The True and Fair View Concept: Evidence from Australia

Alan Kilgore, Sharron Leahy, Graeme Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Considerable conceptual and technical ambiguity still surrounds the use of the true and fair view concept. Despite these ambiguities, this concept has been adopted into the corporate legislation of numerous countries. Investigations into the use of the true and fair view in Europe have revealed variations in interpretation and practice suggesting that countries are tending to interpret the concept in the context of national culture and national accounting tradition. An important feature of the way in which this concept has evolved in Australia, for example, is that whilst the pre-eminence of a true and fair view has been retained, in practical terms its status has changed substantially due to numerous, significant amendments made to the legislative requirements. As such, there is a clear need to discover how the true and fair concept is interpreted and employed in practice. This study investigates the actions undertaken by finance directors of Australian firms to ensure that their financial statements can be seen to give a true and fair view i.e., how, in practice, directors apply the concept. The results of this study indicate that Australian finance directors: are unlikely to take specific additional actions to comply with the requirement that their financial statements give a true and fair view. Rather, they are likely to rely on their auditors to ensure compliance with statutory and professional requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-111
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Review of Accounting
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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