For example, if the company expects to lose a major customer in 15 months from the reporting date, it may be necessary to extend the look-forward period up to at least March 31, 20X2. Through this principle, the accountant is able to postpone some payments or expenses to a later time period, as the company will be operating in the future. Nearly every entrepreneur starts their business with the belief that it will be operating for the foreseeable future. Firms that fall under this principle may postpone reporting long-term assets at current value or liquidating value rather than reporting it as cost value.

Going Concern Value vs. Liquidation Value: What is the Difference?

Companies that are not a going concern may not have enough money to survive, and this fact must be publicly disclosed when an auditor audits their financial statements. A company may not be a going concern for a number of reasons, and management must disclose the reason why. In accounting, going concerned is the concept that the entity’s Financial Statements are prepared based on the assumption that the entity operation is still operating normally in the next foreseeable period. This foreseeable period normally has twelve months from the ending period of Financial Statements. Most troubling is that auditors might fail to issue a negative going concern opinion because of the lack of auditor independence. Management determines the auditor’s tenure and remuneration and can hire and fire the auditor at will.

Financial Controller: Overview, Qualification, Role, and Responsibilities

Assessing the going concern problems in the company is the main Role and Responsibility of the management of the company. The following are the key procedures that management should do to assess the going concern problems. That means the management of the entity is the one who has the main roles and responsibilities to assess whether the entity is operating without facing the going concern problems. Candidates should generate the audit procedures specifically from information contained in the scenario to demonstrate application skills Jasmine Co in the September/December 2018 Sample exam demonstrates this approach.

BDO Comment Letter – Concepts Statement No. 8, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, Chapter 6: Measurement

For example, a company’s annual expenses may so vastly outweigh its revenue that it can’t reasonably make a profit. On the other hand, a company may be operating at a profit buts its long-term liabilities are coming due and not enough money is being made. Going concern is an example of conservatism where entities must take a less aggressive approach to financial reporting. Please be aware that there are no standards to say about what are the things that management needs to assess.

  1. However, liquidating a company means laying off all of its employees, and if the company is viable, this can have negative ramifications not only for the laid-off workers but also for the investor who made the decision to liquidate a healthy company.
  2. Negative trends include such things as lower operating income, loan denials, loan defaults, repossession of assets, and more.
  3. Even if the company’s future is questionable and its status as a going concern appears to be in question – e.g. there are potential catalysts that could raise significant concerns – the company’s financials should still be prepared on a going concern basis.
  4. It’s given when an auditor has no concerns about the financial statements of a business or its ability to operate in the future.
  5. Management’s plans are ignored under Step 1, but considered under Step 2, to determine if they alleviate the substantial doubt raised in Step 1.


In the context of corporate valuation, companies can be valued on either a going concern basis or a liquidation basis. In the absence of the going concern assumption, companies would be required to recognize asset values under the implicit assumption of impending liquidation. However, liquidating a company means laying off all of its employees, and if the company is viable, this can have negative ramifications not only for the laid-off workers but also for the investor who made the decision to liquidate a healthy company. Liquidating a going concern can give an investor a bad reputation among potential future takeover targets. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

Going concern is one of the fundamental principles of accounting on which businesses stand. The principle assumes that a business will continue its operations into the foreseeable future. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of basic accounting the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. The ever-evolving complexities attributable to economic uncertainty may disrupt business as usual.

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The standard said on a yearly basis, at the time of preparing Financial Statements, if those Financial Statements are prepared based on IFRS, management is responsible for assessing the Going Concern of their company. This question is asked mainly when we talk about the roles and responsibilities of management and auditor related to going concerns of the company, and to answer this question, we should refer to the audit standard ISA 570. These include decreasing sales revenue, economic slowdown, loss of key importance management, payment of long-term debt, or interest payable. There are situations that may arise when the auditor may request management to make an assessment, or extend their original assessment of going concern. If management refuse to make, or extend, an assessment of going concern the auditor will consider the implications for the report.

They can help business review their internal risk management along with other internal controls. Accounting standards try to determine what a company should disclose on its financial statements if there are doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern. In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board determined financial statements should reveal the conditions that support an entity’s substantial doubt that it can continue as a going concern. Statements should also show management’s interpretation of the conditions and management’s future plans. Also significant is the fact that if a business is determined to be a going concern that means that it can pay its liabilities and realize its assets. The company’s auditor is the employee who must determine whether or not the company is still a going concern and they report their findings to the Board of Directors.

An entity has borrowings of $10m which became immediately repayable in full on 31 March 20X2. The entity is already in breach of its agreed overdraft and the bank has refused to renew the borrowings. The entity has also been unsuccessful in applying to other financial institutions for re-financing. It is highly unlikely that the entity will be successful in renewing or re-financing the $10m borrowings and, in such an event, the directors will have no alternative but to cease to trade. The bank have already indicated that they are shortly going to commence legal proceedings to force the company to cease trading and sell off its assets to generate funds to pay off some of the borrowings. In both cases a paragraph explaining the basis for the qualified or adverse opinion will be included after the opinion paragraph and the opinion paragraph will be qualified ‘except for’ or express an adverse opinion.

Companies that are a going concern may defer reporting long-term assets at current value or liquidating value, but rather at cost. A company remains a going concern when the sale of assets does not impair its ability to continue operation, such as the closure of a small branch office that reassigns the employees to other departments within the company. IAS 1 required management to assess whether their company is able to run for the foreseeable period or not. The effects of COVID-19 are negatively affecting many companies’ financial performance and liquidity in some way. Management will need to monitor the expected impacts on operations, forecasted cash flows, and debt covenants, with the primary focus being on whether the company will have sufficient liquidity to meet its financial obligations as they fall due. Unlike IFRS Standards, the going concern assessment is performed for a finite period of 12 months from the date the financial statements are issued (or available to be issued for nonpublic entities).

US GAAP includes a two-step process that first determines whether substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern is raised. If substantial doubt is raised, management then assesses whether that substantial doubt is alleviated by management’s plans. Unlike IFRS Standards, if substantial doubt is raised in Step 1 about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern, the extent of disclosure depends on the outcome of Step 2 and whether that doubt is alleviated by management’s plans. Because the US GAAP guidance is more developed in this area, it may provide certain useful reference points for IFRS Standards preparers – e.g. to identify adverse conditions and events or to assess the mitigating effects of management’s plans. However, dual reporters should be mindful of the differing frameworks, terminologies and potentially different outcomes in their going concern conclusions. Our IFRS Standards resources will help you to better understand the potential accounting and disclosure implications of COVID-19 for your company, and the actions management can take now.

It could tell us whether the company has any cash problems in the next twelve months or not. If the cash flow forecasting indicates that the company does has any cash flow problems. We put environmental analysis in the first point because sometimes most of the management consider mainly the financial problems when performing going concern analysis. However, financial figures are the results of how the company is affected by non-financial figures, especially the environment. Then we should consider whether auditors put all possible procedures that should be performed or not.

By Larry

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