By recognising the dual purposes of financial accounting, and developing distinct theories to guide the preparation of financial reports, the apparent internal contradictions in accounting theory can be resolved. Property rights and measurement theory provide the basis for explaining transaction-based profit measurement and funds commitment, and for a statement of wealth measured using market prices. Property rights are recognised in The New Institutional Economics. Going beyond accepted accounting conventions, property rights provide the qualitative, empirical property giving meaning to accounting practice for profit measurement through the 1940s to 1960s. Examples of profit and of wealth measurement are included.