Record Keeping, Economic

Record Keeping, Economic


a system for the observation, measurement, and recording of socioeconomic processes in all branches and at all levels of the national economy in the interest of a planned socialist economy. Economic record keeping is used to supply all levels of management with timely, reliable, scientifically based data that objectively describe the fulfillment of state plans, targets, and commitments; the data also characterize the quality of work and products, the effectiveness of social production and scientific and technological progress, the rates and proportions in the development of branches of the national economy, the growth of the economy, culture, and standard of living, the availability of reserves, the use of natural resources, and the state of the environment. The unified system of economic record keeping comprises operational records, bookkeeping, and statistics.

Operational records contain information on various aspects of production and economic activity in enterprises, associations, organizations, and institutions. The measuring, weighing, and recording steps required by the reports are performed both during and after production and other operations. Operational records have acquired special significance with the advent of automatic control systems for technological processes. Bookkeeping is concerned with the continuous recording of all economic operations carried out at enterprises, organizations, and institutions involving assets and financial resources. Statistics are kept in order to provide data on the development of the national economy and its individual branches. The collection, processing, and analysis of statistical materials are carried out on the basis of balance sheets, censuses, special reports, and all-encompassing, selective, and topical statistical surveys. Using reliable data, statistics studies the quantitative aspect of mass phenomena in their relationship to the qualitative aspect and reveals patterns in social development.

Generalizations on the sectors of the national economy can be drawn only if there is uniformity in the methodology governing operational records, bookkeeping, and statistics. This uniformity is attained through common methodological and organizational principles and a common system of planning, record-keeping, and statistical indicators. The USSR employs in all branches of the national economy uniform principles of record keeping for gross and market output, capital investment, fixed capital, working capital, financial resources, unit costs, commodity turnover, and wage funds. These principles are reflected in instructions on accounting and reporting. Of great importance has been the introduction of a countrywide system of classification for branches of the national economy, for industrial and agricultural products, for goods and services, and for occupations, enterprises, and organizations; the use of standard accounting forms and standard transaction documents in all branches of the economy has also proved important. Record keeping has to a considerable extent coincided with statistics owing to the expanded use of computers in the economy, the establishment of automated data banks, and the interaction between sectoral automatic control systems, the automated system of state statistics, and the automated system of planning estimates.

In accordance with the Constitution of the USSR, the organization of a uniform system of economic record keeping is the province of the country’s supreme government and economic organs. Record-keeping and statistical activities are overseen by the Central Statistical Board of the USSR, which, together with the State Planning Committee (Gosplan of the USSR), the Ministry of Finance of the USSR, the State Bank of the USSR (Gosbank), and other ministries and departments, concerns itself with the system of interconnected statistical indicators and a uniform methodology of record keeping. The USSR Central Statistical Board approves accounting forms, oversees record keeping and reporting, monitors the accuracy of data, submits the necessary statistical information to executive agencies, publishes reports on the fulfillment of state plans and other statistical materials, and directs work on the automation of the collection and processing of accounting and statistical information in the country. Ministries and departments organize record keeping at the enterprises, organizations, and institutions under their jurisdiction.