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Monday, 2 November 2009

Ultimately, inflation-adjusting accounts in a low inflation environment is a blessing to users.

The statement "Financial capital maintenance can be measured in either nominal monetary units or units of constant purchasing power," in the IASB´s Framework, Paragraph 104 (a), means that Constant ITEM Purchasing Power Accounting has been authorized by the IASB since 1989 as an alternative to the traditional HCA model, including during periods of low inflation.

This means that the international accounting profession has been in agreement regarding the use of CIPPA for financial capital maintenance in units of CPP during low inflation since 1989. It also means that CIPPA and the inflation-adjustment of constant items to maintain their real values in a low inflationary environment are authorized by IFRS since the Framework is applicable in the absence of specific IFRS.

Income statement constant items like salaries, wages, rents, pensions, utilities, transport fees, etc are normally valued by accountants in units of CPP during low inflation in most economies. Payments in money for these items are normally inflation-adjusted by means of the CPI to compensate for the destruction of the real value of money (the monetary medium of exchange) by inflation.

Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon and can only destroy the real value of money (the functional currency inside an economy) and other monetary items. Inflation can not and does not destroy the real value of non-monetary items. Constant items´ real values can be maintained by accountants choosing the CIPPA model as per the Framework during low inflation as authorized by the IASB since 1989 instead of currently being destroyed by the implementation by accountants of the traditional HC model when they apply the stable measuring unit assumption.

It is thus accountants´ choice of the HCA model and not inflation that destroys the real value of constant items never maintained at a rate equal to the inflation rate when HC accountants choose to implement the stable measuring unit assumption for an indefinite period of time during continuous inflation.

Implementing the CIPPA model means accountants choose to reject the stable measuring unit assumption which they implement when they choose to measure financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units. Accountants world wide currently choose the traditional HCA model except during hyperinflation when they are required by the IASB to implement IAS 29 which is based on the CPPA inflation accounting model.

Kindest regards,

Nicolaas Smith