Human Resource Accounting


Group of ProfessionalsAn often-heard phrase in business is that a company’s employees are its most important asset. However, where in the financial statements do we account for this value? Employees are accounted for in terms of the cost of salaries and benefits. Even the financial ratios mentioned in the background materials measure mostly costs.

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Does labeling employees as human resources make them more of an investment in the future rather than a current cost? Are employees an asset or expense? How do you define the value of a company’s employees? What about the ethics of treating employees, who are, after all, responsible moral human beings, as costs? Does placing a value on human capital promote or demean human dignity?