ABSTRACT

Although some form of inflation accounting has been practised in a number of countries in various parts of the world, no European country had, until 1980, tried to move from historical cost to systematic adjustment for changes in prices. This remains the only recent attempt to introduce a mandatory change in the basis of measurement in Europe, other than the introduction of fair value for financial instruments in IAS 39.2 Although, as Cairns discusses in Chapter 2, many people believe that the IASB is intent on moving to a full fair value paradigm, this is not formally the case. However, some light may be shed on the resistance of constituents to any modification of the measurement basis by the experience of the UK Accounting Standards Committee, whose demise has been linked by some to the failed attempt to change the paradigm. This chapter will briefly analyse the evolution of the current cost accounting initiative in the UK, and draw comparisons with fair value and the IASC (see also Chapter 11 for comments on the Australian experience).