pathos, and logos, as well as other common stylistic devices, such as repetition, anaphora, or oxymoron. It is also important to stress that use of rhetoric does not rely solely on a skillful use of lexical devices and words. Rather, choice of graphic representations, images, punctuation, and overall organizational structure also matter in delivering information to the reader. Therefore, the cornerstone of rhetoric is connected with a clear, concise, coherent but persuasive and emphatic development of the main idea. If the authors fail to achieve the purpose, the text itself loses its main value. Additionally, each narrative discourse should be accomplished with concrete examples, anecdotes, situations, figures, and personal experience to attract the readers’ attention. In other words, the main task of rhetoric is to make a strong reference to the contextual information, which introduces the background and places the message in a context. What is more important, the author should also adhere to a rhetoric scheme in which the speaker should send the message to the specific audience. If the audience is weakly identified, the communicative message could be lost.
The authors’ personal experience has a potent impact on the nature of discourse introduced in the article. For this reason, it should be stressed that all the scholars participating in the research have degrees in the sphere of economics and management. This information explains why the language of the article is scientific and excludes the use of colloquialisms and adjectives, which are commonly used in other writing styles. With regard to the contextual information represented in the discourse, it can be concluded that the article has been written to reduce the number of accounting fallacies and prevent the occurrence of contingencies. Additionally, the paper is also represented as a recommendation for companies and corporations to prevent business risks in the future.
In conclusion, the article under analysis refers to the cases of accounting for loss and gain contingencies to inform business entities about possible risks and prevent problematic situations. In order to render the main idea of the text, the scholars have employed a set of rhetoric devices, such as logos, pathos, and ethos. To begin with, logos has been represented in the form of numerical data, case study, analysis of regulations and standards, as well as representation of statistics and percentages. This device is prevalent in the paper. The use of ethos is confined to employment of tables, bullet points, heading, and graphical devices such as use of bold font and italics. Finally, there are rare cases of pathos in the text because the contrast and compare strategies used by the author do not support the rationale for the use of emotional and vivid language. Nevertheless, the article contains a number of parentheses.