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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Constant ITEM Purchasing Power Accounting - CIPPA.

Constant purchasing power accounting (CPPA) as defined in International Accounting Standard IAS 29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies is the International Accounting Standards Board´s inflation accounting model required to be implemented only during hyperinflation which the IASB describes as an exceptional circumstance.

Constant item purchasing power accounting (CIPPA) is the IASB's basic accounting alternative authorized in IFRS in 1989 as an alternative to traditional historical cost accounting whereunder only constant real value non-monetary items, e.g., all items in the income statement, shareholders´ equity, trade debtors, trade creditors, provisions, all non-monetary payables, all non-monetary receivables, etc. (not variable real value non-monetary items, e.g., property, plant, equipment, inventories, foreign exchange, etc) are measured in units of constant purchasing power (inflation-adjusted) during low inflation and deflation.

Both CPPA (authorized in IFRS for implementation only during hyperinflation) and CIPPA (authorized in IFRS for implementation during low inflation and deflation) are price-level accounting models which use the principle of financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power. CPPA uses it to maintain the real value of all non-monetary items during hyperinflation. Under CIPPA only constant real value non-monetary items (not variable real value non-monetary items) are measured in units of constant purchasing power during low inflation and deflation respectively. IAS 29 (CPPA) requires the updating of all non-monetary items (both variable and constant real value non-monetary items) by means of the Consumer Price Index during hyperinflation. CIPPA as authorized in IFRS in the IASB´s Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements, Par. 104 (a) in 1989 requires the inflation-adjustment (measurement in units of constant purchasing power) of only constant real value non-monetary items by means of the CPI during non-hyperinflationary periods.

In terms of the Framework, Par 104 (a) accountants can choose CIPPA to implement a financial capital concept of invested purchasing power, i.e. financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power during low inflation and deflation instead of the traditional HC concept of invested money. They will thus implement a Constant Purchasing Power financial capital maintenance concept by measuring financial capital maintenance in units of Constant Purchasig Power instead of the traditional HC nominal monetary units and they will implement a Constant Purchasing Power profit/loss determination concept in units of constant purchasing power instead of in real value destroying nominal monetary units during low inflation. CIPPA simply means inflation-adjusting only constant real value non-monetary items, e.g., issued share capital, retained income, capital reserves, all other items in shareholders´ equity, trade debtors, trade creditors, provisions, deferred tax assets and liabilities, all other non-monetary payable, all other non-monetary receivables, salaries, wages, rentals, all other items in the income statement, etc, by means of the consumer price index (CPI) while valuing variable real value non-monetary items, e.g., property, plant, equipment, listed and unlisted shares, inventory, foreign exchange, etc., in terms of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) at for example fair value, market value, recoverable value, present value, net realizable value, etc. or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) during non-hyperinflationary periods.

Monetary items are always valued at their original nominal HC monetary values in nominal monetary units during the current accounting period under all accounting and economic models because it is impossible to inflation adjust money and other monetary items, monetary items being money held and other items with an underlying monetary nature.

Monetary items, variable real value non-monetary items and constant real value non-monetary items are the three fundamentally different basic economic items in the economy.

CIPPA would maintain the real value of all constant real value non-monetary items constant in all entities that at least break even - ceteris paribus - including banks´ and companies´ capital base, for an unlimited period of time (forever) - all else being equal, whether these entities own revaluable fixed assets or not and without the requirement of additional capital from capital providers in the form of extra money or extra retained profits simply to maintain the existing constant real non-monetary value of existing constant items constant. This is opposed to the traditional HCA model under which HC accountants are unknowingly, unnecessarily and unintentionally destroying the real value of that portion of shareholders´equity never maintained constant as a result of insufficient revaluable fixed assets (revalued or not) under HCA during low inflation. CIPPA was authorized by the IASB in 1989 as an alternative to the traditional HCA model at all levels of inflation and deflation in the Framework and is applicable as a result of the absence of specific IFRS relating to the concepts of capital and capital maintenance and the valuation of constant real value non-monetary items.

•The Framework, Par. 104 (a) states:

•"Financial capital maintenance can be measured in either nominal monetary units or units of constant purchasing power."

It does not state "during hyperinflation." That is stated in IAS 29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies. The Framework, Par 104 (a) is thus applicable at all levels of inflation and defltion: low inflation too.

Discredited 1970-style CPPA was a form of inflation accounting which tried unsuccessfully - by updating all non-monetary items (variable real value non-monetary items and constant real value non-monetary items) equally by means of the CPI during high inflation (but not yet hyperinflation) - to allow for the effect of the stable measuring unit assumption in an attempt to make corporate accounts more informative when comparing current transactions with previous transactions. It was a total failure during low inflation. CPPA is not the same as CIPPA. Under CIPPA only constant items are inflation-adjusted only during low inflation and deflation. Under CPPA all non-monetary items - constant and variable real value non-monetary items - are inflation adjusted only during hyper inflation.

Many accountants and accounting authorities - excluding the IFRS Foundation and the IASB - still mistakenly regard CIPPA as the same as the discredited and failed 1970-style CPPA inflation accounting model. They ignore CIPPA's substantial benefits, for example, automatically maintaining the real value of banks´ and companies´ equity constant instead of destroying it in all entities that at least break even during low inflation when accountants choose to inflation-adjust only constant real value non-monary items by means of the CPI thus maintaining instead of continuously destroying their real values at a rate equal to the annual rate of inflation while they value variable items in terms of IFRS or GAAP. Monetary items cannot be inflation-adjusted or updated and accountants value them at their original nominal HC values during the actual accounting period under all accounting and economic models.

Certain income statement constant real value non-monetary items, most notably salaries, wages, rentals, etc. are inflation-adjusted by means of the CPI, that is, valued or measured in units of constant purchasing power during low inflation, in most economies implementing the traditional HCA model.

IFRS specifically require the CPPA inflation accounting model to be used only during hyperinflation as per IAS 29.

Copyright © 2010 Nicolaas J Smith