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• Case 3-5 International versus U.S. Standards

Under U.S. GAAP, property, plant, and equipment are reported
at historical cost net of accumulated depreciation. These assets are written
down to fair value when it is determined that they have been impaired. A number
of other countries, including Australia, Brazil, England, Mexico, and Singapore,
permit the revaluation of property, plant, and equipment to their current cost
as of the balance sheet date. The primary argument favoring revaluation is that
the historical cost of assets purchased ten, twenty, or more years ago is not
meaningful. A primary argument against revaluation is the lack of objectivity in
arriving at current cost estimates, particularly for old assets that either will
or cannot be replaced with similar assets or for which no comparable or similar
assets are currently available for purchase.

Required:

a. Discuss the qualitative concept of comparability. In your
opinion, would the financial statements of companies operating in one of the
foreign countries listed above be comparable to a U.S. company’s financial
statements?

Explain.

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