enhancing qualitative characteristics

Applying the enhancing qualitative characteristics is an iterative process that does not follow a prescribed order. Sometimes, one enhancing qualitative characteristic may have to be diminished in order to maximise another. These enhancing characteristics may also help determine which of two ways should be used to depict a phenomenon if both are considered equally relevant and faithfully represented. If omitting or misstating it could influence the decisions of users of financial information about a specific reporting entity.

These characteristics distinguish more-useful information from less-useful information. Enhancing characteristics, shown below, are comparability, verifiability, timeliness, and understandability. Enhancing qualitative characteristics are complementary to the fundamental qualitative characteristics. Verifiability lends credibility to financial information by providing assurance that information faithfully represents what it purports to represent. Timeliness means that information is available to investors, lenders and other creditors in time to be used in their decision making processes. The enhancing qualitative characteristic of understandability means that information that may be difficult to understand is made more useful by presenting and explaining it as clearly as possible. Investors, lenders and other creditors are expected to actually study the reported financial information with reasonable diligence and to seek the aid of advisors to understand information that they find particularly complex.

For Analytical purposes, Qualitative characteristics can be differentiated into Fundamental and Enhancing qualitative characteristics. However, an assessment of costs and benefits will not always justify the same reporting requirements for all entities. Differences may be appropriate because of different sizes of entities, different ways of raising capital , different needs of users or other factors.

Understand the purposes of financial reporting, its four primary documents, and how to analyze financial statements used in financial reporting. The quality of financial statements is enhanced by comparability, verifiability, timeliness, and understandability. In accounting the qualitative characteristics include relevance, reliability, comparability, and consistency. Qualitative characteristics are discussed in the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 2. The general purpose of the financial statements is to provide information about the results of operations, financial position, and cash flows of an organization.

Regardless of classification, each qualitative characteristic contributes to the decision-usefulness of financial reporting information. However, providing useful financial information is limited by a constraint on financial reporting—cost should not exceed the benefits of a reporting practice. Comparability is the Qualitative characteristic that enables users to identify and understand similarities in and differences among items. However, reports prepared without that information would be incomplete and therefore possibly misleading. Moreover, financial reports are prepared for users with a reasonable knowledge of business and economic activities who can review and analyse the information diligently.

Faithful representation refers to an information’s ability to represent underlying economic phenomena faithfully. If a company uses the direct write-off method of accounting for bad debts,a. It will report accounts receivable on the balance sheet at their net realizable value.b. It will reduce the Accounts Receivable account at the end of the accounting period for estimated uncollectible accounts.d. It will record bad debt expense only when an account is determined to be uncollectible. When information is included in general purpose financial reports, there is an obvious need for the users of those reports to be able to comprehend their meaning. A common size financial statement displays all items as percentages of a common base figure rather than as absolute numerical figures.

Examines those characteristics that are likely to make accounting information most useful to existing and potential investors, lenders, and other creditors in making decisions about the reporting entity based on financial information. These characteristics guide the selection of accounting policies from available alternatives. Financial information is faithfully represented if it is considered reliable to financial statement readers and alleviates doubt in their decision-making process. Financial information is considered faithfully represented if it has completeness, neutrality, and has a freedom from error.

As a result, it is difficult to compare and evaluate the financial results ofToyotaorHondatoGeneral MotorsorFord. Investors can only make valid evaluations if comparable information is available.Another type of comparability, consistency, is present when a company applies the same accounting treatment to similar events, from period to period.

To be a faithful representation, information must be complete, neutral, and free of material error. Information is material if omitting it or misstating it could influence decisions that users make on the basis of the reported financial information. An individual company determines whether information is material because both the nature and/or magnitude of the item to which the information relates must be considered in the context of an individual company’s financial report. Information isimmaterial,and therefore irrelevant, if it would have no impact on a decision-maker. In short,it must make a differenceor a company need not report it. Such asymmetry is not considered by the Board to be a qualitative characteristic of useful financial information. Nevertheless, particular standards may contain asymmetric requirements if this is a consequence of decisions intended to select the most relevant information that faithfully represents what it purports to represent.

What Are The Four Main Qualitative Characteristics Of Financial Statements?

For example, management asserts that all purchases of goods and services are included in the financial statements. Faithful representation is the concept that financial statements be produced that accurately reflect the condition of a business.

This approach is focused on users of financial reports with emphasis on investors and creditors and their decisions, informational requirements, and ability for analysis and application of information. In the conventional conceptual frameworks of financial reporting that are often based on the approach of decision-usefulness, measurement system is merely monetary and the basis of valuation is the historical cost.

  • This information is used by the readers of financial statements to make decisions regarding the allocation of resources.
  • This is the attribute that makes the information providing in financial statement useful for the user.
  • This elevation of the importance of the Framework was added in the 2003 revisions to IAS 8.
  • The usefulness of relevant and faithfully represented financial information is enhanced by the characteristics of comparability, verifiability , timeliness and understandability .
  • This principle is included in the Accounting Standards Board’s Statement of Principles.

Accounting information provides a basis to evaluate a previously made decision. Match each characteristic to one of the following statements. Relevance is how appropriate something is to what’s being done or said at a given time. An example of relevance is someone talking about ph levels in soil during a gardening class. The ingredients of relevance are predictive value, confirming value, and materiality. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities.

Comparability results when different companies use the same accounting principles. Functions of Accounting are; control of financial policy and formation of planning, preparation of the budget, cost control, Evaluation of employees’ performance, Prevention of errors and frauds.

Accounting Ethics & Cash Accounts

Entities that are not applying the RCF will continue to apply the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements . This is only an interim solution and the AASB intends to have a single conceptual framework again in due course. A company’s accounting results are verifiable when they’re reproducible, so that, given the same data and assumptions, an independent accountant can produce the same result the company did. Completeness, neutrality, and freedom from error.Show ResultCorrect – Your answer is correct. Accounting information helps users make predictions about the outcome of past, present, and future events. Accounting information includes everything it needs to and nothing important is omitted. To be relevant, information must be timely and it must have predictive value or feedback value or both.

enhancing qualitative characteristics

The study examined the perception of Nigerian accountants on the quality of financial reporting and the use of qualitative characteristics in the measurement of financial reporting quality. The objective was to demonstrate how the qualitative characteristics, as defined by the IASB can be operationalised.

Which Of The Following Are Primary Qualitative Characteristics Of Accounting Information?

In other words, it is not intentionally overstated, understated, emphasised or de-emphasised. Neutral information does not mean the information does not have an impact on decisions. It means that there are no errors in the process used to produce the information and no errors in its description. Materiality is an entity-specific aspect of relevance in the Framework 2010, rather than a stand-alone concept.

enhancing qualitative characteristics

The two types of users in accounting are external users like investors, creditors, and the government, and internal users, such as business owners, managers, and, of course, a company’s accountant. Learn how external and internal users use accounting information, such as income statements, statements of retained earnings, balance sheets, and statements of cash flows. Relevant information also helps users confirm or correct prior expectations; it has confirmatory value. For example, when UPS issues its year-end financial statements, it confirms or changes past expectations based on previous evaluations. It follows that predictive value and confirmatory value are interrelated. For example, information about the current level and structure of UPS’s assets and liabilities helps users predict its ability to take advantage of opportunities and to react to adverse situations.

What Are The Enhancing Qualitative Characteristics?

1 Qualitative characteristics of accounting information Form the figure 1. A third enhancing quality of accounting is understandability. Simply put, someone with a reasonable amount of accounting or business knowledge should be able to read and understand your company’s financial reports. Statements that include lengthy explanations or data that confuses the bottom line may be evidence of a company’s attempt to gloss over poor performance. Enhancing Qualities Enhancing qualitative characteristics are complementary to the fundamental qualitative characteristics.

enhancing qualitative characteristics

In this lesson, you will learn about the historical cost concept, look at examples of its application, and familiarize yourself with arguments for and against its use in accounting. Compare 4 types of economic systems to learn about different types of economies. Explore the definitions of a market economy, command market economy, and more. Understand the different types of checking accounts and the benefits and disadvantages of a checking account. Explore what a marketing plan is by seeing a marketing plan definition, the purpose of a marketing plan, why a marketing plan is important, and an example of a plan. 1) Completeness – Financial statements are considered complete if it allows the user to have all information that is pertinent and necessary to coming to an appreciate decision.

Fundamental Qualities Of Accounting Information

For example, in the decision to replace equipment that has been used for the past six years, the original cost of the equipment does not have relevance. Costs that will not differ among alternatives do not have relevance. Faithful representation is the other primary characteristic of accounting information. Its three main ingredients are completeness, free from material error, and neutrality.

  • In the IASB’s words ‘neither a faithful representation of an irrelevant phenomenon nor an unfaithful representation of a relevant phenomenon helps users make good decisions’.
  • For example, ifDellwaited to report its interim results until nine months after the period, the information would be much less useful for decision-making purposes.
  • Information is relevant if it helps users of the financial statements in predicting future trends of the business or confirming or correcting any past predictions they have made .
  • Financial state¬ment analysis helps in determining credit risk, and to decide the terms and conditions of a loan, interest rate, maturity date etc. 5.
  • They might have two processes of fundamental qualitative characteristics.

The IASB acknowledges that cost is a pervasive constraint on the information provided by financial reporting, and that the cost of producing information must be justified by the benefits that it provides. In the IASB’s words ‘neither a faithful representation of an irrelevant phenomenon nor an unfaithful representation of a relevant phenomenon helps users make good decisions’. To be useful, financial information must not only represent relevant phenomena, but it must also faithfully represent the substance of the phenomena that it purports to represent. In many circumstances, the substance of an economic phenomenon and its legal form are the same.

Completeness means that all the information that is necessary for faithful representation is provided. An omission can cause information to be false or misleading and thus not be helpful to the users of financial reports. Faithful representation means that the numbers and descriptions match what really existed or happened. Faithful representation is a necessity because most users have neither the time nor the expertise to evaluate the factual content of the information. For example, ifGeneral Motors‘ income statement reports sales of $180,300 million when it had sales of $155,399 million, then the statement fails to faithfully represent the proper sales amount.

Historical cost is the measurement basis most commonly used today, but it is usually combined with other measurement bases. 4.56] The IFRS Framework does not include concepts or principles for selecting which measurement basis should be used for particular elements https://business-accounting.net/ of financial statements or in particular circumstances. Individual standards and interpretations do provide this guidance, however. There are some problems with financial information, which is the information found on a company’s financial statements.


Consistent accounting practices avoids these types of discrepancies. Enhancing qualitative characteristics provide additional benefit and usefulness in the financial reporting information. Therefore, the four important characteristics which are comparability, verifiability, timeliness and understandability should be extent widely.

Occasionally, a single economic phenomenon can be faithfully represented in multiple ways, but permitting alternative accounting methods for the same economic phenomena diminishes comparability. It is important to note that, comparability does not mean uniformity. One of the objectives of accounting that is closely linked to consistency is comparability. Financial data may be compared not only from one accounting period to the next but also against another company’s information. Managers enhancing qualitative characteristics can accurately compare figures from two periods and determine the company’s productivity over time only when statements have been produced following consistent adherence to standardized accounting practices. Fluctuation in trends should be identifiable as causes other than random accounting procedures or errors. Additionally, investors rely on the comparability of financial statements from organizations so they can make informed decisions concerning a company’s potential.