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Concept Of The True Fair View In Accounting

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Questions:

1.What is the History of the TFV? How did it come about, where, and when? What has been this Historical Purpose of the TFV?

2.The Extent to which the Australian Regulatory Environment for Financial Reporting Supports the TFV.
 
 

Answers:

Introduction

In recent years, the concept of TFV has become one of the most famous principles in accounting.  Moreover, the concept of TFV has become a part of English law and also remains elementary importance in IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). It is also fundamental to accounting as well as auditing practices. The TFV concept plays a major role to ensure that an organization is providing or not a true & fair view as regards to its financial conditions as well as operating results. Along with this, the concept of TFV requires comparative truth instead of absolute truth about the picture of enterprises. It is because of the financial statements of the business firms depends on the judgments and estimations of the managements; and these estimations cannot provide complete truth about the enterprises. It is not something that only provides a separate add-on to accounting standards. But, it is somewhat that provides recognition, dimension, and disclosure for explicit aspects of financial reporting and auditing. In addition to this, this research paper would be helpful to conduct literature review on the concept of true and fair view. It will portray the history and historical purpose of the TFV.  Furthermore, the paper would helpful to illustrate the extent to which the Australian regulatory environment for financial reporting supports the true and fair view.

1.History and Historical Purpose of the True & Fair View

According to the authors, Salihin, Fatima & Ousama (2015), the word ‘true & fair’ is one of the most prominent words that are used in the area of accounting & finance. It is useful to express the fundamental standards of financial reporting and also to justify the financial decisions in an effectual and a significant manner. Moreover, the term is also used in the instructions as well as guidelines of auditing & financial standards to the company law acts. Along with this, in the words of Chambers & Wolnizer (1991), the origin of the true and fair view is the result of the constitution. Early in the 19th century, by considering the recourse of legislation as well as constitutive documents, business organization had put their opinions and suggestions about the ‘true and fair view.’ They also desired that the TFV concept must be involved in the companies’ legislation of 1844 & 1856 to do accurate valuation of assets (Salihin, Fatima & Ousama, 2015).

On the other hand, the authors Nobes & Parker, (1991) say that, the meaning of the TFV has never been elucidated by statute. The TFV concept has become a major subject of debate for the people. But, in actual, the fact is that, the incidence of the ‘true and fair view’ is totally related to the financial statements of the business corporations. moreover, as per the UK joint stock companies act 1844, the directors of the business firma are responsible to prepare balanced book related to the financial transactions & statements; and they are also bound to make a true and fair balance sheet to remove financial errors for the growth of the organizations (Salihin, Fatima & Ousama, 2015). But,   the UK joint stock companies’ act 1856 removed such types of provisions and also provided new provisions to maintain transparency into the financial statements of the companies. According to this new act, the directors of the companies are obliged to consider the principle of double entry to make true & fair accounts related to the companies. Moreover, the auditors were bound to affirm that the balance sheets of the companies are fair and complete to fulfill the financial obligations of the business organizations properly (Chambers & Wolnizer, 1991).

 


In addition to this, in the words of Albu, Albu, & Alexander (2009), the TFV concept occurred form the Joint Stock Companies Act 1844 as well as 1856. These acts can be seen very relevant to the true and fair view at that time period. Moreover, a TFV view is also considered as one of the base principles of financial accounting that is very much useful in order to prepare financial information and financial statements in an effectual and an accurate manner. Along with this, as declared in financial accounting, the TFV concept is based on the four basic concepts of accounting such as: going concern, reliability, accruals, and discretion. Without these principles of accounting, business organizations may face difficulties to prepare their financial statements and also compare their financial performance with other entities. Moreover, by considering these principles, the true and fair view provide proper instructions as well as guidelines to business organizations; so they can prepare  financial statements and also compare financial performance & growth of the businesses (Albu, Albu, & Alexander, 2009). So, it is clar that, the term TFV is originated from the Companies act 1844 & 1856 to improve the financial consistency of the business corporations.

On the other hand, according to Council (2014), the historical purpose of the TFV concept was to determine the appropriate valuation of the assets of the business organization. But, the purpose of the true and fair view is not limited only to valuation of assets. It is more than decided. For example, the other major purpose of the TFV concept is to ensure that the accounts of the business firms are able to give a true and fair picture about the financial transactions and statements of the companies. The TFV concept is liable to offer additional disclosures at what time obedience with accounting standards are inadequate to portray a true & fair view properly (Chambers & Dean, 2013). Furthermore, the concept is also valuable to reduce complexities when acquiescence with the standards does not consequence in the appearance of a true and fair view. It is also designed to make sure that the deliberation that they give to these matters is apparent in their considerations as well as documentations. So, it is clear that, the historical purpose of the true and fair view is to maintain consistency in the financial functions and also prepare financial statements according the accounting standards as stated in the Companies acts (Council, 2014).

Along with this, in the views of Svensson & Samuelsson (2004), the true and fair view is an idealistic aim that is required to prepare financial statements correctly within the time frame. It explains the obligatory standards of financial reporting and also validates financial decisions of the corporations. Moreover, the TFV is a legal notion because of it is related to the Companies act. The financial statements as well as book of business firms portrays the true and fair view when the business firms records all the financial transactions accurate in their account books. They are also bound to observe that they have been followed all the mandatory provision of Companies act and related laws to prepare financial statements properly (Gaeremynck & Vermoesen, 2009). The TFV concept is also used by auditors to find out that the financial statements of the businesses are showing or not a true & fair view of the financial state of affairs of the companies. As a consequence, it can be said that, the TFV is a legal term that is required to maintain the consistency and transparency within the financial transactions and statements of the business corporations.

 

2.Extent to Which the Australian Regulatory Environment for Financial Reporting Supports the TFV

In recent years, the popularity of the true and fair view is increasing day by day in all over the world. Most of the nations have used the concept of true and fair view to perform their financial obligations and also prepare financial statements in an accurate manner. Along with this, according to Karan (2002), the Australian regulatory environment is also providing complete support to the true and fair view. In Australia, the true & fair view has been in the legislation of companies from the time when the Victorian Companies Act 1890. Moreover, as stated in the ASC (Australian Securities Commission), the he ‘true and fair view’ is a fundamental part of the Australian financial reporting and auditing. In Australia, as declared in section 297 of Corporations Act, the business corporations are required to make true & fair financial statements and financial notes in an appropriate manner (Previts, Walton & Wolnizer, 2010).  Moreover, it is also true that there is not a specific definition of the TFV. But, according to this concept, the Australian firms are obliged to provide a true & fair view about the financial position and financial performance of the businesses.

On the other hand, in the views of Livne & McNichols (2009), the true & fair view that is originated from the Joint Stock Companies Act of 1844 bound the companies to prepare inclusive and complete balance sheets. In Australia, the TFV has become an integral part of the regimes of corporate financial reporting. The TFV observes all the activities of business entities and also restricts the corrupt activities of corporate opportunists to improve the financial competence of the businesses. The high scale of TFV has been supported by the Australian accounting standards (Gay & Simnett, 2015). Along with this, according to the Corporations Act 2001, the Australian business organizations must perform all the financial transactions and also prepare financial statements in accordance with the accounting standards mandatory (s296) as well as the TFV requirements. Moreover, by the Australian accounting standards, the TFV concept has been considered as the dominant qualitative standard for financial reporting and audition; that show that the true and fair view is highly supported by the Australian regulatory authority for financial reporting within nation (Livne & McNichols, 2009).   

In the same manner, in the words of Sheenan (2009), the true and fair view has become legal in Australia that spreads out traditionalism in financial reporting. The view also provided clear shape to the audit functions and balance sheet purposes in the early 20th century. According to this, the auditors are liable to collect and provide reliable information to give respect to the true financial position of the companies. Furthermore, according to the s.297 of the Corporations Act, the annual financial statements of the Australian business corporations must give a true & fair view about the financial position of the company (Campbell & Houghton, 2005). Apart from this, if the financial statements are not prepared in reference to accounting standards and do not present a true and fair view then the business firms are obliged to include additional information to provide a true & fair view in the financial statements of the businesses. A true & fair view is required to verify that the financial statements are according to the regulations, accounting standards, and also competent to present a fair view in front of the stockholders of the organizations (Sheenan, 2009). 

 


In addition to this, according to the author Ramirez (2010), the Australian regulatory environment supports the true and fair view to comply the financial statements with accounting standards. The major reason behind it is to guarantee reliability and comparability of financial information and notes for the enforcement purposes. Moreover, acquiescence with accounting standards is about to escort a true and fair view in the financial statements of the organizations. The accounting standards that are issued by the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) are principles-based, and scrupulous those promote fair value accounting in the financial statements of the organizations (Kirk, 2001). After 2005, the Australian organizations are continuously implementing all these accounting standards only to present a true and fair view of their financial statements and performance effectively. In opposite to this, deficiencies in the accounting standards will lead inadvertent results in the financial statements and therefore would not be able to lead a true and fair view in the statements of the companies (Ramirez, 2010).

 


On the other hand, in the views of Kilgore, Leahy & Mitchell (1999), the Australian firm are obliged to provide a true and fair view in their financial statements and reports. It is because of the financial directors are very strict to meet to the accounting standards and to make sure that their financial statements can give a true and fair view in the financial statements. Along with this, they also observe that how the accounting standards and TFV concept are used by the employees of the organizations. They also ensure that their employees are putting a TFV in the accounting and financial practices (Campbell & Houghton, 2005). The Australian finance directors take specific actions to act in accordance with the requirements; so their financial statements may present a true and fair view in front of everyone. As a consequence, it can be assumed that, the Australian regulatory environment for financial reporting supports the true and fair view at a very high extent or degree. The main purpose of this is only to comply with all the accounting standards to improve the financial performance and efficiency of the businesses in an effectual & a significant manner.

Conclusion

On the premise of the above analysis, it can be concluded that, a true and fair view is achieving more and more popularity on the regular basis. The TFV is a legal term that obliged to business firms to ensure transparency in the financial statements as well as financial notes of the businesses. Along with this, it is also observed that, in current, it has become a core accounting principle that improve the financial efficiency and also reduce discrepancy form the financial statements of the business organizations. Moreover, it is also scrutinized that, the Australian regulatory environment for financial reporting also proving support to the true and fair view to improve the financial conditions and economy of the nation in a more comprehensive manner.

 

References

Albu, C. N., Albu, N., & Alexander, D. J. (2009). The True and Fair View Concept in Romania: A Case Study of Concept Transferability. Retrieved From: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00458913/document

Campbell, T., & Houghton, K.A. (2005). Ethics and Auditing. USA: ANU E Press.

Chambers, R. J., & Wolnizer, P. W. (1991). A true and fair view of position and results: the historical background. Accounting, Business & Financial History, 1(2), 197-214.

Chambers, R.J., & Dean, G.W. (2013). Chambers on Accounting: Logic, Law and Ethics. NY: Routledge.

Council, F. R. (2014). True and fair. Retrieved From: https://www.frc.org.uk/FRC-Documents/Accounting-and-Reporting/True-and-Fair-June-2014.pdf

Gaeremynck, A., & Vermoesen, R. (2009). Guidelines to the Auditor in Prospectus and Other Related Engagements. UK: Maklu.

Gay, G., & Simnett, R. (2015). Auditing and Assurance Services in Australia, Sixth Edition. Australia: McGraw-Hill Education Australia.

Karan, R. (2002). Irreconcilable Legal and Accounting Views of ‘A True and Fair View’: An Emerging Alternative from Australian Reforms. Journal of Law and Financial Management, 1(1), 44-52.

Kilgore, A., Leahy, S., & Mitchell, G. (1999). The true and fair view concept: evidence from Australia. Asian Review of Accounting, 7(1), 96-111.

Kirk, N. E. (2001). 'True and fair view'versus' Present fairly in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles'. Retrieved From: https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/fms/Colleges/College%20of%20Business/School%20of%20Accountancy/Documents/Discussion%20Papers/208.pdf

Livne, G., & McNichols, M. (2009). An empirical investigation of the true and fair override in the United Kingdom. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 36(1?2), 1-30.

Nobes, C.W. & Parker, R. H. (1991). ‘“True and Fair”: A Survey of Uk Financial Directors’, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting 18(3), 359-375.

Previts, G.J., Walton, P., & Wolnizer P.W. (2010). A Global History of Accounting, Financial Reporting and Public Policy: Europe. USA: Emerald Group Publishing.

Ramirez, S. (2010). The Fear of Freedom: Politicians and the Independence and Accountability of Financial Sector Supervisors. Australia: International Monetary Fund.

Salihin, A., Fatima, A. H., & Ousama, A. A. (2015). Analysis of the true and fair view concept: an Islamic perspective. International Journal of Managerial and Financial Accounting, 7(1), 38-61.

Sheenan, K. (2009). The regulatory framework for executive remuneration in Australia. Sydney L. Rev., 31, 273.

Svensson, J., & Samuelsson, M. (2004). True and Fair View-A study of the implications of this concept within IAS and Swedish GAAP. rapport nr.: Externredovisning och företagsanalys.

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