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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

IAS 29 is not an alternative accounting model to HCA



IAS 29 is not an alternative accounting model to HCA

 

What capital maintenance concept is implemented under IAS 29?

 

Answer: Financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units, i.e., Historical Cost Accounting - during hyperinflation!!

 

In my opinion HCA should be specifically banned by law during hyperinflation.

 

A certain multinational state in its 2011 annual report that it implements HCA for management control purposes - during hyperinflation!! The last thing you want to implement during hyperinflation is HCA. This multination thinks it is very useful to implement HCA during hyperinflation – for management control purposes!!

 

The lack of understanding of the real value eroding effect of the stable measuring unit assumption and the real value maintaining effect of financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power is astonishing.

 

PricewaterhouseCoopers state in their publication: Understanding IAS 29 (2006), Page 5:

‘Inflation-adjusted financial statements are an extension to, not a departure from, historical cost accounting.’

Both the IASB and PricewaterhouseCoopers thus promote and support HCA during hyperinflation. Unbelievable, but true.

Financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units is a popular accounting fallacy not yet extinct: it is impossible to maintain the real value of capital constant with financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units per se during inflation and deflation.

 

‘It is essential to the credibility of financial reporting to recognize that the recovery of the real cost of investment is not earnings — that there can be no earnings unless and until the purchasing power of capital is maintained.’

FAS 33 1979: 69

The constant purchasing power (real value) of capital can only automatically be maintained constant for an indefinite period of time in all entities that at least break even in real value – all else being equal – at all levels of inflation and deflation, including during hyperinflation, with financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power as authorized in IFRS in the Conceptual Framework (2010), Par. 4.59 (a) which states:

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

IAS 29 is not required when an entity implements financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power during hyperinflation. IAS 29, Par. 8 states:

‘The financial statements of an entity whose functional currency is the currency of a hyperinflationary economy, whether they are based on a historical cost approach or current cost approach, shall be stated in terms of the measuring unit current at the end of the reporting period.’

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Nicolaas Smith


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