Abstract

2.1. This chapter provides an overall picture of the central framework of the System of National Accounts (SNA). It introduces the main categories, which are in a sense the backbone of the System, and the rules of accounting to be followed when recording the various entries. It then describes the System’s accounting structure and discusses some of the ways in which the central framework may be applied flexibly, depending on specific country requirements. These presentations are based on the point of view that national accounts are an integrated system of accounts for which complete consistency is required. This is the traditional point of view on national accounting and it remains the central one. Thereafter, the chapter proceeds from a second point of view, one that regards national accounts as a set of interrelated subsystems, each of which is fully consistent internally and all of which, although differing from one another in some aspects, are compatible in a loose sense. Satellite accounts are introduced. These are constructs that are semi-integrated with the central framework.