Fair Value And Historical Cost Controversy

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Fair Value versus Historical Cost Controversy Over the past several years, there has been a growing controversy over the accounting issues of fair values and historical cost. The basis of this controversy revolves around which one of these principles is the most accurate. There are many different viewpoints on this issue. Many accounting professionals believe that fair value is just as accurate as the historical cost principle, while others believe that the historical cost is more reliable. The facts about each of these valuation methods will be researched and explained throughout this research document, as well as the different viewpoint about which method is the most accurate and reliable.
The Fair Value Principle The fair value of an asset is defined as ‘the price that would be received to sell an asset paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date” (Kieso, Weygandt, & Warfield, 2012). It is a market based measure (Averkamp, 2014). Over the past few years, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles has called for the use of fair value measurement in a company’s financial statements. This is what is referred to as the fair value principle (Kieso, Weygandt, & Warfield, 2012). The fair value of an asset or liability is based on an estimate of what the asset should be worth at the time of sale. This gives rise to some conflict among accounting professionals. It is believed that fair value may not be as accurate
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