However, the money measurement concept is accepted for its adaptability and understandability. General price levels tend to rise more than the production of goods and services when the economy is closer to full employment. When there is slack in the economy, Q will increase at a faster rate than P under monetary theory. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional.

  1. Doing so will require that new financial statements be produced that reflect the corrected assumptions.
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  3. The values of accounts or purchases are not adjusted for inflation, and balances may be changed by adding new purchases to past purchases, as if the value of money had never changed.

The financial statements are meant to convey the financial position of the company and not to persuade end users to take certain actions. Money Measurement Concept in accounting, also known as Measurability Concept, means that only transactions and events that are capable of being measured in monetary terms are recognized in the financial statements. The monetary unit principle states that you only record business transactions that can be expressed in terms of a currency. Thus, a company cannot record such non-quantifiable items as employee skill levels, the quality of customer service, or the ingenuity of the engineering staff. Or, a business cannot record the monetary value of a valuable speech given to employees about how to engage in innovative activities. In other words, the accountants believe that the company will not liquidate in the near future.

How does the monetary unit assumption affect balance sheet accounts?

It deals more with the ability to measure transactions in money without drastic fluctuations in currency values in the short-term. Currently the FASB does not require that companies recognize inflation in their financial statements. There are a variety of reasons why, but mainly because the United States has enjoyed low inflationary rates for decades. Under the monetary unit assumption, it is assumed that only those transactions with monetary value should be recorded in the books of accounts. The monetary unit assumption becomes less important as accounting standards allow more transactions to be accounted for under the fair value model.

If a business event occurred that is so insignificant that an investor or creditor wouldn’t care about it, the event need not be recorded. Monetary Unit Assumption – assumes that all financial transactions are recorded in a stable currency. Companies that record their financial activities in currencies experiencing hyper-inflation monetary unit concept will distort the true financial picture of the company. Monetary unit assumption assumes that business transactions can be expressed in terms of units of currency without adjustment for inflation. In economics, a local currency is a currency not backed by a national government and intended to trade only in a small area.

So, it is not important which currency is being used, but the important fact is the currency should be comparable to other forms of currency. The monetary unit principle states that all the transactions and business events should be recorded in currency form. To simplify it, we can say that all those items that cannot be quantified are not recorded as accounting transactions unless it involves any form of currency. Some common examples of items that cannot be quantified in accounting are employee skillset, quality of service being provided by employees, and other non-measurable items. All monetary assets are considered to be current assets, and are reported as such on a company’s balance sheet.

Thus, if recording an immaterial event would cost the company a material amount of money, it should be forgone. Currently, a team of engineers was invited to repair the plant so that operations could be resumed as early as possible. It was estimated that around $5 million would be needed to repair the damaged plant, and a new plant could also be purchased at the cost of $20 million. Historically, pseudo-currencies have also included company scrip, a form of wages that could only be exchanged in company stores owned by the employers.


Opponents of this concept argue that local currency creates a barrier that can interfere with economies of scale and comparative advantage and that in some cases they can serve as a means of tax evasion. Several countries can use the same name for their own separate currencies (for example, a dollar in Australia, Canada, and the United States). By contrast, several countries can also use the same currency (for example, the euro or the CFA franc), or one country can declare the currency of another country to be legal tender. For example, Panama and El Salvador have declared US currency to be legal tender, and from 1791 to 1857, Spanish dollars were legal tender in the United States.

List of major world payment currencies

In either case, businesses and investors must consider the possible impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar when reviewing past performance. The stable monetary unit concept assumes that the value of the dollar is stable over time. This concept essentially allows accountants to disregard the effect of inflation — a decrease, in terms of real goods, of what a dollar can purchase. Because of this assumption, past financial statements are usually not updated even if the value of money substantially changes. The concept is generally a practical necessity, even though the assumption can present some serious challenges if the currency is either deflating or inflating quickly. The only exception would be a discussion of pertinent items that management includes in the disclosures that accompany the financial statements.

Debitoor and accounting principles

Financial position refers to the resources or assets of a business and how those assets have been financed. The balance sheet provides this information as of a point in time, typically at the end of an accounting period. The monetary unit assumption may cause a loss of value, or distortion in the valuation.

Doing so will require that new financial statements be produced that reflect the corrected assumptions. In particular, income must be recorded in that form which can then be expressed in terms of money. This is an important aspect to consider for a business entity because it cannot be automatically calculated from other accounts on a balance sheet. One aspect of the monetary unit assumption is that currencies lose their purchasing power over time due to inflation, but in accounting we assume that the currency units are stable in value. This is why accounting figures are interpreted across time without adjusting them for inflation.

Thus, it is entirely possible that the key underlying advantages of a business are not disclosed, which tends to under-represent the long-term ability of a business to generate profits. The reverse is typically not the case, since management is encouraged by the accounting standards to disclose all current or potential liabilities in the notes accompanying the financial statements. In short, the money measurement concept can lead to the issuance of financial statements that may not adequately represent the future upside of a business. However, if this concept were not in place, managers could flagrantly add intangible assets to the financial statements that have little supportable basis. 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.

Another important issue is the assumption about the stability of the monetary unit’s value. In reality, inflation erodes the value of monetary units, but accounting records are based on the assumption that a monetary unit has a stable value. Another part of the monetary unit assumption is that U.S. accountants report a corporation’s assets as dollar amounts (rather than reporting details of all of the assets). If an asset cannot be expressed as a dollar amount, it cannot be entered in a general ledger account. For example, the management team of a very successful corporation may be the corporation’s most valuable asset.

Since currency convertibility is the cross-border flow of goods and capital, it will have an impact on the macro economy. This requires that the national economy be in a normal and orderly state, that is, there is no serious inflation and economic overheating. In addition, the government should use macro policies to make mature adjustments to deal with the impact of currency exchange on the economy. In many cases however the preparers of financial statements are unable to arrive at a precise amount to be recognized in the financial statements and must resort to the use of reasonable estimates in arriving at an approximate value. The idea is that countries such as the U.S. are the sole issuers of their own currencies, giving them full autonomy to increase the money supply or reduce the effect of expansionary monetary policy through taxation.

Modern token money, such as the tokens operated by local exchange trading systems (LETS), is a form of barter rather than being a true currency. In Europe, paper currency was first introduced on a regular basis in Sweden in 1661 (although Washington Irving records an earlier emergency use of it, by the Spanish in a siege during the Conquest of Granada). As Sweden was rich in copper, many copper coins were in circulation, but its relatively low value necessitated extraordinarily big coins, often weighing several kilograms. It is possible to resolve the apples and oranges problem in this way because cash, disparate physical goods, and claims against others can usually be expressed in terms of money.

Taking more money from paychecks is a deeply unpopular policy, particularly when prices are rising, meaning that many politicians are hesitant to pursue such measures. Critics also point out that higher taxation will end up triggering a further increase in unemployment, destroying the economy even more. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are important because they set the rules for reporting and bookkeeping. These rules, often called the GAAP framework, maintain consistency in financial reporting from company to company across all industries. IAS 20 Accounting for Government Grants specifically prohibits recognition of all forms of government assistance that cannot reasonably have a monetary value placed upon them.