ACCA F3 (INT) Financial Accounting Study Text by Emile Woolf International

By Emile Woolf International

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Sample text

Complex items must not be excluded from the financial statements for the reason that the users of the statements will not understand them. 2 Relevance Financial information should be relevant to the economic decision-making needs of users. Financial statements can help users to evaluate past, present or future events, in order to: „ predict the future financial position and performance of the organisation, or „ confirm or correct the evaluations and forecasts they have made in the past. The relevance of information is affected by its materiality.

There is a risk that financial information might not faithfully represent transactions and events, but this is not due to bias but rather to the difficulties that often exist in obtaining a reliable measurement of an item. Substance over form The information should represent the substance or economic reality of the financial transactions, even if the economic reality is not consistent with the legal position. An example of ‘substance over form’ arises when an entity effectively controls the use of an item of equipment even though it is not the legal owner.

For example, suppose that John Smith sets up a sole trader business as a builder, and he calls the business ‘J Smith, Builder’. For the purpose of financial reporting, the business (J Smith, Builder) and John Smith, the owner of the business, are different and separate from each other. The owner of the business is someone who has contributed capital to the business, and who owns the profits that have been made and retained and re-invested in the business. The equity capital of a business can be thought of as an amount that the business entity owes to its owners.

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