Authors: Dr. Marius Hasslinger, Dr. Michael Olbrich and Dr. David Rapp
The rejection of the going concern premise as the underlying assumption of financial statements has far-reaching consequences for accounting. For that reason, it is vitally important to identify the appropriate point in time at which the entity can no longer be regarded as a going concern. Focussing on entities that voluntarily decided to liquidate their operations, the analysis shows that both the IFRS taxonomy and the accounting literature are rather vague on the question of the point in time at which the going concern premise is no longer appropriate. Therefore, we identify the reporting stages that are necessary in the liquidation phase. Contrary to expectations, the paper argues that the going concern assumption should not be immediately abandoned, as retaining it can provide users of financial statements with decision-useful information. In fact, the paper recommends a value chain based approach. Accordingly, the going concern assumption should not be rejected before the entity has terminated its activities at all stages of its value chain.
Keywords: going concern; liquidation; IFRS; winding-up