Premium Essay

Historical Cost

In: Business and Management

Submitted By bibipti
Words 404
Pages 2
Accounting Communication
Tatiana Egipti
"What are the arguments for and against continuing the use of historical costs in accounting?"

Under Historical Cost valuation method all assets are presented on the balance sheet at their nominal (original) cost at the time of their acquisition. The Historical Cost method is the method prescribed by US GAAP for use by US companies.
The proponents of the Historical Cost method often point out that one of the main advantages of such method is verifiability of initial cost information. This is true because the assets’ historical costs are based on actual transaction information, not merely estimates or hypothetical transactions. Thus, the costs are measured and presented objectively and are less susceptible to manipulation by management. There is also the Cost Efficiency advantage due to the fact that most times cost information is readily available and requires very minimal effort to obtain and verify. Additionally, determination of Historical Cost does not require any estimation by accountants and can be easily substantiated for audit purposes. Because of the objectivity of Historical Costs, information produced by accounting systems based on such methodology is easily understood by the end users.
On the downside, many critics of the Historical Cost Accounting argue that usefulness of such approach diminishes in the periods of inflation when the purchasing power of money changes while the book values remain unchanged. The higher the inflation rates, the less useful such information becomes. While some countries allow Revaluation of assets reported under Historical Cost, it does not eliminate the problem completely because not all assets will be revalued simultaneously; and the revalued assets will be added with those listed at historic costs purchased at different points in time with currency of different...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Historical Cost Disavantage

...In accounting, historical cost is the original monetary value of an economic item.[1] Historical cost is based on the stable measuring unit assumption. In some circumstances, assets and liabilities may be shown at their historical cost, as if there had been no change in value since the date of acquisition. The balance sheet value of the item may therefore differ from the "true" value. While historical cost is criticised for its inaccuracy (deviation from "true" value), it remains in use in most accounting systems. Various corrections to historical cost are used, many of which require the use of management judgment and may be difficult to implement or verify. The trend in most accounting standards is a move to more accurate reflection of the fair or market value, although the historical cost principle remains in use, particularly for assets of little importance. Depreciation affects the carrying value of an asset on the balance sheet. The historical cost will equal the carrying value if there has been no change recorded in the value of the asset since acquisition. Improvements may be added to the cost basis of an asset. Historical cost does not generally reflect current market valuation. Alternative measurement bases to the historical cost measurement basis, which may be applied for some types of assets for which market values are readily available, require that the carrying value of an asset (or liability) be updated to the market price (mark-to-market valuation) or some......

Words: 1987 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Historical Cost Account

...1 historical cost accounting (hca) is the situation in which accountants record revenue, expenditure and asset acquisition and disposal at historical cost: that is, the actual amounts of money, or money's worth, received or paid to complete the transaction. 2 nature of historical cost accounting this is one of those idiosyncratic headings that teachers dream up (me too, probably!) that meant nothing to me without further explanation 3 the big advantage of hca is that it leads to absolute certainty and it fits in perfectly with the cash flow statement. Hca tells us exactly what has been paid and what has been received and therefore there is no doubt about balance sheet amounts. The alternatives, where accountants attempt to take inflation into account, can lead to many problems. There have been several forms of current cost accounting, purchasing power accounting and so on since the mid 1970s that have been proposed as alternatives to hca. The reason the alternatives have not survived, and IAS 15 on inflation accounting is about to be replaced, if it hasn't been already, is that no one can agree on the best way to represent accounting values. Hca provides definite values, other methods don't! 4 the disadvantages of hca include the fact that hca values can relate to transactions that could be a year old, 10 years old and as much as 100 years old. It's true that some businesses have old equipment and old stocks (inventories) that are still working well but that were bought......

Words: 2561 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Historical Cost Accounting

...Limitations of Historical Costing in times of Inflation Historical Cost accounting and its significance History of Historical Cost Accounting Techniques of Historical Cost Accounting Conclusion References: 1 2 3 *** The impact of inflation comes in the form of rising prices of output and assets. As the financial accounts are kept on Historical cost basis, so they don't take into consideration the impact of rise in the prices of assets and output. This may sometimes result into the overstated profits, under priced assets and misleading picture of Business etc. So, the financial statements prepared under historical accounting are generally proved to be statements of historical facts and do not reflect the current worth of business. This deprives the users of accounts like management, shareholders, and creditors etc. to have a right picture of business to make appropriate decisions.  Hence, this leads towards the need for Inflation Accounting. Inflation accounting is a term describing a range of accounting systems designed to correct problems arising from historical cost accounting in the presence of inflation. The significance of inflation accounting emerges from the inherent limitations of the historical cost accounting system. Following are the limitations of historical accounting: 1. Historical accounts do not consider the unrealised holding gains arising from the rise in the monetary value of the assets due to inflation. 2. The objective of charging......

Words: 320 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Analysis of Biological Assets Valuation Method with Fair Value Accounting and Historical Cost Accounting in Plantation Subsector of Indonesian Agricultural Industry in the Period of 2007-2012

...ANALYSIS OF BIOLOGICAL ASSETS VALUATION WITH FAIR VALUE ACCOUNTING AND HISTORICAL COST ACCOUNTING METHOD IN PLANTATION SUBSECTOR OF INDONESIAN AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY IN THE PERIOD OF 2007-2012 Karina Putri Ramadhani1 and Indra Pratama2 1 Thesis Writer, Swiss German University 2 Thesis Advisor, Swiss German University Abstract The analysis of biological assets valuation with fair value accounting and historical cost accounting method in plantation subsector of Indonesian agricultural industry, in the period of 2007-2012, tries to evaluate the relevance of historical cost towards the fair value of biological assets. It also tries to look for empirical evidence on the differences in calculations on biological assets between FVA and HCA toward company’s EBIT, net income, and potential tax liabilities. The research tests 5 companies within the plantation subsector in agricultural industry listed in Bursa Efek Indonesia (BEI). This study shows that there is a strong correlation between all variables tested. Among all statistical tests conducted, all hypotheses are rejected. This study concludes that the historical value of biological assets does not represent its real fair market value, or irrelevant. Also, the change in biological assets valuation from historical cost to fair value accounting would significantly affect the company’s EBIT, tax expense, and net income. Keywords: Fair Value, Historical Cost, Agricultural Industry, Plantation, Fair Market, EBIT, Tax Expenses, Net......

Words: 3520 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Limitations of Historical Cost Accounting

...Limitations of historical cost accounting Financial statements prepared on the historical cost basis do not necessarily lead to a true and fair presentation of an entity’s performance or future potential if capital is not being maintained. Furthermore, actual assessment of performance through ratios such as return on capital are meaningless if profit are overstated, capital undervalued, and assets are valued under a mixture of conventions. Limitations of historical cost accounting include : • Depreciation charged on historically costed assets is only an arbitrary amount based on out-of-date values and estimated useful economic lives. • Depreciation charges do not take into account actual replacement cost of assets at current prices. • Profit will not reflect the actual ‘costs’ of trading, which include the replacement of assets at some point in time. • By not accounting for inflation, there is no assurance that the entity is maintaining its capital base. • Overstating profits by undercharging depreciation based on historical cost, and charging cost of sales at historical cost of inventories (and not current cost) can lead to the depletion of an entity’s capital through high tas charges and distributions. • While historical cost accounting provides a consistent basis for entities to prepare accounts, inflation affects different products and markets, and hence entities, to different degree. • Historical cost accounting makes it difficult for shareholders and......

Words: 323 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Advantages and Disadvantages of Historical Cost Accounting

...Advantages and disadvantages of Historical Cost accounting Historical cost accounting has been a controversial method that experienced many criticisms over a period of time, especially since it considers the acquisition cost of an asset and does not recognize the current market value. Merits and demerits of this method are as follows. The most obvious advantage of HC accounting is objectivity. It is a predominantly objective system, which records the original cost of an item when it was purchased. Under historical cost accounting there is no room for manipulation and “the data is supported by independent documentary evidence, such as invoice, statement, cheque counterfoil, receipt or voucher.” (Elliott and Elliott:43) Any other method for recording transactions would be less objectives since the amount being recorded would depend on individual point of view and is various from different people. Secondly, being compared with most other methods, historical cost is an easier and cheaper way of valuation. In respect that the original cost is one that already existed and could not be amended, which is easy to determine and can be verified. Therefore, it requires less estimation for accountants to record the data and easier for auditor to inspect them subsequently. In addition,” as a basis of fact, it is verifiable and to that extent is beyond dispute”. (Alexander and Nobes :180) Another significant advantage of it is reliability, which is one of the key characteristics......

Words: 313 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Historical Cost accounting according to the different measurement attributes, can be divided into historical cost accounting, current cost accounting, fair value accounting and other different models. Today is the leading and ruling position, or historical cost accounting model, although it faces challenges, can still be regarded as the basic pattern of financial accounting. 1, the historical cost accounting features 1, the basis for the past recognized. most important feature of the historical cost accounting is a past-oriented. From the basis of confirmation of view, the historical cost accounting is based on past transactions or events have occurred based on. Whether accrual or cash basis, are targeted to have occurred in terms of past transactions. The former caused a result of past transactions and the rights and obligations; the latter a result of past transactions caused by cash. Their common feature is based on transactions or events that have occurred in the foundation. 2, measured at historical cost. This is the essence of historical cost accounting. Assets, liabilities, costs measured at historical cost, provided that for the past history information associated with the lack of reality. 3, follow the decision of revenue realization and matching principle. double-entry bookkeeping has been created, through cost and revenue for the ratio to determine the income, has been the main features of accounting, and constitutes the entire accounting......

Words: 1457 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...ANALYSIS OF FAIR VALUE AND HISTORICAL COST ACCOUNTING ON REPORTED PROFIT: A STUDY OF SELECTED MANUFACTURING COMPANIES IN NIGERIA BESSONG, PETER KEKUNG and CHARLES, EFFIONG DEPARTMENT OF ACCOUNTING FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCES UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR, P.M.B.1115, CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE, NIGERIA Tel: +234 8037079607 ABSTRACT This study aimed to critically examine the effects of fair value accounting and historical cost accounting on the reported profits. However, since the major objective of any business organization is to make profit and continue in business, what they face in the course of doing their business and the method of accounting they use in reporting their profit may make this noble objective to be unrealistic particularly during inflationary period. Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources and presented and analyzed using ordinary least square. The study revealed that both historical cost and fair-value accounting have significant effect on reported profit. Conclusively, Based on the findings of the study, it is concluded that the amount calculated as depreciation, charged as taxes and paid as dividends greatly influence the operating profit of the company. This simply means that the method of profit measurement will greatly influence the amount charged as taxes, depreciation and dividend on the profit of the company. The study recommended that companies should prepare their financial report using both historical cost and fair-value methods......

Words: 12475 - Pages: 50

Premium Essay

Why Fair Value Is the Rule

...states that fair value takes over for the old, worn out system of keeping books at historical value. She talks about how using fair value makes account more reliable. Also, it was believed fair value accounting was part of the reason the stock market crashed in 1929. Another point that Karthik had was why people actually support fair value. Fair value replaced the old, worn out system of keep books at historical value. With historical value, you never really need to record anything if the price becomes cheaper. It is a way for your assets to look larger than they actually are. If you record an item at fair value, you are normally reducing that value, so you are also reducing your assets. Sometimes you must actually increase the value because you paid less for the item than it is now worth. Fair value also helps with an insurance policy. If you have something that is stolen, and you do not get a settlement from your insurance company, you record the loss at the adjusted fair value. Fair value is a more reliable form of accounting, at least according to some people. It is believed that if someone is using the real cost on the books, it’ll mean that they are more accurately reporting what they have. Others believe that historic costing is more reliable because you are accurately showing what the product WAS worth. I believe that you should always use the fair value of a product, because historical costing can be overstated. If you are going to make sure that you are......

Words: 662 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Historical Cost

...Question 6 Evaluate, using appropriate examples, the relative advantages and disadvantages of ratio analysis as an aid to decision-making by investors. Advantages and Uses of Ratio Analysis There are various groups of people who are interested in analysis of financial position of a company. They use the ratio analysis to workout a particular financial characteristic of the company in which they are interested. Ratio analysis helps the various groups in the following manner: - 1. To workout the profitability: Accounting ratio help to measure the profitability of the business by calculating the various profitability ratios. It helps the management to know about the earning capacity of the business concern. In this way profitability ratios show the actual performance of the business. 2. To workout the solvency: With the help of solvency ratios, solvency of the company can be measured. These ratios show the relationship between the liabilities and assets. In case external liabilities are more than that of the assets of the company, it shows the unsound position of the business. In this case the business has to make it possible to repay its loans. 3. Helpful in analysis of financial statement: Ratio analysis help the outsiders just like creditors, shareholders, debenture-holders, bankers to know about the profitability and ability of the company to pay them interest and dividend etc. 4. Helpful in comparative analysis of the performance: With the help of......

Words: 867 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Advanced Accounting Assignment

...of $4,000. The parent sold the land to an outside party in 2018 for $30,000. At what amount should the land be shown on the December 31, 2014 consolidated balance sheet? How much gain/loss on the sale of the land should be reported on the 2018 consolidated income statement? Prepare the working paper entry (in journal entry format) for the intercompany sale for the parent and its subsidiary for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015, and 2018. 2014 Land $4,000 Intercompany loss on sale $4,000 2018 Loss on sale of land $4,000 Retained earnings $4,000 2. Sally Corporation (a 75%-owned subsidiary) owned a truck with an original cost of $12,000. It had been depreciated for $7,500 in the last 5 years on the straight-line method with 8 years of life and no salvage value. On January 1, 2014, Sally sold the truck to its parent, Paulson Company for $5,280. Prepare the working paper entry (in journal entry format) for the intercompany sale for Paulson Company and subsidiary for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015. 2014 Intercompany gain on sale of truck $780 Truck $780 Accumulated Depreciation $260 Depreciation expense $260 Truck $7500 ...

Words: 414 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Limitations of Historical Cost

...Historical-cost accounting Is a system of accounting based on the principle that assets should be valued at historical cost or historical cost is the original monetary value of an economic item. Historical cost is based on the stable measuring unit assumption. In some circumstances, assets and liabilities may be shown at their historical cost, as if there had been no change in value since the date of acquisition. The balance sheet value of the item may therefore differ from the "true" value. It is relaxed to some extent by such practices as the valuation of stock at the lower of cost and net realizable value and, revaluation of fixed assets. The advantages of historical-cost accounting are that it is relatively objective, easy to apply, difficult to falsely manipulate, and suitable for audit verification. In times of high inflation, however, the results of historical-cost accounting can be misleading as profit can be overstated, assets understated in terms of current values, and capital maintenance is only concerned with the nominal amount of the capital invested rather than its purchasing power. Because of these defects it is argued that historical-cost accounting is of little use for decision making, but attempts to replace it with such other methods as current-cost accounting have failed. Company legislation sets out the rules for the application of historical-cost accounting to financial statements. Companies may also choose to use alternative......

Words: 896 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Historical Cost Accounting

...Financial Accounting – Historical Cost Accounting Student Name: Richard Simpson B00580164 Total Word Count: Contents Page Executive Summary The purpose of this report is to analyse historical cost accounting providing information on the strengths and weaknesses, alternatives to historical cost accounting and current regulatory guidance on how to deal with the effects of inflation on the financial statements. This report has also considered and explained the following statement: “Historical cost accounting is used almost exclusively in practice but it is generally accepted that the resulting historical cost accounting financial statements suffer from a number of weaknesses.” 1.0 Introduction 1.1 – What is meant by historical cost accounting? The historical cost accounting model is a measure of value in accounting that allows, ‘transactions to be recorded in the accounts at the original price. An item then remains in the accounting records at that original price until disposal’ (Alexander and Britton, 2004) even though their value may have changed over time. Historical cost accounting or commonly referred to as ‘historical cost convention’ is the ‘practice of recording the historical cost of an asset as its cost on a balance sheet’ (, 2012). For example, ‘assets are recorded at the amount paid to acquire them. Liabilities are recorded at the amount of proceeds received in exchange for......

Words: 321 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Goodwill Impairment at Jackson Enterprises Case

...test. 2. What qualitative factors should a company consider in determining whether the two-step test should be conducted? List each of these factors for Dynamic and ZD. Explain in your own words and provide citation from the codification. Based upon the case information, do you believe that goodwill is impaired for Dynamic and ZD separately company? Dynamic Qualitative Factors | Citation | Simple manufacturing process technology in this industry increased competitors by 35%. The increase in overall market supply may cost Dynamic depressed product prices. Therefore, their profitability would decline. | ASC 350-20-35-3C(b) | Both regulators and union representatives claimed that pollution can cause health hazards to a Dynamic’s workforce. Dynamic faces negative impact of carbon pollution on the environment and the workplace. Suggested solution is to hire professional managers to solve this situation. Accordingly, the company's operating costs would increase. | ASC 350-20-35-3C(b) | Dynamic employees are supported by industry's largest union to obtain a successfully...

Words: 1152 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Case 3

...000 tax basis $30,000 tax rate = 30% Presented and discussed in class on Feb. 12, 2013: Problem #2: (Winter 2013) Salvage value = $28,000 tax basis = $19,000 tax rate = 30%. Presented and discussed in class on Feb. 12, 2013: Problem 3: (Winter 2013) Salvage Value = $84,000 tax basis $92,000 tax rate = 30% Presented and discussed in class on Feb. 12, 2013: Problem #4: (Spring 2014) Machine costs $50,000 now Depreciation over a 5-year MACRS life Three years from now, we will sell this machine for $11,000. What will be the ATSV of the machine in three years? 34% Presented and discussed in May 7, 2014, class: Problem #5: (From Quiz #3-B, Fall 2014) initial cost = $10,417,000.00 expected salvage value in 10 years= $3,260,000 marginal tax rate = 34% 15-year MACRS depreciation Problem #6: (From class on Nov. 4, 2014, when preparing for HW#5) Old Machine: marginal tax rate = 34% if sold now, salvage value = $4,000 net book value or tax basis = $2,100 if sold in 4 years, salvage value = $2,500 If kept, then depreciation will be: time depr(old) 1 $300 2 $200 3 $150 4 $100 Presented and discussed in Nov. 4, 2014, class:...

Words: 264 - Pages: 2