Financial Terms Glossary

Window Dressing

Formal

Financial window dressing is preparing/disclosing financial statements of a company to make the business appear in the best possible light (within accounting regulations). This is flexing the rules to portray the best possible position, accentuating positives, hiding negatives, and creating the maximum possible effect, eg for takeovers, or raising finance.

Informal

Is finance a science or an art? There are of course many ways to portray a set of results, and the accountancy reporting rules can be viewed as an artist's palette - how can we paint the best possible picture to help a particular situation? Highlight strengths, hide negatives, ignore concerns - all designed to create as unfair a position as possible - but yet within the rules.

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