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Meaningful Metrics for a Smart Society
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Date: 2017-09-22 Page is: DBtxt001.php L0700-TVA-BASICS
TVA BASICS
FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS

CORE CONCEPTS FROM ENGINEERING, ECONOMICS AND ACCOUNTANCY

Navigation within this webpage
TVA
DOUBLE
ENTRY
MDIA
CORE
CONCEPTS
STATE
PROCESS
and FLOW
STATE
PROGRESS
PERFORMANCE
COST
PRICE
and VALUE
QUANTIFICATION
MEASURES
STANDARD COSTS
STANDARD VALUES
DATA
at the
CENTER
About
FEEDBACK
INCREMENTAL
CONTINUOUS
IMPROVEMENT


TVA - The CORE CONCEPTS
True Value Accounting (TVA) is a fusion of concepts from several disciplines, notably:
...... Engineering and physics;
...... Mathematics;
...... Double entry accountancy; and
...... Cost and management accounting.
The result of combining various powerful concepts is a system that has much of the strength and power that already has been developed together with something that really works for all the issues that need addressing in the modern world. We have technology that is amazing, but we are not using available technology in ways that will deliver the best outcomes for humanity.

DOUBLE ENTRY / STATE, PROCESS AND FLOW
Double entry is the core concept that has made conventional accounting so powerful and so reliable for hundreds of years. The system of double entry enables a clear distinction between balance sheet accounts and profit and loss (or transaction) accounts. This enables easy reporting of both the 'state' of the business entity (Balance Sheet) and the 'flow' of the business (Profit and Loss Account).
Because of the double entry construct, the 'profit (or loss)' or 'surplus (or deficit)' for the period may be determined in either of two ways. The result for a period is shown in the profit and loss account as the difference between the costs and revenues (debits and credits). The period result is computed using the balance sheet accounts as the difference between the balance sheet at the beginning of the period and the balance sheet at the end of the period.
Conventional financial accounting based on double entry gives a clear distinction between balance sheet and profit and loss accounts. This enables easy reporting of both the 'state' of the business entity (Balance Sheet) and the 'flow' of the business (Profit and Loss Account).
The 'profit (or loss)' or 'surplus (or deficit)' for the period may be determined in two ways. It is shown in the profit and loss account as the difference between the costs and revenues (debits and credits) and it is also shown in the balance sheet as the difference between the balance sheet at the beginning of the period and the balance sheet at the end of the period.
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STATE ... BALANCE SHEET
The 'state' of anything is like the balance sheet of a business entity. It is the sum of the good things and the sum of the bad things at a point in time.
'Progress' is the improvement in the balance sheet from one point in time to another. It is the good things getting bigger and/or the bad things getting smaller.
'Performance' is the relationship between the amount of 'progress' in a period, and the resources used to achieve this progress.
Note that performance in one entity is most often offset by a negative performance in another entity. A major issue with capitalism as practiced in recent decades has been that the economic performance of business organizations has gone up while the impact on society and the impact on planet (resource depletion and environmental degradation) has gone down.
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PROGRESS AND PERFORMANCE
'Progress' is the improvement in the balance sheet from one point in time to another. It is the good things getting bigger and/or the bad things getting smaller.
'Performance' is the relationship between the amount of 'progress' in a period, and the resources used to achieve this progress.
Note that performance in one entity is most often offset by a negative performance in another entity. A major issue with capitalism as practiced in recent decades has been that the economic performance of business organizations has gone up while the impact on society and the impact on planet (resource depletion and environmental degradation) has gone down.
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Open L0700-TVA-PROGRESS-PERFORMANCE

COST, PRICE AND VALUE
Conventional accounting is all about money transactions and in this context there are costs and there are prices. Costs become cost of sales and prices become revenues, and the difference becomes profit. In most conversations about issues in the economy, cost and price seem to be interchangable. In fact it is cost plus profit that equals price AND what is price to the seller is cost to the buyer. Conventional accounting does not address the matter of value, but value relative to price is the key driving force of economic activity.
MDIA goes beyond the accounting for money cost to account for both money cost and impacts (positive and negative) of inputs to business, and goes beyond money price to account for both the money price and the impacts (positive and negative) that are the value.
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INCORPORATING VALUE AND IMPACT INTO MONEY ACCOUNTING
In conventional accounting, economic activities are analyzed to show the money surplus or deficit that is generated and how this changes the balance sheet of the organization. In true value impact accounting the accounting includes also the impact economic activity in the organization is having within the total socio-enviro-economic system
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Open L0700-TVA-MONEY-ACTG-TO-VALUE-ACTG.php

QUANTIFICATION / MEASURES
Business transactions are quantified in relation to money, and there is a complete infrastructure (payment systems, accounting) that enables money transactions and also the storage of money so that its value may be used at a future time (banking). Value and impact are not quantified except in some cases where it is assumed (often wrongly) that a market price and a value are the same. Economics tells us that price is determined by supply and demand, and therefore changes as supply or demand changes. Costs behave in a different way, partly as result of changes in the prices of purchased inputs, and partly according the the engineering and technology of the processes. Value also has variability depending on the situation, but this has rarely been quantified. The MDIA initiative does this by using standard values in the same way that standard costs have been used in the business environment. Standard costs may be determined by engineering analysis, and standard values may be determined by a similar analysis of all the factors involved.
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STANDARD COSTS / STANDARD VALUES
Cost accounting is an important dimension of management accounting, but very easy for there to be too much data and not enough useful information. Instead of trying to establish 'actual costs' in detail for every item, a 'standard cost' can be calculated for each item. The appropriateness of the standard cost can be checked against the totals of the department or organization over a period ot time. If the standard is incorrect, investigation can be made to correct the standard or to correct the operations. This is a very powerful way to manage for improved performance.
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DATA AT THE CENTER
There are facts about everything, but only a few of these facts get turned into data that may be used in the analysis of state, progress and performance in the enviro-socio-economic system. There must be data to represent all (as close as possible) of the facts. These data must be architected so that they may be summarized in a useful way, and these data should be used to provide feedback so that better decisions can be made on a timely basis.
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FEEDBACK
Effective feedback is absolutely vital for a stable system. Engineering appreciates the importance of feedback, economics less so. It is also important to understand that fast feedback is very much more powerful than feedback that takes a long time to happen. Most feedback in the modern economy is too slow and rarely specific enough to be of much use. The dataflows in the MDIA framework are designed to be timely and actionable by all decision makers in the system.
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CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT
The idea of incremental continuous improvement is very powerful, but missing in much of the management of society. In the field of international development, most initiatives are 'project' based and rarely of durable value. On the other hand, initiatives that enable people to improve their quality of life bit by bit over a lifetime produce sustainable results.
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SOME HISTORY OF TVA DEVELOPMENT
The 2016 version of True Value Accounting has emerged after many iterations of development. In 1975, more than 40 years ago Peter Burgess realized that conventional corporate financial accounting was not good enough to use as a source of data for decisions about development. Over the years many other issues with economic and financial measurement were identified including the idea that what was good for profit was good for the society. One of the core ideas was that place really mattered and that we should focus more development analysis on the performance of place rather than on the performance of projects. Around 2005 the idea of Multi Dimension Impact Accounting (MDIA) emerged, a system for the measurement and reporting of impact on all the capitals band the modern complex world, The system tht emerged was designed to measure everything that really matters, embracing the powerful concepts of double entry accounting and applies them not only to money transactions but to everything important not transacted in money.
MULTI DIMENSION IMPACT ACCOUNTING (MDIA)
Multi Dimension Impact Accounting (MDIA) is a system for the measurement and reporting of impact on all the capitals based on conventional accounting, but designed to suit the modern complex world in a way that is both simple, easy to understand, easy to use and powerful. The system is designed to measure everything that really matters. It embraces some of the powerful concepts of double entry accounting and applies them not only to money transactions but to everything important not transacted in money.
Open list0300-MDIA
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS for the TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE and more.
TVA or MDIA provide a comprehensive framework of metrics and key performance indicators that will enable the reporting of TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE performance to include quantification that is coherent and complete. Numbers will either support the stories or not, and thereby significantly improve accountability.
Open list0300-MDIA-KPI
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
A very weak way of trying to oversee the progress and performance of programs and projects for development assistance and humanitarian aid and widely used by organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations and bilateral aid agencies like USAID. Something much better is needed starting off with better basic accounting and management information.

STANDARD VALUES FOR EVERYTHING
STANDARD VALUE PROFILES
Most well managed corporate organizations use 'standard costs' to help manage their operations, and it is very powerful. In True Value Accounting, standard value profiles work in a similar way to enable better decisions to be made without an excessive amount of data overload.
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