ANALYSIS OF THE BALANCE SHEET FROM THE ASPECT OF BUILT-IN ESTIMATES
The balance sheet should present the financial position of the company truthfully and objectively. The presentation of the balance sheet requires the use of the best possible estimates and reasonable assumptions that are reflected in the value of the balance sheet items. Estimates are based on historical and other available information at date of the balance sheet. Each estimate carries a risk with an outcome in materially significant adjustments to the present value of assets, liabilities, incomes and expenses in the next financial year. In the absence of a precise method of measurement, an assessment of the financial statement items is made. The use of adequate estimates does not compromise the reliability of the balance sheet. However, due to the uncertainty of business activities and a certain distinctiveness in the understanding of accounting and economic value, balance sheet items may take different values. There are numerous examples of misuse of creative accounting in accounting practice, and when implemented untrue and biased information is published. The motives for such actions are different, ranging from the need of avoiding paying taxes, more profitable business sales, gaining better creditors position and creditors, to the realization of bonuses and management privileges. In addition to management, competent external experts are hired for appraisal work, whose work does not always have to be reliable because an alternative appraiser can be selected or manipulative data can be provided as a basis for assessment. The aim of this paper is to point out the balance sheet items that carry the greatest risks of objective reporting, and to assess the validity of the applied concept (basis) for measurement. The paper also points to possible ways of manipulating the balance sheet: if you want to show a financial result lower than the real one, then the value of assets is shown lower than it really is, and income statement expenses increase, while the situation is reversed if the company wants to show better financial results of the existing ones: then the estimated value of the assets in the balance sheet increases, and the value of the expenses in the income statement decreases. The paper starts from the basic hypothesis that the value assets assessment affects the presentation of the financial position of the company. An important item in the estimates is the assessment of the useful life of fixed assets. These estimates are reviewed annually and changed in accordance with the expected changes and the dynamics of spending the future economic benefits of fixed assets. The hypothesis proof was performed on the example of the analysis of the property position of a large service company for the period from 2004 to 2019. The results indicate that estimates can significantly correct the financial position of the company, and that the analysis of the company should focus on positions that are subject to assessments and that can significantly change the value of the company, instead of cash and liquidity positions that are considered priority in most analysis.