Qualitative Characteristics of Conceptual Framework

My video lectures around qualitative characteristics of conceptual framework such as completeness, comparcapacity, consistency and verification are extended in my financial accountancy, intermediate accountancy and also CPA lessons. Or browse via the menu over.

You are watching: To be useful, information must have which of the following fundamental qualitative characteristics?


The FASB determined the qualitative characteristics of the conceptual framework of accounting; the characteristics of accounting information that differentiate better (more useful) indevelopment from inferior (less useful) indevelopment for decision-making functions. The primary qualitative qualities are relevance and faithful representation. of audit information that identify better (even more useful) indevelopment from inferior (less useful) indevelopment for decision-making purposes.

Qualitative attributes are either fundamental or boosting, relying on how they affect the decision-usefulness of information. Regardmuch less of classification, each qualitative characteristic contributes to the decision-usefulness of financial reporting indevelopment. However before, providing helpful financial information is restricted by a constraint on financial reporting—expense need to not exceed the benefits of a reporting practice.

Fundamental Quality—Relevance

Relevance is just one of the 2 basic characteristics that make bookkeeping information helpful for decision-making. Relevance and associated ingredients of this fundamental high quality are presented listed below.

To have relevance, accountancy information need to be qualified of making a difference in a decision. Indevelopment with no bearing on a decision is irrelevant. Financial indevelopment is capable of making a difference when it has actually predictive value, confirmatory worth, or both.

Relevant information also helps customers confirm or correct prior expectations; it has confirmatory value. For instance, when UPS issues its year-finish financial statements, it confirms or transforms past (or present) expectations based on previous evaluations. It complies with that predictive worth and also confirmatory value are interassociated. For instance, information about the present level and also framework of UPS’s assets and also liabilities helps users predict its capacity to take benefit of methods and also to react to adverse cases. The very same information helps to confirm or correct users’ past predictions around that ability.

Materiality is a company-particular facet of relevance. Indevelopment is material if omitting it or misstating it might affect decisions that individuals make on the basis of the reported financial information. An individual agency determines whether information is material because both the nature and/or magnitude of the item(s) to which the indevelopment relates should be considered in the context of an individual company’s financial report. Information is improduct, and also therefore irpertinent, if it would certainly have no impact on a decision-maker. In brief, it should make a difference or a firm need not report it.

Assessing materiality is just one of the more complex facets of accountancy because it requires evaluating both the family member size and importance of a things. However before, it is difficult to carry out firm guidelines in judging as soon as a given item is or is not material. Materiality varies both with loved one amount and also with loved one prominence.

Fundamental Quality—Faithful Representation

Faithful representation is the second standard quality that renders bookkeeping information advantageous for decision-making. Faithful depiction and associated ingredients of this basic top quality are shown below.

Faithful representation means that the numbers and descriptions match what really existed or taken place. Faithful depiction is a need because many individuals have neither the moment nor the field of expertise to evaluate the factual content of the information. For instance, if General Motors‘ revenue statement reports sales of $180,300 million as soon as it had actually sales of $155,399 million, then the statement fails to faithcompletely recurrent the proper sales amount. To be a faithful depiction, indevelopment have to be complete, neutral, and also free of material error.


Completeness means that all the information that is crucial for faithful representation is gave. An omission have the right to cause information to be false or misleading and for this reason not be helpful to the users of financial reports.


Neutrality suggests that a firm cannot select information to favor one set of interested parties over an additional. Unbiased information need to be the overriding consideration. For example, in the notes to financial statements, tobacco companies such as R.J. Reynolds must not suppush information around the numerous lawsuits that have actually been filed because of tobacco-related wellness concerns—even though such disclocertain is damaging to the agency.Neutrality in rule-making has come under boosting attack. Some argue that the FASB should not issue pronouncements that reason unpreferable financial results on an market or agency. We disagree. Accounting rules (and also the standard-establishing process) should be free from prejudice, or we will no much longer have credible financial statements. Without credible financial statements, individuals will no much longer usage this information. An analogy demonstrates the point: Many people bet on boxing matches because such contests are assumed not to be solved. But nobody bets on wrestling matches. Why? Due to the fact that the public assumes that wrestling matches are rigged. If financial indevelopment is biased (rigged), the public will shed confidence and no much longer use it.

Free from Error.

An information item that is totally free from error will certainly be a more precise (faithful) depiction of a financial item.Enhancing Qualities

Enhancing qualitative qualities are complementary to the basic qualitative characteristics. These characteristics differentiate more-valuable indevelopment from less-helpful indevelopment. Enhancing qualities, presented listed below, are comparability, verifiability, timeliness, and understandcapacity.


Information that is measured and reported in a comparable manner for different companies is taken into consideration similar. Comparability allows users to determine the genuine similarities and also differences in financial events between carriers. For instance, historically the audit for pensions in Japan differed from that in the United States. In Japan, companies mainly videotaped little or no charge to income for these costs. UNITED STATE providers tape-recorded pension cost as incurred. As a result, it is hard to compare and also evaluate the financial results of Toyota or Honda to General Motors or Ford. Investors deserve to only make valid evaluations if similar indevelopment is obtainable.Another form of comparcapacity, consistency, is existing as soon as a agency applies the same accountancy therapy to equivalent occasions, from period to period. Through such application, the firm reflects constant usage of audit requirements. The principle of consistency does not intend, however, that companies cannot switch from one accountancy technique to another. A agency deserve to readjust techniques, yet it have to first demonstrate that the freshly adopted strategy is preferable to the old. If approved, the firm need to then discshed the nature and result of the accountancy adjust, and the justification for it, in the financial statements for the duration in which it made the readjust. When a adjust in audit values occurs, the auditor primarily describes it in an explanatory paragraph of the audit report. This paragraph identifies the nature of the change and also refers the reader to the note in the financial statements that discusses the readjust in detail.


Verifiability occurs as soon as independent measurers, utilizing the very same techniques, achieve comparable results. Verificapability occurs in the adhering to instances.

1.Two independent auditors count PepsiCo‘s inventory and also arrive at the exact same physical amount amount for inventory. Verification of an amount for an ascollection therefore can take place by simply counting the inventory (referred to as direct verification).2.Two independent auditors compute PepsiCo’s inventory worth at the finish of the year making use of the FIFO method of inventory valuation. Verification might take place by checking the inputs (amount and also costs) and also recalculating the outputs (finishing inventory value) making use of the same audit convention or methodology (described as indirect verification).Timeliness.

Timeliness implies having actually information easily accessible to decision-makers prior to it loses its capacity to influence decisions. Having relevant indevelopment obtainable sooner deserve to boost its capacity to influence decisions. A lack of timeliness, on the various other hand, can rob information of its usefulness. For example, if Dell waited to report its interim results till nine months after the period, the information would be much less valuable for decision-making purposes.


Decision-equipments differ extensively in the forms of decisions they make, just how they make decisions, the indevelopment they already possess or can obtain from other resources, and their capability to procedure the indevelopment. For information to be advantageous, there should be a link (linkage) in between these users and also the decisions they make. This attach, understandcapability, is the quality of indevelopment that lets sensibly indeveloped users view its definition. Understandability is intensified once indevelopment is classified, characterized, and also presented plainly and concisely.For instance, assume that Google issues a three-months’ report that shows interim income have actually declined significantly. This interim report gives pertinent and also faithtotally represented information for decision-making objectives. Some individuals, upon reading the report, decide to sell their shares. Other customers, yet, do not understand also the report’s content and definition. They are surprised once Google declares a smaller sized year-finish dividend and the share price declines. Hence, although Google presented highly relevant information that was a faithful representation, it was useless to those that did not understand it.

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Hence, users of financial reports are assumed to have actually a reasonable understanding of company and also financial tasks. In making decisions, customers additionally should evaluation and also analyze the information with reasonable diligence. Indevelopment that is appropriate and faithfully represented need to not be excluded from financial reports solely because it is too complicated or difficult for some users to understand also without assistance.