DOI: 10.1111/abac.12308 ISSN: 0001-3072

Accounting for Inflation: The Dog That Didn't Bark

Ray Ball
  • Accounting

A fundamental flaw in the methods that academics and practitioner bodies have proposed to account for price changes is that they assume the real and monetary sectors are independent. This is the logic of classical macroeconomics pre‐Keynes/Friedman, which long since has been discredited by theory and evidence. Both economy‐wide and idiosyncratic shocks to firms’ factor prices are unlikely to be positively correlated with their financial strengths, as assumed by the price adjustment methods that have been proposed. This helps explain the historical reluctance of governments and regulatory bodies to embrace proposed accounting standards that require firms to adjust their financial statements for either general or firm‐specific price changes. For example, firms then would tend to report stronger balance sheets at a time of weakened financial positions.

More from our Archive