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Part 1

Question 1
This Conceptual Framework sets out the concepts that underlie the preparation and
presentation of financial statements for external users.
This Conceptual Framework is not an FRS and hence does not define standards for
any particular measurement or disclosure issue. Nothing in this Conceptual
Framework overrides any specific FRS.
The Conceptual Framework deals with:
(a) the objective of financial reporting;
(b) the qualitative characteristics of useful financial information;
(c) the definition, recognition and measurement of the elements from which
financial statements are constructed;
and (d) concepts of capital and capital maintenance.
(a) The objective of general purpose financial reporting is to provide financial
information about the reporting entity that is useful to existing and
potential investors, lenders and other creditors in making decisions about
providing resources to the entity. Those decisions involve buying, selling
or holding equity and debt instruments, and providing or settling loans
and other forms of credit.
To a large extent, financial reports are based on estimates, judgements
and models rather than exact depictions. The Conceptual Framework
establishes the concepts that underlie those estimates, judgements and
models.
(b) The qualitative characteristics of useful financial information discussed in
this chapter identify the types of information that are likely to be most
useful to the existing and potential investors, lenders and other creditors
for making decisions about the reporting entity on the basis of information
in its financial report (financial information).
The fundamental qualitative characteristics are relevance and faithful
representation.
Relevance
Financial information is capable of making a difference in decisions if it
has predictive value, confirmatory value or both.
Financial information has predictive value if it can be used as an input to
processes employed by users to predict future outcomes. Financial
information need not be a prediction or forecast to have predictive value.
Financial information with predictive value is employed by users in making
their own predictions.

Financial information has confirmatory value if it provides feedback about


(confirms or changes) previous evaluations. Throughout this Conceptual
Framework, the terms qualitative characteristics and constraint refer to
the qualitative characteristics of, and the constraint on, useful financial
information.
The predictive value and confirmatory value of financial information are
interrelated. Information that has predictive value often also has
confirmatory value.
Faithful Representation
To be useful, financial information must not only represent relevant
phenomena, but it must also faithfully represent the phenomena that it
purports to represent. To be a perfectly faithful representation, a depiction
would have three characteristics. It would be complete, neutral and free
from error. Of course, perfection is seldom, if ever, achievable.
A complete depiction includes all information necessary for a user to
understand the phenomenon being depicted, including all necessary
descriptions and explanations.
A neutral depiction is without bias in the selection or presentation of
financial information. A neutral depiction is not slanted, weighted,
emphasised, de-emphasised or otherwise manipulated to increase the
probability that financial information will be received favourably or
unfavourably by users. Neutral information does not mean information
with no purpose or no influence on behaviour. On the contrary, relevant
financial information is, by definition, capable of making a difference in
users decisions.
Free from error means there are no errors or omissions in the description
of the phenomenon, and the process used to produce the reported
information has been selected and applied with no errors in the process. In
this context, free from error does not mean perfectly accurate in all
respects.
Applying The Fundamental Qualitative Characteristics
The most efficient and effective process for applying the fundamental
qualitative characteristics would usually be as follows (subject to the
effects of enhancing characteristics and the cost constraint, which are not
considered in this example). First, identify an economic phenomenon that
has the potential to be useful to users of the reporting entitys financial
information. Second, identify the type of information about that
phenomenon that would be most relevant if it is available and can be
faithfully represented. Third, determine whether that information is
available and can be faithfully represented. If so, the process of satisfying
the fundamental qualitative characteristics ends at that point. If not, the
process is repeated with the next most relevant type of information.

Comparability, verifiability, timeliness and understandability are


qualitative characteristics that enhance the usefulness of information that
is relevant and faithfully represented.
Comparability 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 a single item. A comparison requires at least two items. Consistency,
although related to comparability, is not the same. Consistency refers to
the use of the same methods for the same items, either from period to
period within a reporting entity or in a single period across entities.
Comparability is the goal; consistency helps to achieve that goal.

Verifiability helps assure users that information faithfully represents the


economic phenomena it purports to represent. Verifiability means that
different knowledgeable and independent observers could reach
consensus, although not necessarily complete agreement, that a
particular depiction is a faithful representation.
Verification can be direct or indirect. Direct verification means verifying an
amount or other representation through direct observation, for example,
by counting cash. Indirect verification means checking the inputs to a
model, formula or other technique and recalculating the outputs using the
same methodology.
Timeliness means having information available to decision-makers in time
to be capable of influencing their decisions.
Classifying, characterising and presenting information clearly and
concisely makes it understandable.
(c) Elements: Asset, liability, equity, income, expenses
(d) Capital -> financial or physical (choose based on needs of users of
financial statements: purchasing power of capital or operational capacity)
Capital maintenance -> financial or physical
Financial capital maintenance. Under this concept a profit is earned
only if the financial (or money) amount of the net assets at the end of
the period exceeds the financial (or money) amount of net assets at
the beginning of the period, after excluding any distributions to, and
contributions from, owners during the period. Financial capital
maintenance can be measured in either nominal monetary units or
units of constant purchasing power.
Physical capital maintenance. Under this concept a profit is earned
only if the physical productive capacity (or operating capability) of the
entity (or the resources or funds needed to achieve that capacity) at
the end of the period exceeds the physical productive capacity at the

beginning of the period, after excluding any distributions to, and


contributions from, owners during the period.

Question 2
a) Relevance
Reporting about the buildings current value is relevant information to
investors and has predictive value (ppl can use the info to determine if value
of property will go up or down) & confirmatory value (cfms past evaluations).
b) Faithful Representation
- Comparability
Financial information becomes more useful as users now can better
compare the 2 companies as the company has switched their inventory
method to be the same as their competitor.
c) Faithful Representation
- Understandability
While removal of the extra information would ensure that the report
remains easy to understand, even to the less sophisticated financial report
users, however, the report would be incomplete and therefore potentially
misleading.
The financial reports are meant for users who have a reasonable
knowledge of business and economic activities and who review and
analyse the information diligently. At times, even well informed and
diligent users may need to seek the aid of an adviser to understand
information about complex economic phenomena.

Question 3
Benefits
- Development of concepts in orderly sets that make financial accounting and
reporting consistent and logical
- Increased compatibility of standards internationally enabled through such
consistency
- Economical development of accounting
- Overall enhanced communication

Limitations
- too general in nature
- principles with its huge reliance on various assumptions. It may, therefore, be of
little help when actually producing financial statements and can lead to the
development of accounting standards which are very academic, theoretical and
prone to fraud.
- These standards may also, in practice, make provision of financial information
quite complex for both the preparers and the users of the financial reports (Sterling
1982).
- Concepts might be pure and refined but with the complexity and difficulty in
understanding, the usefulness of financial statements can be watered down

From
http://www.academia.edu/5992232/EVALUATION_OF_CONCEPTUAL_FRAMEWORKS_O
F_ACCOUNTING

Part 2