Conceptual Framework CPA Financial Accounting and Reporting FAR

enhancing qualitative characteristics

If not, we would repeat the process with the next most relevant type of information. Information is material if omitting it or misstating it could influence decisions that users make on the basis of the reported financial information. Information isimmaterial,and therefore irrelevant, if it would have no impact on a decision-maker. In short,it must make a differenceor a company need not report it. Qualitative characteristics are either fundamental or enhancing, depending on how they affect the decision-usefulness of information. Regardless of classification, each qualitative characteristic contributes to the decision-usefulness of financial reporting information.

  • Verifiability also doesn’t pass judgment on whether the assumptions made are correct or even appropriate, just whether the result matches the assumptions.
  • The financial information in the financial reports should represent what it purports to represent.
  • Because $\left(\frac, \frac, \frac\right)$ is not in the core, there must be an imputation dominating $\left(\frac, \frac, \frac\right)$.
  • Financial data may be compared not only from one accounting period to the next but also against another company’s information.

Statements that include lengthy explanations or data that confuses the bottom line may be evidence of a company’s attempt to gloss over poor performance. Comparability is the qualitative characteristic that enables users to identify and understand similarities in, and differences among, items. Unlike the other qualitative characteristics, comparability does not relate to a single item.


Timeliness means that information is available to investors, lenders and other creditors in time to be used in their decision making processes. The enhancing qualitative characteristic of understandability means that information that may be difficult to understand is made more useful by presenting and explaining it as clearly as possible. Comparability is the degree to which accounting standards and policies are consistently applied from one period to another. In addition, comparability also refers to the ability to easily compare a company’s financial statements with those of other companies. Enhancing qualitative characteristics include comparability, verifiability, timeliness and understandability. Comparability requires financial information to be comparable across periods and companies. The Framework clarifies what makes financial information useful, that is, information must be relevant and must faithfully represent the substance of financial information.

Which of the following are the fundamental characteristics of accounting information?

The fundamental qualities of accounting information are relevance and reliability, also known as representational faithfulness. If accounting data is to be relevant and useful to decision makers if must be timely.

Relevance requires financial information to be related to an economic decision. To have relevance, accounting information must be capable of making a difference in a decision. Financial information is capable of making a difference when it has predictive value, confirmatory value, or both. This principle is included in the Accounting Standards Board’s Statement of Principles. It means that what is material to one entity may not be material to another. Information is material if it is significant enough to influence the decision of users.

What are the qualitative characteristics of accounting information explain?

For example, materiality need to be measured when determine the sufficiency of relevant information and sufficiency of complete, neutral, and free from error to faithfully represent in financial reporting. Application of the cost constraint in financial reporting included evaluate whether the benefits of reporting information will be able to impose the costs.

enhancing qualitative characteristics

The financial information in the financial reports should represent what it purports to represent. Meaning, it should reflect what really happened, with the correct financial values. A faithful representation is complete, neutral and free from error.

What are the 6 qualitative characteristics of financial information?

For information to be comparable, like things must look alike and different things must look different. Comparability of financial information is not enhanced by making unlike things look alike any more than it is enhanced by making like things look different. If two ways of depicting an economic phenomenon are considered equally relevant and faithfully represented, we can make the choice between them by examining them to see which embodies more of the enhancing characteristics . Comparability enables investors, lenders and other creditors to identify and understand similarities in, and differences among, items. Occasionally, a single economic phenomenon can be faithfully represented in multiple ways, but permitting alternative accounting methods for the same economic phenomena diminishes comparability.

enhancing qualitative characteristics

For example, ifGeneral Motors‘ income statement reports sales of $180,300 million when it had sales of $155,399 million, then the statement fails to faithfully represent the proper sales amount. To be a faithful representation, information must be complete, neutral, and free of material error. In order to have relevance, accounting information must be timely.

Chapter 4: The Framework: the remaining text

The concept of materiality relates to the extent to which information can be omitted, misstated or grouped with other information without misleading the statement users when they are making their economic decisions. There are a number of qualitative characteristics of information in the financial statements. The enhancing qualitative characteristics of understandability means that information should be… The information must be relevant to the needs of the users, which is the case when the information influences their economic decisions. This may involve reporting particularly relevant information, or information whose omission or misstatement could influence the economic decisions of users. As one of the principles in GAAP, the full disclosure principle definition requires that all situations, circumstances, and events that are relevant to financial statement users have to be disclosed.

  • A prerequisite for the information to be comparable is that the users to be informed about the policies used in preparing the financial statements, about any changes to these policies and the effects of such changes.
  • Excluding information about those phenomena from financial reports might make the information in those financial reports easier to understand.
  • In addition, comparability also refers to the ability to easily compare a company’s financial statements with those of other companies.
  • In other words, the original cost is irrelevant or is not relevant in the decision to replace the equipment.
  • Understandability is the degree to which information is easily understood.
  • Accountants use standardized practices so that information is recorded, calculated and analyzed in ways that are the same from period to period.

It improves usefulness of financial statements because it assures users that they are indeed true and fair. The cash flow statement reflects both income statement elements and some changes in balance sheet elements. In making that judgement, IAS 8.11 requires management to consider the definitions, recognition criteria, and measurement concepts for assets, liabilities, income, and expenses in the Framework.

Information is complete if a user can understand the phenomenon being depicted. This may require descriptions and explanations as well as a numerical depiction.

  • The four enhancing qualitative characteristics continue to be timeliness, understandability, verifiability and comparability.
  • Materiality is an entity-specific aspect of relevance in the Framework 2010, rather than a stand-alone concept.
  • It is important to note that, comparability does not mean uniformity.
  • While the general purpose of accounting principles is to standardize the practice throughout the business world, accountants and business leaders engage in a debate of how far to implement these qualities.
  • Describe the content and the importance of the balance sheet and the income statement.
  • For information to be useful, there must be a connection between these users and the decisions they make.

Comparability results when different companies use the same accounting principles. Describe the content and the importance of the balance sheet and the income statement. Verifiability means that different knowledgeable and independent observers could reach consensus, although not necessarily complete agreement, that a particular enhancing qualitative characteristics depiction is a faithful representation. Quantified information need not be a single point estimate to be verifiable. A range of possible amounts and the related probabilities also can be verified. Direct verification means verifying an amount or other representation through direct observation, for example, by counting cash.

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