Value Added Accounting in Germany and France
Posted: 26 Dec 1999
The most basic concept to measure the income and performance of an economic entity or even a whole economy is the value added created by its economic activities. To create value is the central focus of any economic action and transaction. Therefore the concept of value added has been discussed and used in several countries - espacially in Europe - as an useful measure for different purposes in accounting and other economic areas. Literature refers to Germany and France as being two of the countries in the world where the idea of value added is somehow integrated in several areas of accounting.
The aim of this paper is to investigate this hypothesis in explaining the uses of the value added concept for different accounting purposes and its particular definitions in Germany and France. Futhermore, a comparison is given of the two countries relating to those purposes and definitions. The areas discussed are national, financial and managerial accounting and taxation. Special emphasis is layed on the potential and actual use of value added figures in financial analysis and in managerial accounting. To illustrate the different uses of the value added concept in the two countries in one specific area, financial reporting, we present the results of an empirical survey on the inclusion of value added data or even value added statements in annual reports of the 100 largest companies of the two countries.
Despite the existence of numerous convergences in Germany and France, due to the fact that value added is a very broad and general income figure, the paper shows considerable differences especially in the use of the value added concept. As a conclusion, probable reasons for the revealed differences and convergences are discussed and explanations are given, such as the relative influence of national accounting on financial accounting or the preferred format of the income statement.
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation