Background of the Document
In your accounting career you will be required to analyse current accounting issues and communicate your theoretical understanding to your professional colleagues and your clients. For this assignment assume that you are the senior accountant working for a major firm.
The CEO has forwarded to you an interesting article and requires you to provide her with a deeper theoretical understanding of the issues discussed so that she can fully engage in the lively discourse at an upcoming conference.
You are required to find a newspaper article or web page report of an item of accounting news, i.e. it refers to a current event, consideration, comment or decision that has been published after the 1st of January 2018. Your article could also come from one of the professional journals. The article should not come from an academic journal. Academic journals generally do not contain news articles or articles of less than one page and are usually only published 2 or 4 times a year. If you are having a problem ensuring that your article is from an appropriate source contact your subject coordinator.
You then need to explain the article that you have found in your own words and clearly relate the concepts, ideas and facts within the article to one or more of the theories or topics that you have studied this session. Support your analysis of the assumptions and implications of the topic or theory as appropriate with reference to sources in APA 6 style. For example, this article from the Sydney Morning Herald in April 2016 could be linked to the topics of accounting regulation and measurement (and perhaps others). You must provide a copy of the article or web page, with details of the source, date and page number with your answer.
The Senior Partner of the firm you work for has appointed you to a new role. It is now your responsibility to review upcoming accounting standards and provide a report to the partners on the proposed standard and the opinions of other industry players on the changes.
Firstly, you are required to find a current exposure draft or proposal for a new accounting standard which has been opened for public comments. (These can be found on the websites of most standard-setting organisations, such as the IASB, AASB and FASB. Hint: These websites can be quite difficult to navigate, so as a first step try typing “IASB exposure draft and comment letters”/”FASB exposure draft and comment letters” into Google or other search engine of your choice). Read a sample of the comments from a range of respondents. Select four respondents, ideally from different types of organisations for example, from accounting bodies, industry, companies or corporate bodies. If you are having a problem finding suitable comments letters then contact your subject coordinator.
In your own words, supporting your evaluation with appropriate citations, appropriately referenced in APA 6 style, you are required to include the following information in the report.
An outline of what the exposure draft is introducing or changing.
An assessment as to whether the exposure draft is being introduced in the ‘public interest’.
An outline of the views presented in the comments letters which highlights the areas of agreement and disagreement with the exposure draft and/or other comments letters.
An assessment (with relevant examples) as to whether the comments letters utilise any of the arguments 'for' or 'against' regulation.
An application of each of the theories of regulation (public interest, private interest and capture) to the comments letters and a justification as to which theory(ies) is most effective at explaining the comments and which theory(ies) is least effective at explaining the comments.
Please note: you need to attach the comment letters you selected for your report (there is no need to attach the exposure draft)
In this article the IASB has stated the revised definitions of the assets and liabilities. It has also provided a guidance on how to measure and present the same along with proper disclosure. It is not a revision of the parent document that was released in 2014 but instead it is just a change in the topics that were not covered in that parent document related to the given topic (Webster, 2017). As the background of the document provides that there has been no substantial change in the framework since its inception, but as times are changing and accountants are facing new complex challenges in managing the accounts and providing a proper disclosure these parent documents are revised to incorporate that. The overall framework of the conceptual data includes different sections that deals with status of the framework, its basic characteristics, elements and the overall recognition is also considered. Along with that the key concepts of all the chapters are stated in the document. The news article states the probable reason why there is a need of change in the financial data of the company and its statement and how does it affect the overall growth of the companies in accounting aspects. It throws on important matters that have been considered in providing a revised statement that can be used by the accountants. The important theories that relates to such change includes focus on IFRS, which has been considered as the main base on which all the changes have been made by the company (YUAN, 2018). A capture of the news article has been extracted and presented below :
The key topics stated in the article includes the objective of the financial reporting framework. The overall need of having such standards that would help in managing the accounts of the company. The qualitative characteristics of the financial statements that makes it useable and feasible. All information is not important, the information must contain some characters that would make it useable in the future. The information should be reliable, comparable, relevant and functional. The article sets the importance of the financial statements for the reporting entity in a way that it presents the true picture of the accounts of the company, helps in reporting their profit and losses and the overall going concern assumption. It also states the various elements of the financial statements that includes assets, liabilities, equity as well as income and expenses and have provided updated definitions of these elements along with how companies can disclose them for future reference (Iggers, 2018). Detailed information is provided with proper guidelines on how such elements can be presented in the financial statements of the company and what are the major points that the entity should keep in mind while they deal with such statements. Presentation and framework also plays an important role in case of financial statements for the company and hence that is also to be considered. The last point includes information related to capital and capital maintenance and what important role does it plays with respect to the company and its management. There is no stated for the conceptual framework that has been revised and it is said that the board will start using it immediately. Key amendments to important accounting standards has also been given for reference (Norberg, 2018).
Key Concepts of the Conceptual Data
The need of conceptual framework is to assist the finance person in preparation of the financial statements in such a manner that it presents the true picture of the financials of the company. IFRS is the globally recognized accounting standard and has been in function since a long time. It helps in getting a global uniformity within the accounts of the company and helps in comparison between peers in different nations. It also helps companies in managing their accounts when it comes to consolidation and presenting a true picture of various connected entities. Hence the conceptual framework of the IASB has been revised to include this aspect of IFRS that would help them in managing the accounts of the company based on international guidelines. Thus, it was the need of the hour to update the parent document so that it is line with its peers that has been using this from a long time (Anon., 2017).
One of the most important accounting policy includes going concern assumption which states that the company is not dissolving any time soon and will be functional indefinitely. It is the basis on which the functioning of a company lies, so the most important aspect with respect to the amendment framework is to fulfil this policy of going concern. The assets and liabilities should be presented in their truest form with no over or under valuation so that the investors get the correct idea on how the company is functioning and whether they should invest in the accounts of the company or not. Other important theories that are stated in this article includes materiality which means that companies should disclose all such transaction that might have any material effect on the financial statements of the company, whether they are related to that period or not, here the concept of accrual accounting and cash based accounting is also discussed. Another important theory includes Recognition of assets and liabilities and the revenue and expenses. Assets are those elements that will lead to future cash inflow and liabilities lead to future cash outflow, hence properly segregating both for effective balance sheet is very important. It also important that details about revenue earned and recognized and expenses that the company has incurred and to which period that they belong to is also important to judge whether the company has earned effective amount of profit in the current year (Chariri, 2017).
Based on these theories, the news article has stated the important definitions of all the elements of the financial statements so that will help in segregating the assets and liabilities and properly presenting them books of account. It has also stated the important points with respect to recognizing and derecognizing of elements that will affect the going concern ability of the company. There are certain criteria that should be fulfilled in case of recognizing of the assets and liabilities. It will provide the users with important information with relation to the books of the company, and there would be a faithful representation of all the elements of the financial statements (Coate & Mitschow, 2017). The recognition is driven by two aims, which states that all assets and liabilities that might cause any change to the financials should be represented faithfully and any transaction that might lead to such change must be represented faithfully by the company. There are different measurement methods that can be used which includes historical methods, current value, fair value for valuation of the assets and liabilities. In the new framework companies are being asked to follow current cost method, and the framework has also suggested conditions that should be followed while selecting any method for representation and valuation. The crux is that all the elements should be show cased to the true of their value so that there is no false representation in the financials of the company in any way. The new framework has been made briefer and less complex to assist the management and the companies in presenting their data in a better way.
Importance of Financial Statements for Reporting Entity
The underlying concept of these article is that the old framework had become redundant in a manner that there were various loopholes present in that. But with the advent of the IFRS it was necessary that it must be amendment to include all such changes for future reference. If the books are not presented in a clear manner then the investors will not have a clear picture with respect to the company, and whether they need to invest in the financials or not. Thus, it becomes important to lay importance on the conceptual clarity when it comes to recognition and derecognition of assets as that is on which the company and its future depends(Ghofiqi, 2018). Going concern should be given utmost importance and all the data should be based on that one concept for the management of the company. IFRS is a globally accepted standard hence considering that will give utmost advantage to the IASB also as they can prepare and present their accounting concepts as on a global standard that people will find beneficial if they adopt it in the long run. This is the overall crux of the article analyzed above.
In this task the exposure draft with respect to specified assets and liabilities has been discussed to throw light on how companies can deal with the same. Exposure drafts are statements that are issued by the authorities for comments for the public. People are allowed to post their opinions and later they are analysed and the authorities decide whether they can include such comments in that accounting statement or not. These comments are mostly by people through eminent fields who post their opinions on the statements. In this exposure draft the overall changes that have been applied to the conceptual framework of accounting has been discussed with important definitions with respect to assets and liabilities being changed and adopted (Vieira, et al., 2017). The IASB issues conceptual framework that are used by the companies to present their financial statements in a proper manner, the same has been changed based on IFRS, that is the global financial reporting standard of the company. The exposure draft contains important definetions with respect to assets and liabilities, how companies can recognize and derecognize them, what are the important crietrias on which companies should focus when they measure and value such elements of the financial statements of the company. There are certain process that are related to the recognition and derecognition of the financial elements based on how relevant and functional they are for the company. Important points with respect to presentation and necessary disclosures that are required in the financial statements of the company are also provided in the exposure draft that has been issued. There are various changes in the present standards to make them in sync with the IFRS and care has been taken to ensure that they are amended on a global basis for the companies. It would help the companies in comparing their data with their peers and will also help in case of consolidating companies to present a uniform data all over (Boghossian, 2017). Important illustration to show the overall changes in the financials of the company with respect to conceptual clarity is given. People have an option to analyse these statements and provide necessary comments which the board can take into consideration when they prepare their statements for the betterment of the companies.The exposure draft can be found on the below link :
Recognition of Assets and Liabilities
Few comments from the exposure drafts have been included below for further analysis and present a conclusion on the same.
Comment 1 : Shane Buggle, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, ANZ banking Corporation Limited.
ANZ is one of the most successful banking corporations in Australia that has been listed on the stock exchange. The CFO has stated his comments that includes points with respect to proper convergence of the IFRS with IASB so that there is a global uniformity that is established. Few points that he has mentioned requires special attention includes:
- Proper definition of the liabilities, along with test of measurement with respect to present and future obligations.
- There should be complete different project stating the difference between the liabilities and equities.
- There should be a clarity in theoretical foundation and extent should be mentioned upto which business activities should form part of the conceptual basis.
- Some questions have been mentioned in the comment with respect to ascertaining more changes in the chapter 2 and 3, with repsect to materiality and guidance for presentation of the financial statements of the company.
Comment 2 – Tomo Sekiguchi, AOSSG Conceptual Framework Working Group Leader.
The authorities have presented comments in the draft putting focus on management of the financial statements with more focus on chapter 2 and chapter 3. The comments have been highlighted stating that deals with measurement of liabilities, important definetions, recognizing and presenting the elements in a defined manner. More focus is given on certain areas that include capital and capital mainatnence, principles of derecognition and they have given a proposal to put more focus on stewardship, and reintroduction to the principle of prudence. These are the few important points that has been highlighted in this comment (Webster, 2017).
Comment 3 : Kris Peach, CEO, AASB.
Following comments have been given by Chris peach in his statement, where he has stated that they are very happy with the proposed changes to the financial statements of the company but they object to the reintroduction of the word strewardship which as per them should not be modified. It also believes that in some areas the word strewardship was not given the importance that it deserved, it also disagrees to the reintroduction of the word prudence, it states that as per them in the financial framework prudence has been reflected with similar meaning as same as neutrality. Prudence is an important aspect of the financial statements and hence should not be ignored by the companies. They feel that prudence concept should be amended, and with all other accounting principles that has been reflected in the draft statements they have agreed. They have also stated that possible disclosures in the unconsolidated financial statements is also required because even they are an important part of the financial network. Detailed opinion on all the stated assets and liabilities description has been given, with changes required in few areas that has been highlighted above.
Comment 4: Eva Tsahuridu, Manager- Accounting Policy.
Measurement Methods and Conditions
Following comments have been given by Mr Eva, he has mentioned that the conceptual framework is great but he feels that specified changes are required to present the data in a more refined manner and is does not completes the requirement of a global setting framework. Some of the statements that are mentioned are for immediate problems rather than for laying a strong conceptual framework that the companies can abide by in the long run. They have also stated that many of the conecpts should form part of the proposed standards that can form part of the basis of the companies financials in the long run.
Most of the comments are in support of the financial framework though some changes have been highlighted which the management can consider as they highlight the long term issues that the companies should consider rather than focusing on short term goals for immediate problems. Thus that is one thing that authorities should cosndier while they finalise the exposure draft. Different industries have different issues, it is practically not possible to highlight all the issues of each industry and provide solution but a mutual neutral basis can be provided that can help the companies in the long run (Abbott & Kantor, 2017).
Most of the comments are based on public interest theory that deals with that importance should be placed on elements that are fruitful for the general public and how they nenefit out of it. This exposure draft is based on mutual grounds and aims to provide a basis on which all industries can present their financial statements, hence it is more inclined on mutual benefits tha is related to the concept of public interest. People should be benefited and it should be based on long term success rather than immediate solutions (Alexander, 2016).
These theories aims at presenting the statements to the best of their abilities and there should not be any under or over valuation so that companies can gain from that and investors can also have a clear picture in what they are entering. Thus when we analyse the underlying assumption it is based on providing a mutual, reliable, clear assumption that carters to all the industries and leads to gloal uniformity which is very important for the long term success. It will help in comparison between the peers and in the global world give some standing to the company. Hence it can be said that the proposed changes are feasible enough and should be incorporated as they will lead to better fundamental approach that the companies can follow for long term. This is how the exposure draft puts in things which is ultimately catering to the needs of all the people who are following it for larger benefits and achieving bigger goals of life.
Abbott, M. & Kantor, A., 2017. Fair Value Measurement and Mandated Accounting Changes: The Case of the Victorian Rail Track Corporation. Australian accounting Review.
Alexander, F., 2016. The Changing Face of Accountability. The Journal of Higher Education, 71(4), pp. 411-431.
Anon., 2017. Explaining auditors’ propensity to issue going-concern opinions in Australia after the global financial crisis. Accunting and Finance, pp. Carson,E;Fargher,N;Zhang,Y;.
Boghossian, P., 2017. The Socratic method, defeasibility, and doxastic responsibility. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 50(3), pp. 244-253.
Chariri, A., 2017. FINANCIAL REPORTING PRACTICE AS A RITUAL: UNDERSTANDING ACCOUNTING WITHIN INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK. Journal of Economics, Business and Accountancy, 14(1).
Coate, C. & Mitschow, M., 2017. Luca Pacioli and the Role of Accounting and Business: Early Lessons in Social Responsibility. s.l.:s.n.
Ghofiqi, M., 2018. Formation Of Views And Interests To The Accountants Profession In Master Of Accounting Students Of Jember University Force Of 2016 Using Structuration Theory Analysis. The 3rd International Conference On Economics, Business, And Accounting Studies..
Iggers, J., 2018. Good News, Bad News: Journalism Ethics And The Public Interest. s.l.:s.n.
Norberg, P., 2018. Bankers Bashing Back: Amoral CSR Justifications. Journal of Business Ethics, 147(2), pp. 401-418.
Vieira, R., O’Dwyer, B. & Schneider, R., 2017. Aligning Strategy and Performance Management Systems. SAGE Journals, 30(1).
Webster, T., 2017. Successful Ethical Decision-Making Practices from the Professional Accountants' Perspective. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
Wellmer, A., 2018. The Persistence of Modernity: Aesthetics, Ethics and Postmodernism. fourth ed. UK: Polity Press.
YUAN, T., 2018. The Prospect for RMB Becoming One of the Two Center Currencies of the Dual-Center Global Financial System. The Dual-Center Global Financial System, Issue 1, pp. 83-91.
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