What is Accounting Assumptions?
Accounting assumptions can be defined as a set of rules that ensures the business operations of an organization and are conducted efficiently and as per the standards defined by the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) which ultimately helps in laying the groundwork for consistent, reliable and valuable information and it is based entirely on the fundamentals like accrual, consistency, reliability and objectivity, monetary unit assumption, business entity assumption, time period, going concern, historical costs, full disclosures, and conservatism.
It defines the mechanism for the reporting of financial transactions in the financial statementsFinancial StatementsFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all levels.. These are a set of rules that makes it mandatory for the companies to conduct their business operations and reporting mechanism as per the standards laid out by the FASB. The purpose of having accounting assumptions is to provide a basis of consistency that the readers of the financial statements can use for evaluating the genuineness of the financials of a company and confirming its financial wellbeing depicted in the same.
List of Accounting Assumptions
#1 – The Reliability Assumption
This assumption makes it mandatory for the companies to record only such accounting transactionsAccounting TransactionsAccounting Transactions are business activities which have a direct monetary effect on the finances of a Company. For example, Apple representing nearly $200 billion in cash & cash equivalents in its balance sheet is an accounting transaction. that can be easily proven. In other words, financial transactions that can be verified through invoices, billing statementsBilling StatementsBilling statement template makes it easy to generate the transaction receipts which can be easily printed, emailed to the customer any time. These could be implemented for billing invoices, customer account relationship management including general invoicing., receipts, and bank statements must only be recorded in the financial statements.
#2 – The Consistency Assumption
This assumption makes it substantial for the companies to use a consistent method of accounting for all the accounting periods. Having a consistent method of accountingMethod Of AccountingAccounting methods define the set of rules and procedure that an organization must adhere to while recording the business revenue and expenditure. Cash accounting and accrual accounting are the two significant accounting methods. will ensure an easy comparison between the financial statements of a company for different financial periods.
#3 – The Time Period Assumption
This assumption states that the accounting practices and methods that are used by an entity must be reported and maintained for a particular period. The companies must ensure that these periods remain consistent for each year so that it becomes easy for the readers of the financial statements to compare the same for different periods. This assumption is also known as periodic or accounting period assumptionAccounting Period AssumptionAccounting Period refers to the period in which all financial transactions are recorded and financial statements are prepared. This might be quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, depending on the period for which you want to create the financial statements to be presented to investors so that they can track and compare the company's overall performance..
#4 – The Going Concern Assumption
Going ConcernGoing ConcernAny analyst analyzing a company will be left to a basic assumption that the company does not go bankrupt or file a chapter 11 bankruptcy. This basic assumption allows the analyst to think that there is no immediate danger to the company. The company can operate until infinity is called the principle of going concern. is also termed as a continuity assumption. As per this assumption, a company will continue to deliver its business operationsBusiness OperationsBusiness operations refer to all those activities that the employees undertake within an organizational setup daily to produce goods and services for accomplishing the company's goals like profit generation. and continue to exist for an unforeseeable future. This assumption is based on the fact that a company will never go bankrupt, and it shall be able to perform its business operations for a more extended period.
#5 – The Economic Entity Assumption
This assumption separates the owner of the company from the company itself. It means that the economic entity assumption separates the company’s financial records with that of the personal financial records of the company’s owner. In all probabilities, the commercial business transactionsBusiness TransactionsA business transaction is the exchange of goods or services for cash with third parties (such as customers, vendors, etc.). The goods involved have monetary and tangible economic value, which may be recorded and presented in the company's financial statements. must not mix with the individual transactions of the company’s owner. This assumption is also known as the business entity assumption.
#6 – The Money Measurement Assumption
Money Measurement concept states that every transaction that is worth-recording must be recorded and expressed in monetary terms. The money measurement assumption enhances the understanding of the financial state of affairs of a business concern.
Importance of Accounting Assumptions
- These assumptions are huge for not just the organization and its management but also the readers of the financial statements. It helps in establishing a robust framework for reliable as well as consistent information.
- It enhances the reliability, verifiability, and objectivity of the financial statements. The purpose of such assumptions is to enable the users of the financial statements to evaluate and confirm the genuineness of the financial records of an organization and assess economic wellbeing. It is no doubt that these assumptions help in the establishment of credibility.
- It offers a systematic structure concerning how the accounting transactions of an organization for a particular financial period must be recorded and reported in the financial statements. The analyst and potential and existing investors can verify the accuracy, reliability, authenticity, and comparability of the financial statements for different accounting periods with the help of accounting assumptions.
- The users of the financial statementsUsers Of The Financial StatementsFinancial statements prepared by the Companies are used by different categories of individuals and corporates on the basis of their relevancy to the respective parties. The most common users to the financial statements are Management of the Company, Investors, Customers, Competitors, Government and Government Agencies, Employees, Investment Analysts, Lenders, Rating Agency and Suppliers. can even make significant investment-related decisions based on the genuineness, reliability and financial results depicted in the financial statements of a company. It enables the management to make necessary decisions based on the results of the financial statements and help in minimizing or eliminating the presence of potential errors and frauds in the same.
The benefits of accounting assumptions are reaped not just by the companies and their management but also by the investors too. These benefits are as follows-
- These are beneficial for all kinds of investors irrespective of the fact whether they are potential or existing ones. The investors can assess the genuineness of the company’s financial statements and accordingly determine the true and fair view of a company’s financial wellbeing. It enables the investors to make crucial investment-related decisions based on their reasoning. It saves themselves from being manipulated by false representation of the transactions in the financial statements of a company.
- These are beneficial for the management of an organization too. The management of an entity gets to know its actual wellbeing, and based on these results; the former can make appropriate decisions and ensure that the latter does better in the next time.
- It helps the companies in the attainment of their long-term and short-term business goals and objectives.
- These are fundamental to the wellbeing of an organization. These assumptions lay the groundwork for how a financial transaction must be reported in the financial statements and makes it mandatory for the companies to ensure that there is complete adherence to all the statutory requirements.
- It highlights the reliability, authenticity, and reliability of the financial statements of an organization. These are beneficial for not just the company and its management but the readers of the financial statements too.
This has been a guide to What is Accounting Assumptions & its Definition. Here we discuss the list of accounting assumptions and importance along with benefits. You can learn more about the form following articles –