Advanced Financial Statements Analysis by Xiuli Wang

By Xiuli Wang

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Judging performance retrospectively). People drawing up financial statements will sometimes have to make accounting choices that will engender trade-offs between both of these qualities. There are a number of issues we can draw from the analysis of financial information contained in the conceptual framework. The financial statements should depict economic phenomena, but they should do so irrespective of the legal form. Another way to put this is that substance takes precedence over form in reporting under IFRS.

The hospital is in effect treated as a current year expense and does not appear on any kind of government ‘balance sheet’ as an asset. In the 1990s the desire for performance evaluation measures in the public sector caused a number of countries, led by New Zealand, to move towards private sector techniques where long-lived purchases remain on the books, and where ‘revenues’ are determined or, to put it another way, outputs are assigned financial values, so that the efficiency of the use of resources can be measured.

These are comparability, verifiability, timeliness and understandability. There is a conundrum in accounting which is that the most reliable information (meaning information that is not subject to uncertainty) is necessarily old information, since all the facts can be established incontrovertibly only after the elapse of some time. Of this, the most relevant information is that which concerns the immediate past because we use it to understand what we need to improve or change in managing the future.

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