What is the materiality concept in accounting

Materiality concept in Accounting-By this post, we shall study in detail the important materiality concept out of 12 various accounting concepts on which accounting is based. If you have a business then you should know about these important materiality concepts which tell that all the items having a significant economic effect on the business of the enterprise should be disclosed in the financial statements.

What is the materiality concept?

The materiality concept is the concept according to which all the items having a remarkable economic effect on the business of the enterprise should be reported in the financial statements. And any unremarkable item which will only rise the work of the accountant but will not be reportable to the users’ should not be shown in the financial statements.

Materiality concept in Hindi

भौतिकता अवधारणा वह अवधारणा है जिसके अनुसार उद्यम के व्यवसाय पर उल्लेखनीय आर्थिक प्रभाव वाली सभी वस्तुओं को वित्तीय विवरणों में सूचित किया जाना चाहिए। और कोई भी अचूक वस्तु जो केवल एकाउंटेंट के काम को बढ़ाएगी लेकिन उपयोगकर्ताओं को रिपोर्ट करने योग्य नहीं होगी ‘वित्तीय विवरणों में नहीं दिखाया जाना चाहिए।

How can you explain the materiality concept?

The materiality principle permits other concepts to be ignored if the effect is not considered material. This principle is an exception to the full disclosure principle.

According to the materiality concept, all the items having a significant economic effect on the business of the enterprise should be disclosed in the financial statements and any insignificant item which will only increase the work of the accountant but will not be relevant to the users’ need should not be disclosed in the financial statements.

The term materiality is a subjective term. It is on the judgment, common sense, and discretion of the accountant that which item is material and which is not. For example, stationary purchased by the organization though not used fully in the accounting year purchased still shown as an expense of that year because of the materiality concept.

Similarly, depreciation on small items like books, calculators, etc. is taken as 100% in the year of purchase though used by the entity for more than a year.

This is because the amounts of books or calculators are very small to be shown in the balance sheet though it is an asset of the company. The materiality depends not only upon the amount of the item but also upon the size of the business, nature, level of information, level of the person making the decision, etc.

Moreover, an item material to one person may be immaterial to another person. What is important is that omission of any information should not impair the decision-making of various users.

Example of materiality concept?

Here are some examples of materiality concepts in accounting

Example 1– stationary purchased by the organization though not used fully in the accounting year purchased still shown as an expense of that year because of the materiality concept. Similarly, depreciation on small items like books, calculators, etc. is taken as 100% in the year of purchase though used by the entity for more than a year.

Example 2-A controller could wait to receive all supplier invoices before closing the books, but instead elects to accrue an estimate of invoices yet to be received in order to close the books more quickly; the accrual is likely to be somewhat inaccurate, but the variance from the actual amount will not be material.

What is the importance of the materiality concept?

The materiality concept is important because it is a subjective concept that guides an enterprise to identify and report only those transactions which are significant or large compared to the operations of the enterprise such that it would concern the users of the financial statements of the company. The materiality concept says that an enterprise is bound to disclose all the items having a significant effect on the business and not to disclose irrelevant effects.

How do the materiality concepts work?

The materiality concept works as a filter through which management enters information. Its purpose is to make sure that the financial information that could influence investors’ decisions is included in the financial statements. And not to be included the information which is irrelevant for the financial statement of an enterprise. The concept of materiality is extensive. It applies not only to the presentation and disclosure of information but also to decisions about recognition and measurement.

Faqs related to materiality concepts

  1. What Does Materiality Concept Mean?

    Materiality concept means all transactions and events need to be disclosed which are important and material to the company and transactions or events that are deemed to be not material can be ignored because they won’t affect how investors and creditors view the financial statements to make their decisions. Non-material transactions are usually small or have very little impact on the overall company bottom line.

  2. What are the advantages of the material concept?

    These are some advantages of the material concept-
    1. The materiality concept provides the context for establishing auditors’ judgment. The auditors are required to publish the report stating the true and fair picture of the financial statement of the business. So with the help of material information, it will be easier for an auditor to frame an unbiased opinion.
    2. It reduces the need of recording every business transaction since only the material ones require full disclosures.
    3. The concept of materiality helps the users to know about important business transactions.

  3. What are the disadvantages of the material concept?

    These are the disadvantages of the material concept
    1. Sometimes there is a need to hire a professional for deciding whether the transaction is material and immaterial and that can be expensive for the small business.
    2. The disclosures of material transactions are sometimes cumbersome and time-consuming.
    3. There can be errors in judgment. Since the item can be material for a person and can be immaterial for another so forming judgments can be difficult.

  4. How do you measure materiality?

    The materiality threshold is defined as a percentage of that base. The most commonly used base in auditing is net income (earnings/profits). Most commonly percentages are in the range of 5 – 10 percent (for example an amount <5% = immaterial, > 10% material and 5-10% requires judgment).

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