Research on ‘presents fairly’ and ‘true and fair’

You probably don’t know and don’t care, but accountants have spent time, energy and even empirical research discussing the difference in ‘presents fairly’ and ‘true and fair’ in their audit reports.

Research has shown, for instance, that most people prefer true and fair to presents fairly. Now I’m not sure how necessary that was. Any logical person, who was asked whether true and fair was better than fair on its own, would surely chose the phrase with both.

Not only do they prefer true and fair, but the research states, many people believe the two phrases have different meanings. This too is logical. If the same audit firm in UK states that financial statements are true and fair, but state that another set of financial statements in USA only presents fairly the results, any logical person would believe that one is truer than the other.

But what extra work do auditors do to come to these different opinions? None at all. Now how silly is that? They don’t need to do anything different because they are, as accountants say ‘equivalent,’ or in simple language the same.

So here we have different phrases meaning exactly the same even though the auditors state openly that one is true and the other is not.

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