It has been a controversial issue whether to continue using traditional historical cost accounting measures or to replace them with measures based on fair values, and several arguments have been put forward by opponents and proponents of fair value accounting. International Accounting Standard 39 (IAS 39) defines fair value as:

 

{the amount for which an asset could be exchanged, or a liability settled, between

knowledgeable, willing parties in an arm’s length transaction}.

 IFRS 13 paragraph 9 defines fair value as:

 

{The price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date}

 

Both definitions reflects an ideal “exit value” notion in which firms exit the positions they currently hold through orderly transactions with market participants at the measurement date, not through forced sales.

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