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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.74 n.3 Pretoria  2009


Reflections on the value concept in accounting


Beskouings oor die waardekonsep in rekeningkunde



P. Buys

School of Accounting Sciences, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom. E-mail:




The recent meltdown in global finances and the reasons for it may make people doubtful about the stewardship function of accounting. In the global financial markets, there is a great fascination with the reality that accounting values intend to reflect. However, what many people considered valuable is now suddenly of no value. The question can therefore be asked what is meant by the value concept as a foundation to modern-day accountancy.
"Value" is a concept that is open to different interpretations, based on the needs, perspectives and personal values of the interpreter. This article aims to reflect on the value concept from an accounting perspective in analysing the fundamental qualitative perspectives and how these perspectives might affect the quantitative value measurements, as reported in the financial statements. From a quantitative perspective, accounttancy aims to measure and report the monetary values of items. However, there is a move towards a mixed valuation model with many financial statements, including both historical cost and value-based accounting information.
The article concludes that this questionable development opens up many additional and subjective interpretations of accounting value measurement and reporting. Both valuation measurement methods have merit when considered in the overall purpose of accounting information. However, subjective value-based measurements may cast a shadow of doubt on the reliability and comparability requirements of accounting value information.

Key concepts: accountancy; accounting ethics; fair value accounting; stewardship; valuation; value measurement


Die onlangse ineenstorting van wêreldfinansies en die redes daarvoor mag veroorsaak dat baie mense die rentmeester-skapsfunksie van rekeningkunde bevraagteken. In die globale finansiële markte is daar 'n groot bekoring ten opsigte van die realiteit wat rekeningkundige waardes poog om te reflekteer. Wat baie mense egter voorheen as waardevol beskou het, het nou skielik geen waarde meer nie. Die vraag kan tereg gevra word wat met die konsep van waarde as 'n grondslag tot moderne rekeningkunde bedoel word.
"Waarde" is 'n konsep wat vir verskillende interpretasies oop is, gebaseer op die behoeftes, perspektiewe en persoonlike waardes van die individu. Hierdie artikel poog om op die waardekonsep vanuit 'n rekenmeesterskapsperspektief te reflekteer deur die kwalitatiewe aspekte te analiseer en die impak hiervan op die kwantitatiewe aspekte van waardebepaling en die verslagdoening daarvan, te evalueer. Vanuit 'n kwantitatiewe perspektief poog rekeningkunde om die monetêre waardes van items te meet en te rapporteer. Daar is egter 'n beweging na 'n gemengde waardasiemodel met baie finansiële state wat sowel historiese koste as waarde-gebaseerde rekeningkundige inligting bevat.
Die artikel bevind dat hierdie twyfelagtige ontwikkeling die deur oopmaak vir heelwat addisionele en subjektiewe interpretasies van rekeningkundige waardebepaling en verslagdoening. Albei waardasiemetodes het meriete, gesien in die lig van die oor-koepelende doel van rekeningkundige inligting. Nogtans mag subjektiewe billike-waarde-gebaseerde inligting 'n skadu van onsekerheid werp op die betroubaarheids- en vergelykbaar-heidsdoelstellings van rekeningkundige waarde-inligting.

Kernbegrippe: billike-waarde rekeningkunde; rekeningkundige etiek; rekenmeesterskap; rentmeesterskap; waardasie; waarde-bepaling



Full text available only in PDF format.



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