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Monday, 4 January 2010

Vital function of accounting

Accountants were not aware in 1989 when IAS 29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies was authorized that they unknowingly destroy real value in existing reported constant items never maintained by implementing financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units - traditional HCA - during inflation and hyperinflation. All destruction of the real value of constant items (e.g. the erosion of companies´ profits and capital) was and still is mistakenly blamed on inflation and hyperinflation.

Nor were accountants aware in 1989 that the only way to stop that destruction was with continuous financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power during inflation and hyperinflation. Fortunately, this did not prevent the IASC Board from authorizing continuous financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power as an alternative to traditional HCA in the Framework, Par 104 (a). Unfortunately no-one chooses continuous financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power because of the predominance of HCA and the three popular accounting fallacies:

1) The stable measuring unit assumption - approved by the IASB.
2) Financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units - approved by the IASB
3) The erosion of companies´ profits and capital caused by inflation - accepted by the IASB.

If the IASC Board in 1989 were aware of the fact that only continuous financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power could stop forever accountants´ unknowing destruction of the real value of constant items never maintained because of their implementation of the HCA model during inflation and hyperinflation, they would have pointed that out to accountants and left it up to them to choose the alternative option to stop the destruction. The IASC Board stated in the Framework, Par 110 that it was not their intention to prescribe a specific accounting model except in the case of hyperinflation at that time.

They still did not prescribe continuous financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power during hyperinflation, but simply restatement of all non-monetary items in HC and current cost financial statements by applying the CPI at the financial year end to make them more useful during hyperinflation. That clearly indicates that they were not aware of its permanent constant real value maintaining function at that time. It is an objective / function of accounting / general purpose financial reporting to maintain the real value of constant items stable by means of continuous financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power during inflation, hyperinflation and deflation.

This is the reason for IAS 29´s failure in stopping the accounting based hyper-destruction of real value in constant items never maintained in hyperinflationary economies.

Kindest regards

Nicolaas Smith