April 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm
I am a bit confused of what is the difference between corresponding figures and comparative financial statements. Can you please explain?
thnksApril 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm
Personally, I would struggle to explain the difference! Have you tried the study text explanation?April 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm
I tried the study test explanation, but still confused!
As per example hereunder of an extract of SOFP, would you please indicate if these are corresponding figures or comparative financial statements?
Assets 2010 2009
Intangible assets £8m £6m
Tangible assets £10m £8m
Prepayments £1m £0.5mApril 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm
Hi – I would say that the example you have given is for comparative information.
I believe the diference is that comparatives are the equivalent amounts from previous years relating to the same items in this year’s financial statements.
Corresponding amounts are amounts which are related but are not precisely comparable.
However, I’m going to think a bit more about this and I’ll post again if I decide I’m incorrect!May 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm
Thanks for replying but what do you mean by not precisely comparable?May 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm
I have also had this debate many a times with my mentors and have reached the following conclusion:
- Comparative information is information present in the financial statements of one or more prior periods,
Now the point is, comparative information is present both in corresponding and comparative financial statements, but an auditor does not provide an audit opinion on corresponding figures but does so in a comparative financial statements to each period referred in the financial statements.
So the real difference is in the audit report which specifically mentions audit opinion on prior period in a comparative financial statements.
Please read the illustrations of the ISA 710 which would help you understand this.
Would appreciate if someone could correct me if I am wrong.May 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm
That sounds ok, but I’m struggling to imagine Lisa asking this again. Surely it’s more a matter of semantics. The difference cannot be crucial in a practical auditing sense – do you really think a client / prospective client is going to turn round to you, having been given advice on two years’ worth of fin stats, and say “But Ms Auditor, what you have explained is surely comparative figures whereas in fact I asked for an explanation of corresponding amounts”May 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm
That sounds ok, but I’m struggling to imagine Lisa asking this again. Surely it’s more a matter of semantics. The difference cannot be crucial in a practical auditing sense – do you really think a client / prospective client is going to turn round to you, having been given advice on two years’ worth of fin stats, and say “But Ms Auditor, what you have explained is surely comparative figures whereas in fact I asked for an explanation of corresponding amounts”
Sorry Mike can you be a little more clearMay 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm
As far as I can tell, both corresponding and comparative figures are there to allow users of the financial statements to compare current year’s financial performance with that of prior year(s)’. The difference is:
a) in the way such a comparison is presented, and
b) respective role of an auditor.
Corresponding figures are “comparative” figures presented on the face of the financial statement. For example, if you have statement of comprehensive income and a statement of financial position for the year ended 2011, but also have figures for, say, 2010 right next to the figures of 2011 (two columnar statement), you are looking at corresponding figures. Corresponding figures are hence not complete financial statements on their own, and must only be seen and evaluated in correspondance with current year’s figures. If you get confused between the two, the best way to remember this is with the very spelling of “corresponding” figures; the word “corresponding” has two “Rs”, one right next to the other, so the financial information of two years would be presented side by side too, on the face of the statement. Hence the example in your second post @marionb is an example of corresponding figures.
When the entity is issuing corresponding figures, the auditor’s role is to only cast an opinion on current year’s figures, which in our case is 2011. Their audit report will not refer to the prior year statements.
Comparative figure financial statements are slightly different. In these statements, your SOFP and SOCI will present current year figures. However, along with a complete set of current year FS, the entity will also issue prior year(s) FS attached within the same binding/book. These prior period(s) financial statements are in a complete form able of standing and being interpreted on their own and unlike corresponding figures (which are merely figures and not entire statements), do not form an integral part of the current year’s financial statements. For this reason, the auditor in his report will make references to these statements as well. The auditor may cast more than one opinion, for example, the auditor may qualify or include an emphasis of matter paragraph in relation to one statement, but may pass an unmodified report on the other statement.
There are other related issues as well, for example auditor’s response if prior period’s reports were qualified, or unaudited, or were unqualified by mistake. The key point here to understand is the differences in the auditor’s report. Both corresponding and comparative figures are there for the purpose of making a comparison, however, it is the auditor’s report that makes the major difference.
I hope the above helped you better understand the fundamental differences between the two types of statements. Happy studying, and best luck with the exams.
NB If anyone has any doubts about this, please do speak up. Above is what i could gather from my text books, but that does not guarantee the validity of my claims.May 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm
very well said.May 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm
good post – it’s an area which I have never even considered important and so have never learned the difference. I’m grateful to you for educating me!May 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm
Quote:good post – it’s an area which I have never even considered important and so have never learned the difference. I’m grateful to you for educating me!
Indeed its not that important!
Seriously, when you scan the p7 syllabus, pointing out petty differences b/w comparatives and corresponding figures is perhaps the last thing Lisa Weaver would consider asking, but its always good to know anyway. Might come in handy someday
Glad I could be of some help.May 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm
thnks buraaq you were very helpful!May 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm
CheersOctober 31, 2011 at 7:46 am
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thnks buraaq it really helped me in understanding the differenceNovember 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm
Good to see you guys helping each other
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