حسابداری ارزش منصفانه و نادرستی ارزش حال: نیاز به یک چارچوب مفهومی جایگزین
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The British Accounting Review, Volume 39, Issue 3, September 2007, Pages 211–225
The major functions of company accounting identified by the IASB and the FASB are (1) reporting on ‘the custody and safekeeping’ of the company's resources and (2) reporting on ‘their efficient and profitable use’. The joint IASB/FASB project for improving the conceptual framework for financial reporting is directed towards better performance of both functions within the conventional ‘accrual’ system of accounting through the use of ‘fair value’. Although the disclosure of fair values is a development to be welcomed, the requirement that changes in fair value should be reported as ‘gains’ or ‘losses’ appears to rely on the ‘Hicksian’ concept of income as a theoretical ideal. The object of the present paper is to establish that this concept is fundamentally flawed by what may be called the ‘present value fallacy’. Even in an economic utopia of perfectly competitive markets (with no discrepancies between objective market values and subjective present values), the concept of income or profit as value growth can be seriously misleading. If the prevailing Hicksian conceptual framework is discarded in favour of an alternative based on Fisher's theory of income, the two major, but incompatible, functions of financial reporting can be carried out independently and without compromise. The conventional ‘hybrid’ system of accrual accounting, in which backward-looking measures of volume and forward-looking measures of value are mixed together, would be replaced by a ‘segregated’ system in which they are kept strictly apart. A logical extension of Fisher's theory suggests the disclosure by agent/managers of the return on investment that they are planning to deliver to their principal/owners. This type of ‘decision-useful information’ is vital for the efficient operation of capital markets and for removing the accounting incentive to short-termism.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The proposal outlined in the previous section is just one possible application of the principle of segregation. What is important is the principle. Conventional accrual accounting is a ‘hybrid’ system which produces ‘a strange conglomeration of figures, some based on funds, some on values, and some on an unidentifiable mixture of both’ (Rayman, 1969, p. 68)—and it has to perform two conflicting roles. By separating ‘backward-looking symbols of volume’ from ‘forward-looking measures of value’ the segregation of funds and value drives home a vital lesson: The assessment of profit of a going concern … calls largely for commercial judgment in evaluating the outcome of transactions not yet completed. (R.G. Leach, The Times, 22 September 1969) In making this obvious at the time when the financial reports are published, a segregated system may help to close the ‘expectation gap’ identified by the Company Law Review Steering Group (1999, p. 121) ‘between the breadth and depth of assurance the public commonly considers the auditors’ report to represent and what it in fact provides’. Because it is based on the present value fallacy, fair value accounting is liable to produce absurdities which risk widening this gap. Table 1 and Table 2 illustrate the danger of treating changes in the fair value of assets as gains or losses. Similar absurdities can occur in relation to changes in the fair value of a company's own liabilities: The fair value option … can result in the rather counter-intuitive result of a financially distressed entity reporting significant gains as the fair value of its debt deteriorates (and vice versa). (Ernst & Young, 2004, p. 1028) Fair values are, by definition, transactions that could have taken place at the balance sheet date but did not in fact do so. Neither the IASB nor the FASB have produced any justification for reporting business performance on the basis of differences between non-existent transactions. If the concept of profit as value change is unsatisfactory even in an ideal world, it cannot be regarded as a suitable candidate for financial reporting or measuring taxable capacity in the real world. It is no surprise that accounts can be misleading if they are based on expectations that turn out to be false. It is a matter of concern that conventional accrual accounts can be misleading even when everything goes according to plan. A segregated system of funds and value accounting is based on disclosed assumptions that are believed to be true. The conventional accrual system is based on undisclosed assumptions known to be false. Perhaps the last word should be left to Irving Fisher: Accountants … err grievously when they attempt to spirit away realized income and put earned income in its place. (1906, p. 235)