A user's guide for financial statements of African companies

Duncan, Ashley John (2001-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Africa Centre for Investment Analysis (AClA) at the University of Stellenbosch is undertaking the creation and maintaining of a capital markets database on historical financial and market data of all companies listed on various African stock exchanges (excluding South Africa). This study report aims at establishing a user's guide for the Centre's financial statement database in anticipation that the database will become a comprehensive source of vital market and financial information for investors in Africa. The guide describes the common format that was created so that African companies can be easily compared. The guide clarifies the standardised coding system that was created so that future users are able to access relevant data, and attempts to facilitate the ease of maintaining and developing the database. Some of the coding described in the guide is not original, since an adequate coding system is already available and in use at the Centre, but forms part of this study project since no formal or documented guide to its operation and implementation is available. The guide describes the classification and coding system used for the various countries, industries and companies on the Centre's database. The industry classification system that was developed is not as comprehensive as the global industry classification standard that it is based on, but is adequate to fairly describe the core activities of African companies. The guide introduces the standardised financial statement templates that are (to be) used on the Centre's database, and also describes the individual line items on these. The templates created are such that the annual financial statements of African companies, in conformity with international generally accepted accounting practice, fairly present the state of affairs of the African companies and their businesses. Templates for balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements for the companies have been created. The value of the information on the database is based on the soundness of the data reported in the African company's annual reports, and the interpretation of these when being captured onto the database. The definitions listed in this study report serve merely as a guideline to compensate for the differing accounting rules and practices that exist between countries. Not all listed African companies are recorded on the database. This is because the Centre relies on the contribution of data (like annual financial reports) from African stock exchanges, stockbrokers and the individual companies themselves. The importance of encouraging all African stakeholders to contribute as much information as possible, in order to ensure that comparable data is collected, is vital to the successful development and use of the database.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Afrikasentrum vir Beleggingsontleding aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch is besig met die daarstelling en instandhouding van 'n databasis van kapitaalmarkte van historiese finansiële- en markinligting van alle maatskappye op verskeie Afrika effektebeurse (Suid-Afrika uitgesluit). Hierdie ondersoekverslag beoog om 'n gebruikersgids saam te stel vir die sentrum se finansiële databasis met die verwagting dat die databasis 'n omvattende bron van mark- en finansiële inligting vir beleggers in Afrika sal word. Die gids verklaar voorts ook die gestandaardiseerde kodestelsel wat ontwikkel was om toekomstige gebruikers toegang tot relevante data te gee. Die gids poog ook om die instandhouding en verdere ontwikkeling van die databasis te vergemaklik. Sommige van die kodefisering wat in die gids beskryf word, is nie oorspronklik nie aangesien 'n voldoende kodestelsel reeds beskikbaar en in gebruik is in die sentrum. Dit vorm egter deel van hierdie studieprojek aangesien geen formele of gedokumenteerde gids vir die databasis se gebruik en implementering beskikbaar is nie. Die gids beskryf die klassifikasie en kodestelsel vir die verskeie lande, industrieë en maatskappye wat op die sentrum se databasis gebruik word. Die klassifikasiestelsel vir industrieë wat ontwikkel is, is nie so omvattend soos die globale industrieklassifikasiestandaard waarop dit gebaseer is nie, maar dit is genoegsaam om 'n redelike beskrywing van die kernaktiwiteite van Afrika se maatskappye te gee. Die gids stel die gestandaardiseerde finansiële patroon wat op die sentrum se databasis gebruik word (en gebruik sal word) bekend en dit beskryf ook die individuele lynitems daarop. Die patrone wat sodanig geskep word gee 'n redelike beeld van die jaarlikse finansiële state van Afrika se maatskappye in ooreenstemming met internasionale algemene aanvaarde boekhoupraktyke. Patrone vir balansstate, inkomstestate en kontantvloeistate vir die maatskappye is geskep. Die waarde van die inligting op die databasis is gebaseer op die egtheid van die data beskikbaar in die Afrikamaatskappye se jaarverslae en die interpretasie daarvan wanneer dit op die datastelsel vasgelê word. Die definisies wat in die studieverslag voorkom, dien slegs as 'n handleiding om te vergoed vir die verskille in boekhoureëls- en gebruike wat in verskillende lande bestaan. Alle Afrikalande wat op die effektebeurs is, is nie ingesluit op die databasis nie aangesien die sentrum op die verskaffing van inligting op Afrika se effektebeurse, makelaars en individuele maatskappye aangewese is. Die belangrikheid om alle Afrika rolspelers aan te moedig om soveel inligting as moontlik by te dra, is deurslaggewend tot die suksesvolle ontwikkeling en gebruik van die databasis.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49691
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