Valuation means finding out correct value of the assets on a particular date. It is an act of determining the value of assets and critical examination of these values on the basis of normally accepted accounting standard. Valuation of assets is to be made by the authorized officer and the duty of auditor is to see whether they have been properly valued or not. For ensuring the proper valuation, auditor should obtain the certificates of professionals, approved values and other competent persons. Valuation is the primary duty of company officials. Auditor can rely upon the valuation of concerned officer but it must be clearly stated in the report because an auditor is not a technical person. Without valuation, verification of assets is not possible.
If the valuation of assets is not correct, both the financial statements such as Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account cannot be correct. Hence, the auditor must take utmost care while valuing the assets to show true and fair view of the state of affairs of the financial position of the concern.
R.Batliboi, “A company’s Balance Sheet is not drawn for the purpose of showing what the capital would be worth if the assets were realized and liabilities paid -off, but to show how the capital stands invested”.
Joseph Lancaster, “The valuation of assets is therefore an attempt to equitable distribution of the original outlay on the period of the assets usefulness”.
1. To assess the correct financial position of the concern.
2. To enquire about the mode of investment of the capital of the concern.
3. To assess the goodwill of the concern.
4. To evaluate the differences in the value of the asset as on the date of purchase and on the date of Balance Sheet.
Valuation of various assets can be made by using different methods of valuation of fixed assets. Some of the major methods are as follows:
1. Cost Price Method
In this method, valuation of assets is made on the basis of purchase price of the assets. This price refers to the price at which an asset is acquired plus expenses incurred in connection with the acquisition of an asset. It is a very simple method of valuing assets.
2. Market Value Method
Valuation of assets can be made on the basis of market price of such assets. But if same nature of assets is not available in the market, it is very difficult to determine the value of such assets. So, there are two methods related to it. They are:
i. Replacement Value Method
It represents the value at which a given asset can be replaced. This method of valuation of assets can be done only in the case of replacement of the same asset.
ii. Net Realizable Value
It refers to the price in which such asset can be sold in the market. But expenditure incurred at the sale of such asset should be deducted.
3. Standard Cost Method
Some of the business organizations fix the standard cost on the basis of their past experience. On the basis of standard cost, they make valuation of assets and present in the Balance Sheet.
4. Book Value
This is the value at which an asset appears in the books of accounts. It is usually the cost less depreciation written off so far.
5. Going concern or Historical Value or Conventional Value or Token Value
It is equivalent to the cost less a reasonable amount of depreciation written off. No notice is taken of any fluctuation in the price of the assets. Reason for this is that these assets are acquired for use in the business and not for resale.
6. Scrap Value
This method shows the value realized from sale of an asset as scrap. In other words, it refers to the value, which may be obtained from the assets if it is sold as scrap.
In a legal case against Kingston Cotton Mills Co: It was held that “although it is no part of an Auditor's’ duty to value the assets and liabilities, yet he must exercise reasonable skill and care in scrutinizing the basis of valuation. He should test the accuracy of the values put by the officers of the business. In any case, the auditor cannot guarantee the accuracy of the valuation”.
It is not an auditor's duty to determine the values of various assets. It has been judicially held that he is not a valuer or a technical man to estimate the value of an asset. But he is definitely concerned with values set against the assets. He has to certify that the profit and loss account shows true profit or loss for the year and Balance Sheet shows a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company at the close of the year. Therefore he should exercise reasonable care and skill, analyse all the figures critically, inquire into the basis of valuation from the technical experts and satisfy himself that the different classes of assets have been valued in accordance with the generally accepted assumptions and accounting principles. If the market value of the assets are available i.e., in the case of share investment then he should verify the market value with the stock exchange quotations. If there is any change in the mode of the valuation of an asset, he should seek proper explanation for it. If he is satisfied with the method of valuation of the assets he is free from his liability.