Monday, 20 July 2009

It is an essential function of accounting to maintain the real value of constant items during inflation

1970-style Constant Purchasing Power (CPP) inflation accounting was a popular but failed attempt at inflation accounting at that time. It was a form of inflation accounting which tried unsuccessfully to make corporate accounts more informative when comparing current transactions with previous transactions by updating ALL non-monetary items (without distinguishing between variable and constant real value non-monetary items) equally by means of the Consumer Price Index during high inflation.

Measurement in units of constant purchasing power was used for variable and constant balance sheet items during the high inflation 1970´s. 1970-style CPP inflation accounting was abandoned as a failed and discredited inflation accounting model for reasons explained below when general inflation decreased to low levels thereafter.
The function of financial accounting is not just “to convey value information about the economic resources of a business” as Harvey Kapnick stated in the 1976 Sax Lecture.

It is an essential function of accounting to maintain the real value of constant items during inflation and deflation. This can only be achieved by inflation-adjusting all constant items by means of the CPI as approved by the IASB in the Framework, Par. 104 (a) twenty years ago. Accountants have abdicated the essential financial capital maintenance function of accounting to their fiction that money is stable in real value during inflation and deflation. In so doing, they have in the past unknowingly destroyed and currently unknowingly destroy real value on a massive scale in the real economy when they implement the very destructive stable measuring unit assumption as part of the IASB approved real value destroying traditional Historical Cost Accounting model during non-hyperinflationary periods when they implement the stable measuring unit assumption for an unlimited period of time during indefinite inflation.

Kindest regards,

Nicolaas Smith