Going Concern Assumption Accounting Definition + Examples

If a company is not a going concern, the company may be revalued at the request of investors, shareholders, or the board. This revaluation may be used to price the company for acquisition or to seek out a private investor. There are often certain accounting measures that must be taken to write down the value of the company on the business’s financial reports. IMEXA has been in this business for a decade and plans to continue the same for a foreseeable future. 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. If a company’s liquidation value – how much its assets can be sold for and converted into cash – exceeds its going concern value, it’s in the best interests of its stakeholders for the company to proceed with the liquidation.

This credit crunch may trickle down to suppliers who may be unwilling to sell raw materials or inventory goods on credit. In order for a company to be a going concern, it usually needs to be able to operate with a significant debt restructuring or massive financing overhaul. Therefore, it may be noted that companies that are not a going concern may need external financing, restructuring, asset liquidation, or be acquired by a more profitable entity.

  • Disclosures are required if events and circumstances raise substantial doubt about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.
  • The liquidation value of a company will even be lower than the value of the company’s tangible assets, because the company may have to sell off its tangible assets at a discount—often, a deep discount—in order to liquidate them before ceasing operations.
  • The term ‘foreseeable future’ is not defined within ISA 570, but IAS 1®, Presentation of Financial Statements deems the foreseeable future to be a period of at least 12 months from the end of the reporting period.
  • It functions without the threat of liquidation for the foreseeable future, which is usually regarded as at least the next 12 months or the specified accounting period (the longer of the two).
  • The effects of COVID-19 are negatively affecting many companies’ financial performance and liquidity in some way.
  • If the company is unable to generate sufficient revenue or secure additional financing, it may be unable to meet its obligations and may be forced to cease operations.

If there is an issue, the audit firm must qualify its audit report with a statement about the problem. For this, the product price of the company has to be reasonable to beat its peers and retain customers. There are a few potential disadvantages of relying on the going concern concept when accounting for a business. Follow Khatabook for the latest updates, news blogs, and articles related to micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs), business tips, income tax, GST, salary, and accounting. There are advantages of following the concept or principle in the accounting policies.

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A business is unable to perform prepaid or accrued expenses without this going concern concept. This concept also allows a business to defer some prepaid expenses to future accounting years rather than considering them all at once. A going concern is often good as it means a company is more likely than not to survive for the next year. When a company does not meet the going concern criteria, it means that a company may not have the resources needed to operate over the next 12 months.

Accountants who view a company as a going concern generally believe a firm uses its assets wisely and does not have to liquidate anything. Accountants may also employ going concern principles to determine how a company should proceed with any sales of assets, reduction of expenses, or shifts to other products. In the event of business being liquidated, the financial statements will be calculated on the on going concern basis, which can be misleading for the stakeholders. An entity has borrowings of $10m which became immediately repayable in full on 31 March 20X2.

It follows that when this is not the case, a detailed analysis will be necessary, which likely includes robust cash flow forecasts and a review of existing and forthcoming financial obligations. The auditor is required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose in the financial statements of a publicly traded company whether going concern status is in doubt. This can protect investors from continuing to risk their money on a business that may not be viable for much longer. Going concern is an accounting term used to identify whether a company is likely to survive the next year. 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.

  • Listing of long-term assets normally does not appear in a company’s quarterly statements or as a line item on balance sheets.
  • A firm’s inability to meet its obligations without substantial restructuring or selling of assets may also indicate it is not a going concern.
  • 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.
  • Their mitigating effect is considered under Step 2 to determine if they alleviate the substantial doubt raised in Step 1, but only if certain conditions are met.

Further, other actions such as deferring capital expenditures or adjusting the workforce may be needed to generate enough cash flow to meet the company’s financial obligations. Under Step 1, management determines whether events and conditions raise substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The “going concern” principle is a fundamental concept in accounting that assumes that a business will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.

Going concern value is a value that assumes the company will remain in business indefinitely and continue to be profitable. This differs from the value that would be realized if its assets were liquidated—the liquidation value—because an ongoing operation has the ability to continue to earn a profit, which contributes to its value. A company should always be considered a going concern unless there is a good reason to believe that it will be going out of business. The going concern principle is the assumption that an entity will remain in business for the foreseeable future. Conversely, this means the entity will not be forced to halt operations and liquidate its assets in the near term at what may be very low fire-sale prices. By making this assumption, the accountant is justified in deferring the recognition of certain expenses until a later period, when the entity will presumably still be in business and using its assets in the most effective manner possible.

Going Concern Assumption

Going concern concept is one of the accounting principles that states that a business entity will continue running its operations in the foreseeable future and will not be liquidated or forced to discontinue operations for any reason. An entity prepares financial statements on a going concern basis when, under the going concern assumption, the entity is viewed as continuing in business for the foreseeable future. The term ‘foreseeable future’ is not defined within ISA 570, but IAS 1®, Presentation of Financial Statements deems the foreseeable future to be a period of at least 12 months from the end of the reporting period. In accrual accounting, the financial statements are prepared under the going concern assumption, i.e. the company will remain operating into the foreseeable future, which is formally defined as the next twelve months at a bare minimum. This includes information that becomes available on or before the financial statements are authorized for issuance – i.e. events or conditions requiring disclosure may arise after the reporting period.

Businesses anticipate that their operations will last indefinitely and that their assets will be utilised until they have fully depreciated. The accrual and prepayment of expenses is another illustration of the going concern assumption. Companies believe they will continue to operate in the future; therefore, they prepay and accrue expenses. Financial statements are prepared at cost and not on the basis of current market value.

The following table summarizes the five key areas of the going concern assessment that we believe are most important for management. Management’s assessment of going concern is in the spotlight because of COVID-19 and uncertainties involved. Helping clients meet their business challenges begins with an in-depth understanding of the industries in which they work. In fact, KPMG LLP was the first of the Big Four firms to organize itself along the same industry lines as clients.


Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. 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. But there are also some disadvantages, such as the potential for management fraud if shareholders believe a company is no longer viable. Ultimately, whether or not going concern matters to you depends on your role about the company. It has no pre-determined life limit; it may continue to be operational as long as it’s successful. There are also a number of quantifiable, measurable indicators that auditors use to measure going concern.

This term also refers to a company’s ability to make enough money to stay afloat or to avoid bankruptcy. If a business is not a going concern, it means it’s gone bankrupt and its assets were liquidated. As an example, many dot-coms are no longer going concern companies after the tech bust in the late 1990s. The going concern concept is the belief that a company will continue to operate for some time to come. On the other hand, this implies that the corporation won’t have to immediately stop operations and sell off its assets at what might be extremely low fire sale rates.

If a company receives a negative audit and may not be a going concern, there are several implications. Companies that are not a going concern represent a significantly higher level of risk compared to other companies. Going concern is an example of conservatism where entities must take a less aggressive approach to financial reporting. Want to learn more about creating business model canvases, setting up tests and running profitable businesses?

Introduction to Going Concern Concept

Accordingly, till the previous year IMEXA had prepared its accounts based on the ongoing concern concept, however, this year it shall discard the going concern concept and prepare its accounts on realizable values as it does not foresee doing the business going forward. The going concern approach utilizes the standard intrinsic and relative valuation approaches, with the shared assumption that the company (or companies) will be operating perpetually. The going concern assumption – i.e. the company will remain in existence indefinitely – comes with broad implications on corporate valuation, as one might reasonably expect. In the absence of the going concern assumption, companies would be required to recognize asset values under the implicit assumption of impending liquidation. Although US GAAP is more prescriptive than IFRS Standards, we would also expect under IFRS Standards that management plans are achievable and realistic, timely and sufficient to address the going concern uncertainties. Although US GAAP is more prescriptive than IFRS Standards, we do not expect significant differences in the types of events or conditions management would consider when assessing going concern under both GAAPs.

A company may not be a going concern for a number of reasons, and management must disclose the reason why. Certain red flags may appear on financial statements of publicly traded companies that may indicate a business will not be a going concern in the future. Listing of long-term assets normally does not appear in a company’s quarterly statements or as a line item on balance sheets. Listing the value of long-term assets may indicate a company plans to sell these assets. Going concern is an accounting term for a company that has the resources needed to continue operating indefinitely until it provides evidence to the contrary.

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. Impacts from a fall and winter COVID-19 surge may bring further uncertainty to many companies. Management should continually evaluate the effects of COVID-19 on the company’s going concern assessment, including https://1investing.in/ information obtained after the reporting date and up to the date the financial statements are authorized for issuance. IFRS Standards do not prescribe how management performs the going concern assessment. IAS 1 only states that when a company has a history of profitable operations and ready access to financial resources, management may reach a conclusion on the appropriateness of the going concern assessment without detailed analysis.

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