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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Salaries and wages under Constant Item Purchasing Power Accounting

Under Constant Item Purchasing Power Accounting (CIPPA) all constant items´ - including salaries and wages - real values are maintained constant by updating or inflation-adjusting them in terms of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on a monthly basis.

As the CPI changes month by month, so are salaries and wages adjusted - on a monthly basis. They thus remain at the same real value from month to month all year long.

When annual salary and wage increases have to be negotiated, all that have to be discussed are real increases of one or two or three or more per cent for real increases in productivity as a result of technology improvements, efficiency, etc, or social upliftment or other adjustments for whatever reasons.

What is important to understand is that CIPPA is a double entry accounting model like all accounting models: the books have to balance - in real value, or, the books always do actually balance - in real value - when there is no stable measuring unit assumption whereby SA accountants simply assume that ONLY for the purpose of valuing constant items, there is suppose to be no such thing as inflation, or, inflation is permanentely zero percent, or, the Rand is perfectly stable all the time. Note: they ONLY apply this rule to some constant items, namely issued share capital, retained profits, all other items in shareholders equity - basically all balance sheet constant items. SA accountants are forced by the trade unions to inflation-adjust salaries and wages, for example. The trade unions do not get involved with the valuing of the other items in the income statement, so, accountants value them at historical cost.

Maintaining the real values of salaries and wages as well as all other constant real value non-monetary items (issued share capital, retained profits, all other items in shareholders´ equity, trade debtors, trade creditors, taxes payable, taxes receivable, all other non-monetary payables and all other non-monetary receivables, etc) constant does not mean paying more real value.

It simply means rejecting SA accountants´ stable measuring unit assumption. ALL constant items are maintained constant by means of computerized monthly CPI adjustments well as maintaining all variable real value non-monetary items at their up-to-date market values, fair values, net realizable values, recoverable values or present values as they are valued in terms of International Financial Reporting Standards or SA Generally Accepted Accounting Practice.

All that have to be calculated correctly thereafter to make the books balance, is the net monetary loss or net monetary gain depending on the level of inflation and the average monetary value balance in a company month by month.

Kindest regards,

Nicolaas Smith