Example accounting policies

Example accounting policies

Get the requirements for properly disclosing the accounting policies to provide the users of your financial statements with useful financial data, in the common language prescribed in the world’s most widely used standards for financial reporting, the IFRS Standards. First there is a section providing guidance on what the requirements are, followed by a comprehensive example, easy to tailor to the specific needs of your company.Example accounting policies

Example accounting policies guidance

Whether to disclose an accounting policy

1. In deciding whether a particular accounting policy should be disclosed, management considers whether disclosure would assist users in understanding how transactions, other events and conditions are reflected in the reported financial performance and financial position. Disclosure of particular accounting policies is especially useful to users where those policies are selected from alternatives allowed in IFRS. [IAS 1.119]

2. Some IFRSs specifically require disclosure of particular accounting policies, including choices made by management between different policies they allow. For example, IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment requires disclosure of the measurement bases used for classes of property, plant and equipment and IFRS 3 Business Combinations requires disclosure of the measurement basis used for non-controlling interest acquired during the period.

3. In this guidance, policies are disclosed that are specific to the entity and relevant for an understanding of individual line items in the financial statements, together with the notes for those line items. Other, more general policies are disclosed in the note 25 in the example below. Where permitted by local requirements, entities could consider moving these non-entity-specific policies into an Appendix.

Change in accounting policy – new and revised accounting standards

4. Where an entity has changed any of its accounting policies, either as a result of a new or revised accounting standard or voluntarily, it must explain the change in its notes. Additional disclosures are required where a policy is changed retrospectively, see note 26 for further information. [IAS 8.28]

5. New or revised accounting standards and interpretations only need to be disclosed if they resulted in a change in accounting policy which had an impact in the current year or could impact on future periods. There is no need to disclose pronouncements that did not have any impact on the entity’s accounting policies and amounts recognised in the financial statements. [IAS 8.28]

6. For the purpose of this edition, it is assumed that RePort Co. PLC did not have to make any changes to its accounting policies, as it is not affected by the interest rate benchmark reforms, and the other amendments summarised in Appendix D are only clarifications that did not require any changes. However, this assumption will not necessarily apply to all entities. Where there has been a change in policy, this will need to be explained, see note 26 for further information.

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What Is Fintech reporting IFRS 15

What Is Fintech or Financial Technology And Its Benefits?

New and fast-growing technologies like Financial Technology or Fintech have the potential benefits to collect and process data in real-time. This transforms how all businesses are working, how products and services are creating in the new economy, and how customers are engaging in this process. Every professional and commercial industry is affecting due by this change in workflows and business processes. The financial and economic sector is no exception.

Financial Technology or Fintech?

Fintech, short for Financial Technology, is a growing field and is now an economic revolution by the tech-savvy. It is the development of new technology to transform traditional institutions such as banks and insurance companies by uplift how they handle their finances and economic services. The process is not only digitizing money but also monetizing data to fit into the digitized world.

FinTech solutions have huge potential benefits for all businesses, especially new and existing small businesses. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential for economic maturity and employment. However, others may find it difficult to get the financing they need to survive and thrive.

Example

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Initial Coin Offering

Initial Coin Offering

An Initial Coin Offering (‘ICO’) is a form of fundraising that harnesses the power of cryptographic assets and blockchain-based trading. Similar to a crowdfunding campaign, an ICO allocates (issues or promises to issue) digital token(s) instead of shares to the parties that provided contributions for the development of the digital token. These ICO tokens typically do not represent an ownership interest in the entity, but they often provide access to a platform (if and when developed) and can often be traded on a crypto exchange. The population of ICO tokens in an ICO is generally set at a fixed amount.

It should be noted that ICOs might be subject to local securities law, and significant regulatory considerations might apply.

Each ICO is bespoke and will have unique terms and conditions. It is critical for issuers to review the whitepaper (A whitepaper is a concept paper authored by the developers of a platform, to set out an idea and overall value proposition to prospective investors. The whitepaper commonly outlines the development roadmap and key milestones that the development team expects to meet) or underlying documents accompanying the ICO token issuance, and to understand what exactly is being offered to investors/subscribers. In situations where rights and obligations arising from a whitepaper or their legal enforceability are unclear, legal advice might be needed, to determine the relevant terms.

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What is initial public offering

What is initial public offering

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) comprises of a privately owned business that wants access the public capital market through the sale of securities (shares in the before IPO privately owned business). Thereby, the business can raise monies more readily than by the retention of profits in order to also grow through acquiring other businesses. Other possible motivations for an IPO include the prestige of ownership of a public company or the desire of major shareholders to exit the company.

Back-door listings

Another way that entities may list is through a reverse restructure with an existing non-operating listed entity that has few assets or liabilities (i.e. a shell company) or a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) are publicly traded companies formed for the sole purpose of raising capital through an IPO and using the IPO proceeds to acquire one or more unspecified businesses in the future.

The management team that forms the SPAC (the “sponsor”) forms the entity and funds the offering expenses in exchange for founder shares. There are various tax considerations and complexities that can have significant implications both during the SPAC formation process and down the road.

Under these circumstances where a private entity is ‘acquired’ by the listed entity, this is commonly referred to as aWhat is initial public offering back-door listing. Since the listed non-operating entity is not a business, the transaction is not a business combination. Normally such transactions are accounted for similar to reverse acquisitions.

However, because the accounting acquiree is not a business the transaction is considered a share-based payment. That is, the private entity is deemed to have issued shares to obtain control of the listed entity and to the extent their fair value exceeds the fair value of the listed entity’s identifiable net assets an expense will arise.

Disclosure of key judgements

Determining the appropriate accounting treatment of a reverse restructure with an existing non-operating listed entity that has few assets or liabilities (i.e. a shell company) or a SPAC often involves judgements. Therefore entities need to ensure that they comply with the disclosure requirements of IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements (‘IAS 1’), specifically paragraph 122.

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Disclosure profit or loss items

Disclosure profit or loss items

Here is an attempt to focus users of financial statements to important and less important financial transactions and events that have to be in the disclosure profit or loss items part in the Notes. Under the Better Communication in Financial Reporting-initiative, IFRS 15 Revenue from contracts with customers, Financial instruments and IAS 12 Taxes are in general considered representing an important part of profit or loss reporting. Then there are a lot of profit or loss items that need to be more-or-less grouped, each in itself may not be significant enough or so.

Some of these items just have to be disclosed but do not (always) draw immediate attention, others are important but not important enough for a single note in the financial statements.

Here is a potential example discussion of splitting profit or loss items in important (maybe even material?) profit or loss items and other profit or loss items. The content in here is presented in the following order:

ENJOY IT, IT IS WORTH YOUR WHILE!

Disclosure important profit or loss items guidance

[IAS1.97, IAS1.98]

Where items of income and expense are important (in IFRS jargon ‘material‘), their nature and amount shall be Disclosure profit or loss itemsdisclosed separately either in the statement of comprehensive income, the statement of profit or loss (where applicable) or in the notes. Circumstances that would give rise to the separate disclosure of items of income and expense include:

  1. write-downs of inventories to net realisable value or of property, plant and equipment to recoverable amount, as well as reversals of such write-downs
  2. restructurings of the activities of an entity and reversals of any provisions for the costs of restructuring
  3. disposals of items of property, plant and equipment
  4. disposals of investments Disclosure profit or loss items
  5. discontinued operations (refer to note 15)
  6. litigation settlements Disclosure profit or loss items
  7. other reversals of provisions, and Disclosure profit or loss items
  8. gains or losses recognised in relation to a business combination.

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1 Best Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities

Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities

– provides a narrative providing guidance on users of financial statements’ needs to present financial disclosures in the notes to the financial statements grouped in more logical orders. But there is and never will be a one-size fits all.

Here it has been decided to separately disclose financial assets and liabilities and non-financial assets and liabilities, because of the distinct different nature of these classes of assets and liabilities and the resulting different types of disclosures, risks and tabulations.

Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities Guidance

Disclosing non-financial assets and non-financial liabilities in one note

Users of financial reports have indicated that they would like to be able to quickly access all of the information about Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilitiesthe entity’s financial assets and liabilities without having to trawl through various notes in the financial report. As a result, the notes are structured such that financial items and non-financial items are discussed separately. This is not a mandatory requirement in any IFRS.

Accounting policies, estimates and judgements

In general it is considered helpful for readers of the financial report if information about accounting policies that are specific to the entity and about significant estimates and judgements is disclosed with the relevant line items, rather than in separate notes. However, this format is also not mandatory.

For general commentary regarding the disclosures of accounting policies refer to note 25. Commentary about the disclosure of significant estimates and judgements is provided in note 11.

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Disclosure Corporate Income Tax

Disclosure Corporate Income Tax

– provides guidance on the disclosure requirements under IFRS for IAS 12 income tax and provides a comprehensive example of a potential disclosures for these income taxes/corporate income tax.

Disclosure corporate income tax – Guidance

Relationship between tax expense and accounting profit

Entities can explain the relationship between tax expense (income) and accounting profit by disclosing reconciliations between: [IAS 12.81(c), IAS 12.85]

  1. tax expense and the product of accounting profit multiplied by the applicable tax rate, or
  2. the average effective tax rate and the applicable tax rate.

The applicable tax rate can either be the domestic rate of tax in the country in which the entity is domiciled, or it can be determined by aggregating separate reconciliations prepared using the domestic rate in each individual jurisdiction. Entities should choose the method that provides the most meaningful information to users.

Where an entity uses option (a) above and reconciles tax expense to the tax that is calculated by multiplying accounting profit with the applicable tax rate, the standard does not specify whether the reconciliation should be done for total tax expense, or only for tax expense attributable to continuing operations. While RePorting Co. Plc is reconciling total tax expense, it is equally acceptable to use profit from continuing operations as a starting point.

Initial recognition exemption – subsequent amortisation

The amount shown in the reconciliation of prima facie income tax payable to income tax expense as ‘amortisation of intangibles’ represents the amortisation of a temporary difference that arose on the initial recognition of the asset and for which no deferred tax liability has been recognised in accordance with IAS 12.15(b). The initial recognition exemption only applies to transactions that are not a business combination and do not affect either accounting profit or taxable profit.

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Disclosure financial assets and liabilities

Disclosure financial assets and liabilities

– provides a narrative providing guidance on users of financial statements’ needs to present financial disclosures in the notes to the financial statements grouped in more logical orders. But there is and never will be a one-size fits all.

Here it has been decided to separately disclose financial assets and liabilities and non-financial assets and liabilities, because of the distinct different nature of these classes of assets and liabilities and the resulting different types of disclosures, risks and tabulations.

Disclosure financial assets and liabilities guidance

Disclosing financial assets and liabilities (financial instruments) in one note

Users of financial reports have indicated that they would like to be able to quickly access all of the information about the entity’s financial assets and liabilities in one location in the financial report. The notes are therefore structured such that financial items and non-financial items are discussed separately. However, this is not a mandatory requirement in the accounting standards.

Accounting policies, estimates and judgements

For readers of Financial Statements it is helpful if information about accounting policies that are specific to the entityDisclosure financial assets and liabilitiesand about significant estimates and judgements is disclosed with the relevant line items, rather than in separate notes. However, this format is also not mandatory. For general commentary regarding the disclosures of accounting policies refer to note 25. Commentary about the disclosure of significant estimates and judgements is provided in note 11.

Scope of accounting standard for disclosure of financial instruments

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IFRS 7 does not apply to the following items as they are not financial instruments as defined in paragraph 11 of IAS 32:

  1. prepayments made (right to receive future good or service, not cash or a financial asset)
  2. tax receivables and payables and similar items (statutory rights or obligations, not contractual), or
  3. contract liabilities (obligation to deliver good or service, not cash or financial asset).

While contract assets are also not financial assets, they are explicitly included in the scope of IFRS 7 for the purpose of the credit risk disclosures. Liabilities for sales returns and volume discounts (see note 7(f)) may be considered financial liabilities on the basis that they require payments to the customer. However, they should be excluded from financial liabilities if the arrangement is executory. the Reporting entity Plc determined this to be the case. [IFRS 7.5A]

Classification of preference shares

Preference shares must be analysed carefully to determine if they contain features that cause the instrument not to meet the definition of an equity instrument. If such shares meet the definition of equity, the entity may elect to carry them at FVOCI without recycling to profit or loss if not held for trading.

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IFRS 15 Revenue Disclosures Examples

IFRS 15 Revenue Disclosures Examples

IFRS 15 Revenue Disclosures Examples provides the context of disclosure requirements in IFRS 15 Revenue from contracts with customers and a practical example disclosure note in the financial statements. However, as this publication is a reference tool, no disclosures have been removed based on materiality. Instead, illustrative disclosures for as many common scenarios as possible have been included.

Please note that the amounts disclosed in this publication are purely for illustrative purposes and may not be consistent throughout the example disclosure related party transactions.

Users of the financial statements should be given sufficient information to understand the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from contracts with customers. To achieve this, entities must provide qualitative and quantitative information about their contracts with customers, significant judgements made in applying IFRS 15 and any assets recognised from the costs to obtain or fulfil a contract with customers. [IFRS 15.110]

Disaggregation of revenue

[IFRS 15.114, IFRS 15.B87-B89]

Entities must disaggregate revenue from contracts with customers into categories that depict how the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows are affected by economic factors. It will depend on the specific circumstances of each entity as to how much detail is disclosed. The Reporting entity Plc has determined that a disaggregation of revenue using existing segments and the timing of the transfer of goods or services (at a point in time vs over time) is adequate for its circumstances. However, this is a judgement and will not necessarily be appropriate for other entities.

Other categories that could be used as basis for disaggregation include:IFRS 15 Revenue Disclosures Examples

  1. type of good or service (eg major product lines)
  2. geographical regions
  3. market or type of customer
  4. type of contract (eg fixed price vs time-and-materials contracts)
  5. contract duration (short-term vs long-term contracts), or
  6. sales channels (directly to customers vs wholesale).

When selecting categories for the disaggregation of revenue entities should also consider how their revenue is presented for other purposes, eg in earnings releases, annual reports or investor presentations and what information is regularly reviewed by the chief operating decision makers. [IFRS 15.B88]

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What happened in the reporting period

What happened in the reporting period

There is no requirement to disclose a summary of significant events and transactions that have affected the company’s financial position and performance during the period under review (or simply what happened in the reporting period). However, information such as this could help readers understand the entity’s performance and any changes to the entity’s financial position during the year and make it easier finding the relevant information. However, information such as this could also be provided in the (unaudited) operating and financial review rather than the (audited) notes to the financial statements.

Covid-19
At the time of writing, the biggest impact on the financial statements of entities all around the world is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most entities will be affected by this in one form or another and should discuss the impact prominently in their financial statements. However, as the events are still unfolding, this publication is not providing any illustrative examples or guidance. See how to account for Covid-19 to get an up-to-date discussion.

Going concern disclosures [IAS1.25]
When preparing financial statements, management shall make an assessment of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. Financial statements shall be prepared on a going concern basis unless management either intends to liquidate the entity or to cease trading, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.

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