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Intermediate Accounting: Reporting...

3rd Edition
James M. Wahlen + 2 others
ISBN: 9781337788281

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Intermediate Accounting: Reporting...

3rd Edition
James M. Wahlen + 2 others
ISBN: 9781337788281
Textbook Problem
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There are three types of accounting changes: changes in accounting principles, changes in accounting estimates, and changes in reporting entities.

Required:

Explain the differences and similarities between each of these types of changes, and explain the correct accounting for each. Include a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the required accounting method.

To determine

Discuss the similarities and differences among the three types of accounting changes.

Explanation

Accounting changes: When a company requires to sacrifice the consistent accounting methods and procedures, to enhance the usefulness and relevance of the accounting information, those changes are referred to as accounting changes. Such inevitable accounting changes decrease the comparability and consistency of accounting information. The reasons for accounting changes could be new methods introduced by FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board), changes in accounting principles, and changes in accounting estimates.

The following are the three types of accounting changes:

  • Change in an accounting principle: This change occurs when a company decides to change from an accounting principle to another, like change from LIFO to FIFO. A change in accounting principle effects the values that impact the figures of previous and current years, thus, impairs the consistency and comparability. Hence, the changes in accounting principle should be adjusted with a retrospective effect to impact the previous financial statements, to increase the comparability and the consistency of the values between the previous and current accounting periods.
  • Change in an accounting estimate: This change occurs when a company decides to change the estimates based on the additional information or future events. A change in accounting estimate results out of new experiences and effects the values of current and future period only, but not the previous periods. Hence, the changes in accounting estimates should be accounted for prospectively...
To determine

Explain the correct method to report the three types of changes.

To determine

Explain the advantages and disadvantages of the methods used to report the accounting changes.

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