Principles of Financial Accounting: Concept, Importance and Objectives
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- Last Updated on 18 March, 2023
Table of contents
- Meaning and Nature of Financial Accounting Principles
- Classification of Accounting Principles
- Accounting Concepts
- Accounting Conventions
- Meaning and Objectives of Accounting Standard
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Accounting is the language of business. In language there are certain rules of grammar. Similarly in order to understand accounting information and for maintaining uniformity in preparation and presentation of general purpose financial statements, it is necessary that accounting should be based on certain principles. Further, accounting communicates information, inter alia, to external users for decision making. It is necessary that the financial statements of various enterprises are prepared on a uniform basis so that they can be understood by all. This is possible only when certain principles are followed on a uniform basis while preparing them.
1. Meaning and Nature of Financial Accounting Principles
The financial accounting principles are man made and they are used as a guide to action. They are the result of broad consensus and, therefore, known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The term Generally Accepted Accounting Principles is used to describe rules adopted for recording of transactions and preparation and presentation of the financial statements at a particular time.
According to American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the word ‘principle’ is used here to mean
“A general law or rule adopted or professed as a guide to action; a settled ground or basis of conduct or practice.”
It means that accounting principles are not rigid. They are not universally acceptable like the principles of physics, chemistry and other natural sciences. They cannot be verified by observation and experiment. They are the body of doctrine commonly associated with the theory and procedure of accounting. They serve as an explanation of current practices and as a guide for the selection of conventions or procedures where alternative exist.
According to American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), “Generally accepted accounting principles incorporate the consensus at any time as to which economic resources and obligations should be recorded as assets and liabilities, which changes in them should be recorded, how the recorded assets and liabilities and changes in them should be measured, what information should be disclosed and how it should be disclosed and which financial statements should be prepared.”
Accounting principles are derived from experience and practice. If persons from the accounting profession, in general, accepts a solution for a particular problem it becomes an accounting principle. The evolutionary process of accounting principles is going on continuously.
The general acceptance of an accounting principle or practice usually depends on the following three criteria :
(2) Objectivity, and
(1) Relevance: A principle is relevant to the extent it results in information that is meaningful and useful to those who use the accounting information.
(2) Objectivity: The principle must have objectivity. A principle is objective to the extent the information is not influenced by the personal bias or judgment of those who provide it. The accounting information must be reliable. There must be some way of ascertaining the correctness of the information given. It means that accounting information must be verifiable.
(3) Feasibility: A principle is feasible to the extent it can be implemented without undue complexity or cost. Thus, the principle must be practicable.
Generally, the above three criteria are found in accounting principles. But there are exceptions where a compromise is made between relevance on the one hand and objectivity and feasibility on the other hand. An optimum balance of relevance, objectivity and feasibility is struck while framing an accounting principle.
The following are the characteristics of accounting principles :
- Accounting principles are man made.
- They are not eternal truths.
- The validity of accounting principles cannot be verified by observation and experiment.
- Accounting principles are best possible suggestions based upon practical experience and reason.
- They are developed for common usage to ensure uniformity and understandability.
- The evolutionary process of accounting principles is going on constantly.
- Accounting principles are not rigid.
- They are not developed by any specific authority. Currently the role of professional accounting bodies has increased in this direction. Law relating to business practices and accounting textbooks are other sources of the accounting principles.
- They are generally acceptable.
- The general acceptance of an accounting principle or practice usually depends on how well it meets the criteria of relevance, objectivity and feasibility.
2. Classification of Accounting Principles
One way of classifying accounting principles is as follows :
(1) Accounting Concepts
(2) Accounting Conventions.
Accounting concepts are the basic assumptions or principles on the basis of which transactions are recorded and financial statements are prepared.
Accounting conventions are the statements of practice or principles which are followed as accepted method or procedures by the enterprises over a period of time.
Accounting concept is an idea forming part of theory underlying a set of practices. Accounting convention is a statement of practice which is followed as an accepted method or procedure. The distinction between the accounting concept and convention is more of academic interest than practice. Certain other terms such as postulates, doctrines, rules, axioms, assumptions etc. are also used for accounting principles.
2.1 Accounting Concepts
The following are important generally accepted accounting concepts :
- Accounting Entity Concept
- Money Measurement Concept
- Dual Aspect Concept
- Cost Concept
- Verifiable Objective Evidence Concept
- Going Concern Concept
- Accounting Period Concept or Periodicity
- Realisation Concept or Revenue Recognition
- Expense Recognition or Matching Concept
- Accrual Concept
2.2 Accounting Conventions
The following are the accounting conventions :
- Full Disclosure
- Conservatism or Prudence
2.3 Fundamental Accounting Assumptions
According to Accounting Standard (AS-1) issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) the following are the fundamental accounting assumptions :
(a) Going Concern,
(b) Consistency, and
The significance of the fundamental accounting assumptions is that disclosure as a note is necessary if these assumptions have not been followed.
3. Accounting Concepts
The accounting concepts are discussed below :
1. Separate Accounting Entity: As per this concept, an enterprise is treated separate from owners and other persons associated with it. Accounts are kept for the organisation, as distinguished from the persons associated with it. For example, if A starts a business styled “A & Co.”, accounts are prepared from the point of view of “A & Co.” and not A. If accounting entity concept is not followed the financial statements will not give a true and fair view of the results of the operations of the business and true and fair view of the financial position of the business as the personal transactions of the sole-proprietor will be mixed with the transactions of the business.
According to American Accounting Association, accounting entity is “an area of economic interest of a particular individual or group.” It may be the business unit itself, i.e., sole-proprietorship firm, partnership firm, company or government business undertaking. It may be a part of a business, i.e., a department. It can also be a non-business group, i.e., a club, religious bodies or government.
All transactions are recorded from the point of the accounting entity and not from the point of owners or other persons associated with it. For example, when a person starts a business investing ` 5 lakhs, it is recorded in the business by debiting Cash Account and credit Capital Account. Similarly when goods are withdrawn by the proprietor, Drawings Account is debited and Purchases Account is credited. Again the rent of the building, which is used for business as well as residential purposes, is divided on some equitable basis between business expense and personal expense of the owner.
According to this postulate, the payments made to owners are treated either as repayment of capital or distribution of profits, as the case may be. They are not treated as business expenses.
This concept is applicable to all forms of organisation, e.g., sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership and joint stock company.
2. Money Measurement: According to money measurement principle, only those transactions which can be measured in terms of money are recorded in the books of account. Money has been adopted in accounting as the basic unit of measurement as it is monetary expression of transactions or economic events.
In financial accounting, all transactions or economic events are measured in terms of money as it provides a common unit by means of which heterogeneous facts about a business can be expressed as numbers which can be added and subtracted. Rupee is the common unit of measurement for transactions or economic events in India, because it is the legal tender and used as a medium of exchange in market transactions. If money is not used as a common unit of measurement it would be impossible to record various types of transactions. A common measuring unit helps to quantify in term of money various types of data for determination of profit or loss and financial position. For example, if a business entity owns a plot of land measuring 500 sq. m., a three-storey building, two cars, 50 personal computers, 20 tables and 80 chairs, 10,000 kg. of certain types of goods and a cash of ` 1,00,000. Since these assets are expressed in different units and therefore the total assets of the business cannot be determined by adding physical units. If these assets are expressed in monetary units, i.e., in rupees such as plot of land of ` 500 lakhs, building of ` 400 lakhs; cars of ` 10 lakhs; computers of ` 10 lakhs; tables of ` 2 lakhs; chairs of ` 2 lakhs; goods or stock-in-trade of ` 200 lakhs and cash of ` 1 lakh. After expressing in monetary units these assets can be added. This is a better way of knowing the total assets of the business. Similarly liabilities are expressed in monetary units.
However, using money as a unit of measurement has the following limitations:
(a) All transactions or events cannot be expressed in terms of money. In accounting, those transactions or events are recorded which can be expressed in terms of money. But all transactions or events cannot be expressed in terms of money. For example, accounting does not record the state of its owner’s health in case of sole-proprietorship or managing directors’ health in case of company form of organisation. Similarly, it does not record that one top executive is not on speaking terms with another top executive.
(b) Money is not a stable unit of measurement. The purchasing power or value of money does not remain stable. The value changes due to changes in general level of prices in the economy. In case of inflation the value of money decreases; and this happens in developing country like India. Money serves as an effective common denominator if the purchasing power of money remains almost stable. But in actual practice there has been significant decline in purchasing power of rupee in India. As a result, the financial statements do not show accurate picture of business. But in spite of fluctuations in the value of money it is used as unit of measurement in accounting as there is no other generally acceptable unit. For example, when a plot of land is purchased for ` 50 lakhs it is recorded as an increase in land and decrease in cash. The land continues to appear in the books at ` 50 lakhs even after five years when the market price of the land has risen two-fold. Taking another example, a plot of land of 500 sq. m. purchased for ` 20 lakhs in 1995 and another plot of land of 200 sq. m. purchased for the same price in 2010 are both shown in accounting records at ` 20 lakhs each.
3. Dual Aspect: As stated in the previous chapter assets are the economic resources controlled by an organisation. There are two types of claims against the assets. Liabilities are the claims of the creditors or outsiders against the assets and equity (i.e. capital reserves and surplus) is the claim of the owners against the assets. All the assets of the business are claimed by creditors or outsiders and owners. Therefore, the relationship between assets, liabilities and equity (i.e. capital + reserves and surplus) can be expressed in the form of accounting equation as follows:
Equity + Liabilities = Assets
Equity = Assets – Liabilities
According to dual aspect principle, every transaction has a two-fold effect. Accounting system is designed in such a way that both aspects i.e. changes in assets and changes in liabilities and equity, as the case may be, of each transaction is recorded. This system of recording is known as the double entry system of accounting.
For example, when ` 10,00,000 is contributed by its owner in a sole-proprietorship concern it results in increase in cash by ` 10,00,000 and there is claim of the owner in the form of capital by the same amount of ` 10,00,000. If a bank loan of ` 5,00,000 is arranged it results in an increase in bank balance of ` 5,00,000 and an obligation to pay the bank loan of the same amount of ` 5,00,000.
In accounting, assets are the resources controlled by an enterprise. Land, buildings, plant and machinery, equipment, investments, inventory, debtors, bills receivable, cash, bank balance and prepaid expenses are some of the examples of the usual asset accounts. Liabilities are what an enterprise owes to creditors, borrowers and other outside parties. Some of the usual liability accounts are : Loan taken, creditors, bills payable, unearned revenue. Equity is the difference between a firm’s assets and liabilities. Equity accounts include owner’s or owners’ capital account(s) in case of sole-proprietorship and partnership firms and share capital in case of joint stock company. Reserve accounts and profit and loss account are other usual equity accounts.
4. Cost Concept: According to the cost principle (i) an asset is ordinarily recorded at the price paid for it, i.e., at its historical cost; and (ii) all subsequent accounting (for example, charging depreciation) for the asset is also based upon this cost. For example, if a plot of land is purchased for ` 2 lakhs, this amount is not affected by subsequent changes in the market value of the plot of land. In case of assets which have long but limited life, depreciation is charged which is based inter alia on the cost of the asset. Thus, the cost of the asset is systematically reduced over the life of the asset by charging depreciation. Thus, depreciation is the process of allocation of cost of asset over the life of the asset. It is not a process of valuation of asset. Depreciation expense is charged in Profit and Loss Account and the balance of the unallocated cost i.e. written down value of the asset is shown in the Balance Sheet. Alternatively, asset is shown at its original cost less accumulated depreciation to date. Thus, an asset is not usually shown at its net realisable value or its current replacement cost. This concept is usually applied in case of plant and machinery, furniture etc.
Further, if an asset is acquired and nothing is paid for it, it is not recorded as an asset. For example, internally generated goodwill is not recorded in the books of account. In other words, goodwill is recorded in the books only when it is purchased, i.e. when consideration in the form of money or money’s worth is paid for it.
The cost principle is modified in practice by the principle of conservatism, according to which stock is valued at cost or market price whichever is less. Sometimes assets are revalued also.
The cost principle satisfies the criteria of objectivity and feasibility as compared to that of relevance. According to Robert K Anthony, “adherence to the cost concept indicated a willingness on the part of the accounting professionals to sacrifice some degree of relevance in exchange for greater objectivity and feasibility.” Thus historical cost is adopted as a base of measurement of assets because it is objective. Moreover, it is very easy to determine the historical cost of the asset as compared to net realisable value or current replacement cost of the asset.
As per AS-10 (revised), cost is the amount of cash or cash equivalents paid or the fair value of other consideration given to acquire an asset at the time of its acquisition or construction.
The advantages or, justification of cost concept are : (a) it brings objectivity in measurement of assets; (b) there is no need of determining the market value of the assets; and (c) it recognises the fact that fixed assets of the enterprise are acquired for use and not for sale in the ordinary course of business.
The disadvantages of cost concept are : (a) in case of fluctuations in the general level of prices especially inflation the historical cost of the assets such as land and buildings is not relevant; and (b) in case of an asset acquired without consideration, it is not recorded.
5. Verifiable Objective Evidence: According to this principle, there must be objective evidence of transactions which are capable of verification. In other words, entries which are recorded in financial accounting from transactions must be supported by documentary evidence such as vouchers, invoices, cash memos etc. Similarly the information reported in financial statements must be based upon objectively determined evidence.
6. Going Concern: This is one of the fundamental accounting assumption as per ICAI. This is also known as continuity assumption. According to this principle, unless there is good evidence to the contrary it is assumed that an entity will continue to operate for a fairly long period in future. As per this concept, there is no need to measure at all times the current worth of the entity to a buyer. Assets are not shown at their current realisable value as they are held in going concern for earning revenue and not for resale. For example, the current resale value of fixed assets are irreverent because they are used as part of the manufacturing process in a manufacturing unit.
However, if there is a strong evidence that an entity is going to be liquidated, then its assets should be shown at their liquidation value and liabilities at the amount required for settling them immediately.
This concept has the following implications in accounting :
(a) Distinction between capital expenditure and revenue expenditure is made.
(b) Assets are classified as current assets and non-current assets. Similarly liabilities are classified into current liabilities and non-current liabilities.
(c) Fixed assets are acquired for use and not for sale in the ordinary course of business.
(d) Cost of the depreciable assets is allocated over the useful life of the asset in a systematic manner.
(e) Fixed assets are not shown at their liquidation value in the Balance Sheet.
7. Accounting Period or Periodicity: Accounting period is the time span for which financial statements are prepared. Since the going concern postulate assumes that the life of an entity is fairly long, accountants choose some convenient segment of time to measure the net profit for that period. The time interval chosen is called the accounting period which is usually one year for external reporting. Thus, according to accounting period postulate financial statements should be prepared at regular intervals to provide information about financial position and performance of an organisation.
The following are outcomes of adopting this concept :
(a) Profit and loss Account is prepared periodically (usually for a year) to know the results of the operations of the business as various types of decisions are taken based on this.
(b) Preparation of financial statements on yearly basis is necessary to settle the liabilities for income or corporate tax.
Difficulties due to periodicity. As the life of an organisation is artificially split into periodic intervals, most of the problems of income measurement arises due to this postulate. The main difficulty is that of deciding revenue and expenses for an accounting period. Allocating the cost to a particular accounting period is difficult and may be arbitrary. For example, calculation of depreciation to be charged depends on cost of the asset, life of the asset, and scrap value of the asset. Life of the asset and scrap value of the asset cannot be precisely ascertained. Therefore, the amount of depreciation charge will also be an estimate. However, the information provided by the financial statements at regular intervals is more useful for the users of accounting information than the exact information available at the time of liquidation of business.
8. Realisation Concept or Revenue Recognition Principle: According to Revenue Recognition Principle, revenue is considered to have been earned on the date when it is realised, i.e. on the date when goods have been supplied or services have been rendered.
AS-9 defines revenue as
“the gross inflow of cash, receivable, or other consideration, arising out of activities of an enterprise from the sale of goods, from the rendering of services and from use by others, of enterprise resources yielding interest, royalties and dividends.”
Realisation deals with the timing of recognition of revenue. According to Robert N. Anthony “revenue is considered as being earned on the date at which it is realised, that is, the date when the goods or services are furnished to the customers in exchange for cash or for other valuable consideration”.
According to realisation concept revenue is considered as earned on the date when the seller of goods or services gets the right to receive money for the supply of goods or rendering of services. Revenue is recognised in case of sale of goods when an exchange between the buyer and seller has taken place and the earning process of revenue is complete or virtually complete. Thus, revenue is recognised at the point of sale of goods or rendering of services as the earning process is considered to be complete at that point of time.
Accounting Standard-9 (AS-9) lays down rules for recognition of revenue arising in the course of ordinary activities of the enterprise from (i) sale of goods, (ii) rendering of service, and (iii) use of resources of the enterprises by others yielding interest, royalties and dividend. Recognition of revenue requires that revenue is measurable. The consideration receivable from the sale of goods, the rendering of services and use by others of resources of the enterprise should be reasonably determinable for recognition of revenue. When such consideration is not determinable within reasonable limits, the recognition of revenue is postponed.
In the following exceptional cases revenue is said to be realised at a different point of time:
(a) Long-term service or construction contracts. Where a contract is large enough to extend over a number of years, it is usual to credit a part of the profit to the profit and loss account each year. If any loss is incurred the whole of the loss is debited to profit and loss account.
(b) Gold mining. In case of gold mining revenue is recognised at the point of production itself.
(c) Hire purchase. In case of sale of goods of small values on hire purchase revenue is recognised in proportion to the amount becoming due. It is so because the ultimate collectivity of revenue is in doubt.
(d) Professionals. In case of professionals such as doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, advocates revenue is recognised when it is actually collected and not when services are rendered by them. It is because the professionals are not sure of getting the payment from their clients.
9. Expense Recognition or Matching Concept: An expense is incurred when goods or services are consumed or used in the process of obtaining revenue during the accounting period. It decreases owner’s equity. Expense (or expired cost) gives benefit during the accounting period; for example, wages and salaries paid to the employees, rent of the premises etc. Thus, expense is an item of cost applicable to the current accounting period. It is also termed as revenue expenditure. Expense should be recognised in the period in which associated revenue is recognised. Costs are matched with revenues.
Thus, cost incurred or expired cost or expenses may be classified into following three categories:
(a) Costs which can be directly associated with the revenues earned. Costs which can be directly associated with the revenues earned are recognised as expense in the same accounting period in which associated revenue is earned. For example, when sales value of a certain product is reported as revenue in a particular accounting period, the cost of that product is reported as an expense in the profit and loss account of the same accounting period.
(b) Cost which cannot be directly associated with the revenue, but can be associated with the accounting period. All expenses are not directly associated with specific revenues. Some items of expenses like rent, salaries, depreciation etc. are associated with a certain accounting period. These are the cost of operating the business during the concerned accounting period and hence are related in general way to the revenues of the period. These expenses are known as period expenses.
(c) Cost which are neither directly associated with the associated revenue nor associated with operations of a period and cannot be associated with revenue of some future period. If an item of cost is incurred but neither the direct association with revenue is possible nor it is associated with the operations of a period, the cost item is debited to the Profit and Loss Account if it cannot be associated with the revenue of some future period. For example, loss by fire or loss by theft are debited to Profit and Loss Account in the period in which the loss occurs even though they have no connection with the revenue of that period or with the operations of the period.
Matching principle is the result of the accounting period or periodicity concept. Matching of cost with related revenues is done either on (i) cash basis; or (ii) accrual basis; or (iii) hybrid basis. It is usually done on accrual basis. According to the matching principle the expenses for an accounting period are matched against related revenues. For example, if goods costing ` 20,000 are sold for ` 25,000, it is first determined when ` 25,000 is to be recognised as revenue, then ` 20,000 cost of goods sold is matched with those revenues as an expenses resulting in ` 5,000 gross profit from sale. Since the accounts are usually prepared on accrual basis, the expenses incurred in an accounting period are matched with the revenues recognised in that period. Matching principle is essential part of the accrual basis of accounting, and therefore, accrual and matching principles are used by certain accountants/academicians interchangeably. Revenues are measured in accordance with the realisable principle and then costs are associated with these revenues. Costs are matched with revenues and usually not vice versa.
10. Accrual Concept: Accrual basis of accounting is one of the fundamental assumptions as per the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). According to this concept, revenues are credited to the period in which they are earned whether they have been actually received or not. Similarly, expenses are charged to the period to which they relate whether they have been actually paid or not. In other words, this principle recognises revenues and expenses as earned or incurred respectively ignoring the date of receipt or payment. The difference between the total revenue earned and total expenses incurred is the profit or loss for the period. Under this principle outstanding and prepaid expenses, accrued income and income received in advance are adjusted for ascertaining the profit or loss for the period. The accrual principle is one of the consequences of accounting period postulate.
4. Accounting Conventions
1. Full Disclosure: Accounting aims to communicate financial information to internal and external users. According to the principle of full disclosure all significant financial information must be disclosed. There should be full, fair and adequate disclosure. Full disclosure means presentation of all relevant information i.e., nothing is omitted. Fair disclosure means that the information given is unbiased, i.e., it gives a true and fair view of the results of operations and that of the financial position of the business. Adequate disclosure means that sufficient information has been provided which influences the decisions of the user. In other words, financial statements should contain information sufficient to make them useful and not misleading.
The principle of full disclosure gains more significance in case of joint stock company because of separation of management and ownership. To ensure full disclosure the Companies Act, 2013 has prescribed the format of the Balance Sheet and contents of the Profit and Loss Account. Similarly separate formats have been prescribed for banking companies and insurance companies by the relevant statutes.
Accounting Standard-1 (AS-1) provides that (i) all significant accounting policies adopted in the preparation and presentation of financial statements should be disclosed; and (ii) any change in an accounting policy which has a material effect should be disclosed. For example, if an enterprise has been depreciating its machinery on straight line basis for the last three years and changes its method of charging depreciation to written down value method then it should disclose this fact and the effect of change should also be disclosed in the financial statements.
The implication of this convention is that the users of accounting information will be able to take informed decisions.
2. Materiality: The principle of materiality requires that focus should be on material information and resources of the enterprises should not be spent on recording and reporting of immaterial information. An information is considered to be material if the knowledge of this information is significant to the users of accounting reports. In other words, an information is material if it is significant enough to influence the decision of an informed investor. Immaterial items may be left out or merged with other items.
Insignificant details which are difficult to handle may be avoided because it may detract from good prediction and decision making.
Therefore, those events are not recorded in accounting which are so insignificant that the work of recording them is not justified by its usefulness. For example, purchase of a pencil or issue of a pencil from store is treated as an expense and not an asset although the pencil may be used in the next financial year also.
Thus materiality places a restriction on what should be disclosed. It is a modifying principle as it modifies the principle of full disclosure.
3. Consistency: The consistency principle refers to the use of same accounting policies by a firm or accounting entity from period to period. Such consistency is necessary for comparing the data reported in financial statements for one period with that of another period. For example, there are several methods of charging depreciation and that of inventory valuation. Any one of the several methods of depreciation or of inventory valuation may be adopted as is considered fit. If a particular asset is depreciated by straight line method, this method should be followed year after year. Similarly, if inventory is valued by FIFO method, this method should be followed consistently in future also. The application of this principle makes financial statements more comparable and thus more useful.
However, the consistency principle does not say that accounting policies cannot be changed at all. They can be changed in certain circumstances. For example, method of charging depreciation can be changed for better presentation of financial statements or if it is required by the statute or by the accounting standard. But when a change in accounting policy is made, the fact of the change should be disclosed and its effect on the financial results of the enterprise should also be disclosed.
4. Conservatism or Prudence: According to this principle when more than one measurement alternative is permissible for a transaction, that alternative should be selected which has the least favourable immediate effect on net profit or capital. In simple words the principle is often stated, “Anticipate no profit, but provide for all possible losses.” This is a policy of following cautions approach in the uncertain environment. It is an important modifier of the cost concept. It affects mainly the current assets. According to the cost concept the stock-in-trade should be valued at cost but according to the conservation principle it is valued at the lower of cost or market value. Some of the other applications of the conservatism principle are as follows :
(i) Making provision for bad and doubtful debts and for discount on debtors.
(ii) Creation of investment fluctuation fund.
(iii) Amortisation of intangible assets like goodwill, patents, trademarks as early as possible.
(iv) Reporting the joint life policy at surrender value.
(v) Not making provision for discount on creditors.
The principle has been applied vigorously in the past as a way of dealing with uncertainty. It was also applied to protect creditors against an unwarranted distribution of dividends. It is also assumed that overstatement of profit is more dangerous for the business and its owners than understatement. The conservatism principle is applied less strongly now than was the case earlier. Some are of the view that ‘conservatism’ should be replaced by ‘prudence’ according to which conservatism principle should be applied only when great uncertainty and doubt exists.
Distinction between Accounting Concepts and Accounting Assumptions
|Basis||Accounting Concepts||Accounting Conventions|
|1.||Nature||Accounting concepts are basic assumptions or rules on the basis of which transactions are recorded and financial statements are prepared.||Accounting conventions are statements of practice which are followed as accepted methods or procedures.|
|2.||Personal Judgment||They are not affected by personal judgment or bias of the persons concerned.||They are affected by the personal judgment or bias of the persons concerned.|
|3.||Relative Importance||Accounting concepts are relatively more important than the accounting conventions.||Accounting conventions are relatively less important than accounting concepts.|
|4.||When used||Accounting concepts are used while recording the transactions as well as while preparing financial statements.||Accounting conventions are used while preparing financial statements.|
|5.||Uniformity||There is uniformity in their use in different forms of business organisations.||There is no uniformity in their use in different firms/types of business organisations.|
|6.||Number||Number of accounting concepts are more as compared to accounting assumptions.||Number of accounting assumptions are less as compared to accounting concepts.|
5. Meaning and Objectives of Accounting Standard
5.1 Meaning of Accounting Standard
A standard is something which is used as the basis for comparison, It is a measure by which quality of other things is judged. standard is a degree of excellence required. Accounting standards are codified or written statements of accounting rules and guidelines for preparation and presentation of financial statements issued by an expert accounting body or by the government or other regulatory body. They the aspects of recognition, measurement, treatment, presentation and disclosure of accounting transaction and disclosure of accounting transactions in the financial statements. Thus, they are uniform rules for financial reporting. They are applicable either to all or certain types of accounting entities.
Objectives of Accounting Standards
- To standardise the diverse accounting policies and practices.
- To eliminate, to the extent possible, the non-comparability of financial statement.
- To enhance the reliability of financial statement.
- To promote better understanding of financial statements.
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