Going Concern Assumption

going concern assumption definition and meaning

But, in the case of liquidation, the financial statements are on the basis of their current market value. Going Concern Concept states or assumes that a business will continue to operate indefinitely.

going concern assumption definition and meaning

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Cost Accounting

Unless it is categorically stated otherwise, all accounting records and income statements or balance sheets are prepared on the assumption that the business will continue to function for an indefinite future period. As an accounting principle, the going concern principle serves as a guideline which allows readers of a business’s financial statements to assume that the business will continue to operate long enough to carry out its current obligations, objectives and commitments. In case the auditor decides to qualify their audit report, it may raise the issue of whether assets are already impaired, which may highlight the need to write down the value of the assets from their carrying value to liquidation value.

  • For this reason, for purposes of accounting, business enterprises are presumed to carry on their operations indefinitely until such time as they are in fact liquidated.
  • The state-owned company is a going concern despite its poor financial position.
  • This is in contrast to liquidation value, which assumes the company is going out of business.
  • Statements should also show management’s interpretation of the conditions and management’s future plans.
  • If a company sells assets that do not impair its ability to operate effectively, it is still a going concern.

Preparation of financial statements under this presumption is commonly referred to as the going concern basis of accounting. If and when an entity’s liquidation becomes imminent, financial statements are prepared under the liquidation basis of accounting (Financial Accounting Standards Board, 2014). It is the responsibility of the business owner or leadership team to determine whether the business is able to continue in the foreseeable future.

A Business As A Going Concern

If a company acquires assets during a time of restructuring, it may plan to resell them later. The auditing procedures performed and evidence obtained to evaluate the significant elements of management’s plans. When we create financial statements or when we read into financial statements, we must assume that our company will go on forever.

Investors or other shareholders might ask for a business valuation to determine the true value of a business before making a final decision about how to act in light of the negative opinion. It’s given when the auditor has doubts about the company and the assumption that it is a going concern. A qualified opinion can be a concern to investors, lenders and other stakeholders.

going concern assumption definition and meaning

Also, both property sellers and buyers must have VAT registration—registered as vendors. Also, the transaction should involve all the related assets that facilitate income generation.

Dictionary Entries Near Going Concern

In this case, the company would be valued according to its liquidation value. The going concern is very important in the accounting world because it gives going concern assumption definition and meaning investors and creditors an idea of how long a business will be around. The more years that are given, the better it is for the company’s future stability.

going concern assumption definition and meaning

It functions without the threat of liquidation for the foreseeable future, which is usually regarded as at least the next 12 months or the specified accounting period . The presumption of going concern for the business implies the basic declaration of intention to keep operating its activities at least for the next year, which is a basic assumption for preparing financial statements that comprehend the conceptual framework of the IFRS.

ABC directors have already moved to file an appeal in higher court to give enough time that they can move the plant elsewhere. For now entity has enough resources to pay its liabilities and minimum managerial staff for moths to come. Situation may worsen if shut down persists for a longer period of time while cash assets deplete. The going concern valuedefinition is the value of a company under the assumption that it will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.

The valuation of an entity, assuming it’s on a going concern basis, will be higher, as it offers the potential to earn higher profits in the future than its liquidation value. Management’s evaluation of the significance of those conditions and events and any mitigating factors. Warning signs include falling market share, poor creditworthiness, employee turnover, low liquidity, lawsuits, excessive business loss, and inability to innovate. It refers to properties sold for income-generating activities—on the registration date.

The assets and liabilities are recorded at cost in order to show the security of the company and that it does not operate as a means to liquidate its assets and liabilities but is committed to continuous long-term growth and expansion. With this assumption, an accountant can defer the recognition of specific expenses until a later accounting period, when the company will probably still be operating and utilizing its assets in the most efficient way possible. The going concern assumption is a fundamental principle in the preparation of financial statements. When using the going concern method, businesses can step up to their profits or losses by transfers to equity account. If the net income is zero or negative, it may be better for a company not to report any figures at all. This will help prevent the investors from getting pessimistic forecasts about future losses.

Examples Of Going Concern Concept

But the enterprise will not be considered as a going concern if it goes into liquidation or it has become insolvent. If the assumption of the going concern is not valid, the financial statements should clearly state this fact. Because it is in close proximity to residential area, court ordered to shut down refinery completely immediately.

  • If a company is not planning to liquidate, why report the current value of its long-term assets?
  • Availability of short term running finance may help an entity to overcome unanticipated cash flow shortage in the short term.
  • A qualified opinion might lead investors to avoid a company or even sell their shares in the company.
  • Fixed AssetsFixed assets are assets that are held for the long term and are not expected to be converted into cash in a short period of time.
  • Whether the business is defaulting in payment of its loan liabilities.
  • Therefore, the term refers to a business that intends to keep operating successfully at least for the next year.

So when you’re looking at a business’s financial statements you’re not looking at the owner’s financial statements as well. The other side of the same coin is the business that has been in operation but plans to cease those operations soon. Let’s say a woman, Anita, has operated a variety store for well over 50 years, but finally decided that she wants to retire. She had hoped to sell the store to someone who would continue to operate it, but after several years of trying she gave up on finding such a buyer.

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Accountants who view a company as a going concern generally believe a firm uses its assets wisely and does not have to liquidate anything. Accountants may also employ going concern principles to determine how a company should proceed with any sales of assets, reduction of expenses, or shifts to other products. The valuation of assets of a business entity is dependent on this assumption. Traditionally, accountants follow historical cost in majority of the cases. The period assumption assumes that the life of the company can be divided into time periods, such as months and years. So, this assumption pretty much says that the the lifespan of my business can be divided up into months and years, rather than simply a single, never-ending continuum of reporting. As per GAAS, an auditor should evaluate the ability of a business to continue as a going concern for a period of not more than a year from the date of auditing the financial reports.

  • However, if the company is going out of business, it would have to sell off its assets – sewing machines, fabric, etc. – to pay creditors.
  • Declining operational profits indicating inefficient management and leaving lesser room for present and future borrowing costs to cover.
  • The going concern is very important in the accounting world because it gives investors and creditors an idea of how long a business will be around.
  • This concept prevents accounting fraud and ensures that financial statements are comparable across historical periods.
  • In 2008 earthquake devastated the industrial zone in which it operates destroying silos.

The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. The Eastern Company has closed a division but will continue working in its other divisions as usual.

In other words, we can say that this concept says that a business will not close down or sell itself in the near foreseeable future. All the businesses that continue their operations indefinitely are the ones that in accounting terminology are the going concern. All such businesses where there is no expectation that the firm would end the operations in the near future continue as a going concern. Going concern is an important part of the generally accepted accounting principles. Without it, businesses would not be able to perform accrued or prepaid expenses.The going concern principle allows a business to defer some of their prepaid expenses to future accounting periods, rather than recognising them all at once. Going concern is one of the very fundamental principles of accounting.

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The Board must put this information into the footnotes included in the financial statements and state any factors that may threaten that status. To sum it all up, the going concern concept implies that the business will continue for the foreseeable future and thus give a more realistic image of the business from a long-term view. On the off chance that there is an issue, the audit firm should qualify its audit report with a statement about the issue. Companies undertake the substantial purchase of fixed assets in the initial years which involve immediate expenditure, however, the benefit of the asset is spread out throughout its life, which is usually more than a year. The concept recognizes recording of such costs over the life of the assets.

If substantial doubt remains, the auditor also should document the possible effects of the conditions or events on the financial statements and the adequacy of the related disclosures. If substantial doubt is alleviated, the auditor also should document the conclusion as to the need for disclosure of the principal conditions and events that initially caused him or her to believe there was substantial https://accountingcoaching.online/ doubt. Despite this, some fund managers may be required to sell the stock to maintain an appropriate level of risk in their portfolios. A negative judgment may also result in the breach of bank loan covenants or lead a debt rating firm to lower the rating on the company’s debt, making the cost of existing debt increase and/or preventing the company from obtaining additional debt financing.

Hence, a declaration of going concern means that the business has neither the intention nor the need to liquidate or to materially curtail the scale of its operations. Certain red flags may appear on financial statements of publicly traded companies that may indicate a business will not be a going concern in the future. Listing of long-term assets normally does not appear in a company’s quarterly statements or as a line item on balance sheets. Listing the value of long-term assets may indicate a company plans to sell these assets. The going concern idea is not plainly characterized anywhere in generally accepted accounting principles, and so has a wide amount of interpretations in regards to when a company should report it.

They can help business review their internal risk management along with other internal controls. The auditor’s conclusion as to whether he or she should include an explanatory paragraph in the audit report. If disclosures with respect to an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern are inadequate, the auditor also should document the conclusion as to whether to express a qualified or adverse opinion for the resultant departure from generally accepted accounting principles.


A going-concern opinion may lower stockholders’ and creditors’ confidence in the company and rating agencies may downgrade the debt which leads to an inability to obtain new capital and an increase in the cost of existing capital. The Going Concern Concept is the assumption that an organization will continue to operate indefinitely and without needing to liquidate its assets and pay off creditors. If a business was not expected to continue operations within the next 12 months, it would likely be forced to close down or declare bankruptcy. The going concern concept states that a business will continue its operations for the foreseeable future. This implies that the company will not be forced to discontinue its operations and liquidate its assets at extremely low costs.

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