Usefulness of conceptual framework
The IASB Framework sets out the definitions and recognition criteria for the elements of financial statements. Before the framework was set, companies might use different definitions and recognition criteria to recognize their transactions, even it is the same nature of transactions. For example, non-current assets can be recognized in cost model or revaluation model. If there was no framework, a company might use cost model to recognize its machinery while revaluation model was used to recognize property. However, the entity is required to be consistent to adopt cost model or revaluation model for a long period under the framework. As a result, the framework is useful for consistent accounting treatments. Because of the consistency, it is easier to compare the entities’ performance over time, even performance between different entities in the same industry.
Also, it is easier for the reporting entity to prepare financial statements, especially in preparing consolidated financial statements for multinational entities. Most countries adopt IFRS nowadays. This is an international framework and they can use the same definition and recognition criteria when considering how to treat different transactions such as sales, purchases and valuation of stock. It will reduce the time for arguing the accounting treatment of different transactions.
Qualitative characteristics of financial report
As a shareholder, the financial statement should have four major qualitative characteristics and these characteristics will be discussed as follow:
A relevant financial statement should be predictable and have confirmatory value. It should be able to predict the future of the enterprise and shareholders can make a suitable decision based on the statement. In 2011 annual report of CLP Holdings Limited (CLP), there is a risk management report which is relevant to shareholders. All entities will probably have different types of risk. Nevertheless, CLP set a risk management framework which consists of risk governance structure and risk management process. The risk governance structure states that who will be responsible for dealing with risks and the risk management process diagram shows how to manage its risks. Additionally, CLP assessed its top tier risks and future challenges so that shareholders can predict how risky if they invest in this company.
Another example of relevance is the trend of earnings and dividends per share in the past ten years. The trend can help existing and potential shareholders predict the future performance of CLP. Since 2002, Earnings and dividends per share are increasing except 2009; shareholders then may predict they can still get an increasing earnings and dividends per share in the coming years and they may be willing to invest more in the enterprise.
Last but not least, financial statement of CLP has confirmatory value because of its 5-year summary statement. The figures of the past five years has already confirmed in the past annual reports. For example, total revenue sharply increased in 2011 and the main reason is the rising revenue from energy business in Australia. Shareholders may predict that CLP is expanding its business to Australia and the revenue from this segment will...