Need for accounting measurement the big 1

Need for accounting measurement
Need for accounting measurement provides a summary of the measurement bases in use in Financial Reporting
and the concepts behind these measurement bases.
The measurement bases that will be considered here are:

All these bases are forms of accrual accounting – that is, they are intended to measure income as it is earned and costs as they are incurred, as opposed to simply recording cash flows. The last four are all forms of current value measurement.

In forming a judgment on the appropriateness of measurement bases, in literature, the overriding tests has been identified to be their cost-effectiveness and fitness for purpose. However, in the absence of direct evidence on these matters, it is usual to argue in terms of various secondary characteristics that ought to be relevant in assessing the quality of information (see the key indicators in What is useful information?).

The most important of these characteristics are generally considered to be relevance and faithful representation / reliability (older term).

For each basis, an outline is given of how it works and the relevance and faithful representation of the resulting measurements. The question of measurement costs is also considered briefly. In reading the analyses that follow, the following comments should be borne in mind.

Bases of measurement in financial reporting are not carved in stone. Different people have different views on how each basis should work, and meanings evolve as practice changes. Some readers may therefore find that the way a particular basis is described does not match how they understand it.

This does not mean either that their understanding is wrong or that the description in the report is wrong; views on these things simply differ.

Read more

Related IFRS posts

Comparability

Comparability – An enhancing qualitative characteristic that enables users to identify and understand similarities in, and differences among, items.

The Conceptual Framework provides the following guidance [Conceptual Framework 2.24 – 2.29]:

Users’ decisions involve choosing between alternatives, for example, selling or holding an investment, or investing in one reporting entity or another. Consequently, information about a reporting entity is more useful if it can be compared with similar information about other entities and with similar information about the same entity for another period or another date.Comparability

Comparing Financial Statements between companies is the qualitative characteristic that enables users to identify and understand similarities in, and differences among, items. Unlike the other qualitative characteristics, comparability does not relate to … Read more

Relevance

Relevance - Relevant financial information is capable of making a difference in decisions made by users if it has predictive value, confirmatory value or both.

Monetary items

Monetary items are units of currency held and assets and liabilities to be received or paid in a fixed or determinable number of units of currency cash.

Historical cost measurement

Historical cost measurement – The historical cost of an asset is the amount paid for it and the historical cost of a liability is the amount received in respect of it or the amount expected to be paid to satisfy it.

Historical cost accounting is interpreted to require that the amount at which an asset is stated in the accounts should not exceed the amount expected to be recovered from either its use or its sale (its recoverable amount). Historical cost as it is understood is therefore recoverable historical cost.

Recoverable amount is usually considered to be the higher of an asset’s realisable value and its value in use. The resulting recoverable historical cost tree for determining an asset’s recoverable Read more

Disclosure innovations in financial reporting

Disclosure innovations in financial reporting – This is a note on the innovative history of Philips’ financial reporting, see the ‘Introduction to a history of innovation in financial reporting‘.

In the Netherlands formal legislation concerning financial reporting was introduced rather late in the early 1970s. The lack of formal legislation was a stimulants to applying innovative financial reporting disclosures, bluntly said ‘anything was possible’ there were no legal minimum levels.

This part is based on a research overview by Camfferman (1996) in his paper ‘Voluntary annual report disclosure by listed Dutch companies, 1945 – 1983’. Camfferman’s work identifies 9 disclosure items. The nine disclosure innovations are discussed in here.

(1) Disclosure of Sales Disclosure innovations in financial reporting

Read more

Financial reporting in change

Financial reporting in change – Many different bodies of practices are used around the world for external financial reporting and these include different approaches to measurement.

  1. Different jurisdictions have developed their own financial reporting requirements, influenced by differences in the uses made of financial reporting information and in business and regulatory environments.
  2. Even within a single jurisdiction, different approaches are sometimes adopted for different entities in order to reflect variations in size, ownership and governance.
  3. Businesses undertake different types of transaction or hold different types of asset or liability. Practices develop that reflect the needs and experiences of particular types of business.

These bodies of practices are rarely systematic; they have evolved over time as collections of diverse responses to Read more

Assessing information quality for measurement

Assessing information quality for measurement – The Conceptual Framework provides the foundation for Standards and Accounting Guidelines that:

  1. contribute to transparency by enhancing the comparability and quality of financial information, enabling investors and other Read more