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An accounting is

[t]he process of collecting and reporting information about the use of services to apportion cost.[1]


An accounting (also called an accounting of profits) is an equitable remedy most commonly used in cases of breach of fiduciary duty.[2]

Overview (Litigation)[]

It is an action taken against a defendant to recover the profits taken as a result of the breach of duty, in order to prevent unjust enrichment. It is within the discretion of the court whether to grant an accounting.

In conducting an accounting of profits, the plaintiff is treated as if they were conducting the business of the defendant, and made those profits which were attributable to the defendant's wrongful actions. This can be rather complex in practice, because the defendant's accounting records must be examined to determine what portion of his gross profits were derived to the wrongful act in question.[3]


  1. "IBM Terminology" (full-text).
  2. Black's Law Dictionary (7th ed 1999).
  3. Leigh Ellis, Theory into Action: Calculating Damages Payments and Accounts of Profits in Patent Cases (full-text).

See also[]

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