What are some common useful life values according to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles?


Quick Answer

Transparency, simplicity and thoroughness are all useful life values promoted by the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP. Transparency is promoted in this non-standardized but globally-adopted set of accounting rules by the Full Disclosure Principle, which states that critical financial information to investors or lenders must be enclosed in or appended to routine financial statements by their accountants.

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Full Answer

Simplicity is promoted by the Monetary Unit Assumption, which encourages accountants to assume all financial transactions are done in U.S. dollars and disregard any inflation currencies, meaning that 1960s dollars and 2015 dollars are treated as having the same buying power and can thus be included in the same balance sheet.

Thoroughness is promoted by the Going Concern Principle, which encourages accountants to always conduct their work while operating under the assumption of the concerned organizations' continual existence. Should an organization be in threat of failing, the GAAP lists it as the ethical duty of the accountant(s) to disclose this information to principals, investors and lenders as per the Full Disclosure Principle.

The GAAP were created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1999 and has since been adapted by other global accounting collectives, including the International Financial Reporting Standards. The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Boards works to constantly improve, simplify and promote the adoption of the GAAP.

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