Reference : Führt die EU-Bilanzrichtlinie zu inkonsistenten und unsystematischen Rechnungslegungs...
Scientific journals : Article
Business & economic sciences : Accounting & auditing
Entrepreneurship and Innovation / Audit
Führt die EU-Bilanzrichtlinie zu inkonsistenten und unsystematischen Rechnungslegungsnormen? Eine kritische Würdigung am Beispiel von Aufwandsrückstellungen
[en] Missing the opportunity to develop a systematic accounting approach : the case of recognition of provisions for future charges
Muessig, Anke mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Center for Research in Economic Analysis (CREA) >]
ACE Comptabilité, fiscalité, audit, droit des affaires au Luxembourg
Wolters Kluwer
[en] accounting ; EU-directive ; provisions
[en] The European accounting directive does not specify the users of financial statements, nor weights the single objectives of financial accounting. Thus deducting EU accounting standards consistently and systematically from predefined objectives is nearly impossible. As an example, accounting for ‘provisions for future charges’ can be justified neither by financial statements’ informational and stewardship function nor by the objective of measuring distributable profits for tax dividend payment purposes, or by capital maintenance requirements. Accounting for ‘provisions for future charges’ simply allows preparers of financial statements to shift ex post profit distribution decisions to ex ante profit determination, for a specific ‘apparent’ purpose i.e. the maintenance of assets or repairs thereof. Accordingly the ‘true and fair’ profit actually realized by the entity is not disclosed to external users. Thus accounting for ‘provisions for future charges’ is in contradiction with the informational and stewardship function of the annual accounts, as well as with the determination of a fair measurement of distributable profits. More specifically, shareholders find themselves deprived of part of the profits actually realized by the entity and dispose of fewer financial resources to cover for their own expenses.
Besides, by shifting the profit distribution decisions to the level of profit determination, a circular reference is introduced in the question of determining the distributable profit, residing in the fact that in the function of the distributable profit is included a variable that needs to be determined by the financial statements, i.e. the variable ‘profit to be distributed’. The usefulness of the balance sheet as a basis for the profit determination is taken ad absurdum, if management’s profit distribution decisions are already reflected at the level of profit determination. In this case, determination of distributable profit is based on the
question of how much profit the entity’s governing body intend to distribute and not based on the ‘true and fair’ profit actually realized. Accounting for ‘provision for future charges’ is neither
the expression of protection of creditors. In substance, accounting for provisions is required by the prudence principle but this is only true for provisions accounted for future expected losses (future charges not compensated by future revenues). Provisions for charges cover expenses not linked to ‘expected’ future losses. Thus, provisions for charges reflect compensated
future charges. Accordingly accounting for ‘provisions for future charges’ distorts the financial position and performance of an entity, misinterprets the prudence principle and violates the accrual principle of accounting.

File(s) associated to this reference

Fulltext file(s):

Limited access
Muessig_2016_ACE Wolter-Kluwer.pdfPublisher postprint791.36 kBRequest a copy

Bookmark and Share SFX Query

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.