Friday, 8 January 2010

Constant items

There are three fundamentally different basic economic items in the economy: 1) monetary items 2) variable real value non-monetary items and 3) constant real value non-monetary items.

Variable items have variable values based on market demand and supply, and in companies their values are determined in terms of International Financial Reporting Standards if they are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and on SA Generally Accepted Accounting Practice if they are not listed on the JSE. Unlisted companies can also comply with IFRS if they so choose.

The second distinct economic item is a monetary item. That can be money and other monetary items like all money loans, capital amounts of mortages, etc. Money´s value is constant or stable in nominal value. The values on the notes and coins do not change.

Money and other monetary items´ real value has never ever been stable in the past and is not stable now. Money and other monetary items´ real value is determined by inflation and deflation. Inflation is always and everywhere the destruction of real value in money and other monetary values. 6% inflation in SA destroys about R120 billion in the real value of the Rand and other monetary items in the SA economy every year.

Now we come to the big surprise to you: there is a third distinctive basic fundamentally different economic item: constant real value non-monetary items. Examples are salaries, wages, rentals, issued share capital, reported retained profits, share premium account, capital reserves, all other items in shareholders´equity, provisions, trade debtors, trade creditors, taxes payable, taxes receivable, all other payables and receivables, etc.

They all have constant real values - all else being equal. They have to be valued in units of constant purchasing power during inflation and deflation.

That is the ONLY way to keep their real values constant over time during inflation and deflation. When constant items are valued in nominal monetary units by SA accountants when they apply their very destructive stable measuring unit assumption (a very popular accounting fallacy approved by the International Accounting Standards Board) they destroy their real values at a rate equal to the rate of inflation because these constant items, like all other economic items in SA are expressed in the Rand which is a monetary medium of exchange and inflation destroys the real value of the Rand, not the real value of the constant items.

The real values of all constant items never maintained in the SA economy are unknowingly, unnecessarily and unintentionally being destroyed by SA accountants freely choosing the 700 year old generally accepted traditional Historical Cost Accounting model when they freely choose to measure financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units (the second popular accounting fallacy approved by the IASB) in terms of the IASB´s Framework, Par 104 (a) which states: “Financial capital maintenance can be measured in either nominal monetary units or units of constant purchasing power.”

You can thus see that the IASB authorized the accounting fallacy of financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units (it is impossible to maintain the real value of capital stable in nominal monetary units per se during inflation and deflation) and its ONLY and PERFECT antidote in one and the same IFRS statement. SA accountants unknowingly destroy about R200 billion each and every year in the real values of existing reported constant items never maintained when they freely choose traditional HCA implementing the stable measuring unit assumption when they measure financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units in terms of the Framework, Par 104 (a) in SA companies.

They would stop that destruction and boost the SA real economy by about R200 billion per annum for an unlimited period of time in the future when they freely choose financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power as they have been authorized by the IASB in the Framework, Par 104 (a) twenty years ago in 1989. So, the SA constant item part of the SA real economy is full of millions of constant real value non-monetary items with constant real values.

When your salary is inflation-adjusted at least at the rate of inflation then its real value stays constant. The same should happen to all reported retained profits and capital in all SA banks and companies. Unfortunately it is not yet happening like that.

SA accountants blame inflation for the erosion of companies´ profits and capital, the third very popular accounting fallacy accepted by the IASB. They know and admit that this destruction - they always call it erosion - takes place: they and all other accountants world wide blame inflation instead of their own free choice of the traditional HCA model.

So, there are millions of constant items with stable or constant real values. The IASB proof is in Par 104 (a): Financial capital maintenance can be measured in units of CONSTANT purchasing power. Capital and all items in Shareholders´Equity are non-monetary items as defined by the IASB.

Since they can be measured in units of CONSTANT purchasing power to keep their real values CONSTANT, they are thus CONSTANT items.

Do you perhaps know any accountants? :-)

© 2005-2010 by Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved

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