What is timeliness, Accounting Basics

Q. What is Timeliness?

The Timeliness requires accountants to provide accounting information at a time when it perhaps considered in reaching a decision. Usefulness of information decreases with age. To recognize what the net income for 2010 was in early 2011 is much more useful than receiving this information a year later. If information is to be of any value in decision making it should be available before the decision is made. Otherwise the information is of little value. In determining what constitutes timely information accountants consider the other qualitative characteristics as well as the cost of gathering information. For instance a timely estimate for uncollectible accounts may be more precious than a later verified actual amount. Timeliness alone can't make information relevant however potentially relevant information can be rendered irrelevant by a lack of timeliness.

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