The article introduces the theoretical foundations of the author's original concept of accounting engineering. We assume a theoretical premise whereby accounting engineering is understood as a system of accounting practice utilising differences in economic events resultant from the use of divergent accounting methods. Unlike, for instance, creative or praxeological accounting, accounting engineering is composed only, and under all circumstances, of lawful activities and adheres to the current regulations of the balance sheet law. The aim of the article is to construct a model of accounting engineering exploiting taking into account differences inherently present in variant accounting. These differences result in disparate financial results of identical economic events. Given the fact that regardless of which variant is used in accounting, all settlements are eventually equal to one another, a new class of differences emerges - the accounting engineering potential. It is transferred to subsequent reporting (balance sheet) periods. In the end, the profit 'made' in a given period reduces the financial result of future periods. This effect is due to the 'transfer' of costs from one period to another. Such actions may have sundry consequences and are especially dangerous whenever many individuals are concerned with the profit of a given company, e.g. on a stock exchange. The reverse may be observed when a company is privatised and its value is being intentionally reduced by a controlled recording of accounting provisions, depending on the degree to which they are justified. The reduction of a company's goodwill in Balcerowicz's model of no-tender privatisation allows to justify the low value of the purchased company. These are only some of many manifestations of variant accounting which accounting engineering employs. A theoretical model of the latter is presented in this article.