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Applying conceptual framework principles to superannuation fund accounting

Gallery, Gerry T. & Gallery, Natalie (2004) Applying conceptual framework principles to superannuation fund accounting. Abacus, 40(1), pp. 117-131.

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Abstract

The Australian accounting standard AAS 25 Financial Reporting by Superannuation Plans was the first pension accounting standard internationally to apply established conceptual framework (CF) principles. In Australia those principles have guided standard setting for more than a decade. However, AAS 25 has been criticized for failing to provide useful financial information. The analysis provided in this paper addresses this paradox. The findings reveal major anomalies in AAS 25 associated with the treatment of accrued benefits that distort financial position and performance measures. The conceptual flaws in the standard are attributed to the misapplication of CF principles and an absence of adequate guidance in the CF for non-corporate entities such as superannuation funds. Distorted financial information produced by superannuation plans has potential undesirable taxation and social outcomes. Consequently, there is an urgent need to update the Australian and international conceptual frameworks to provide guidance for revising accounting standards that better reflect current fiduciary and ownership relationships in non-corporate entities such as superannuation funds.

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ID Code: 4926
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Superannuation accounting, Pension accounting, AAS 25, Conceptual framework, Accounting standards
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6281.2004.00146.x
ISSN: 0001-3072
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Financial Accounting (150103)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Deposited On: 04 Sep 2006
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:21

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