What is the most important disclosure definition under IAS 1?

What is the disclosure definition under IFRS?

Disclosure definition – one of the best ways to explain the need for disclosures is provided in IAS 1.119management considers whether disclosure would assist users in understanding how transactions, other events and conditions are reflected in reported financial performance and financial position. Each entity considers the nature of its operations and the policies that the users of its financial statements would expect to be disclosed for that type of entity.

Let us point to some IFRS disclosure particularities

In IAS 1 Presentaion of Financial Statements the overall disclosure requirements are provided. Other IAS/IFRSs set out the recognition, measurement and disclosure requirements for specific transactions and other events (IAS 1.3).

An entity cannot rectify inappropriate accounting policies either by disclosure of the accounting policies used or by notes or explanatory material (IAS 1.18).

Some IAS/IFRSs specify information that is required to be included in the financial statements, which include the notes. An entity need not provide a specific disclosure required by a IFRS if the information resulting from that disclosure is not material. This is the case even if the IFRS contains a list of specific requirements or describes them as minimum requirements.

An entity shall also consider whether to provide additional disclosures when compliance with the specific requirements in IFRS is insufficient to enable users of financial statements to understand the impact of particular transactions, other events and conditions on the entity’s financial position and financial performance (IAS 1.31).

Minimum comparative information

In some cases, narrative information provided in the financial statements for the preceding period(s) continues to be relevant in the current period. For example, an entity discloses in the current period details of a legal dispute, the outcome of which was uncertain at the end of the preceding period and is yet to be resolved. Users may benefit from the disclosure of information that the uncertainty existed at the end of the preceding period and from the disclosure of information about the steps that have been taken during the period to resolve the uncertainty (IAS 1.38B).

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Focus definition or best trends in IFRS reporting based on IAS 1

To demonstrate what companies could do to improve the readability of their financial report and make it easier for users to find the information they need, here are some thoughts for changing your financial report. In particular:

  • Information is organised to clearly tell the story of financial performance and make critical information more prominent and easier to find.
  • Additional information is included where it is important for an understanding of the performance of the company.

For example, include a summary of significant transactions and events as the first note to the financial statements even though this is not a required disclosure.

Accounting policies that are significant and specific to the entity are disclosed along with other relevant information, in the section ‘How did we arrive at these numbers?’ While other accounting policies are listed in note 25, this is for completeness purposes. Entities should consider their own individual circumstances and only include policies that are relevant to their financial statements.

The structure of financial reports should reflect the particular circumstances of the company and the likely priorities of its report readers. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and companies should engage with their investors to determine what would be most relevant to them. The structure used in this publication is not meant to be used as a template, but to provide you with possible ideas. It will not necessarily be suitable for all companies.

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Going concern and pandemics

Going concern and pandemics

IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements requires management, when preparing financial statements, to make an assessment of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern, and whether the going concern assumption is appropriate.

Furthermore, disclosures are required when the going concern basis is not used or when management is aware, in making their assessment, of material uncertainties related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt upon the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Disclosure of significant judgement is also required where the assessment of the existence of a material uncertainty is a significant judgement.

In assessing whether the going concern assumption is appropriate, the standard requires that all available information about the future, which is at least, but not limited to, twelve months from the end of the reporting period, should be taken into account.

This assessment needs to be performed up to the date on which the financial statements are issued.

Refer to ‘Current vulnerability due to concentration and liquidity risks‘ below for further discussion on the current vulnerability entities are facing due to concentration and liquidity risks.

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IFRS vs US GAAP Profit or loss and OCI

IFRS vs US GAAP Profit or loss and OCI

Standards Reference

US GAAP1

IFRS2

Topic 205 Presentation of financial statements

Topic 220 Income statements OCI

Reg G

Ref S-X

IAS 1 Presentation of financial statements

Note

The following discussion captures a number of the more significant GAAP differences under both Profit or loss and Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) reporting requirements. It is important to note that the discussion is not inclusive of all GAAP differences in this area.

The significant differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS related to Profit or loss and OCI reporting requirements are summarized in the following tables.

Overview

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Disclosures Critical estimates judgements and errors in IAS 8

Critical estimates judgements and errors

The preparation of financial statements requires the use of accounting estimates which, by definition, will seldom equal the actual results. Management also needs to exercise judgement in applying the group’s accounting policies. (IAS 1.122, IAS 1.125)

This note provides an overview of the areas that involved a higher degree of judgement or complexity, and of items which are more likely to be materially adjusted due to estimates and assumptions turning out to be wrong. Detailed information about each of these estimates and judgements is included in other notes together with information about the basis of calculation for each affected line item in the financial statements.

In addition, this note also explains where there have been actual adjustments this year as a result of an error and ofCritical estimates judgements and errors  Critical estimates judgements and errors  Critical estimates judgements and errors  Critical estimates judgements and errors  Critical estimates judgements and errors  Critical estimates judgements and errors  Critical estimates judgements and errors  Critical estimates judgements and errors changes to previous estimates.

[Entities with operations in the UK, or that are doing a significant amount of business with the UK, should consider the extent to which additional disclosures are necessary to explain the impact of Brexit-related risks on their financial statements arising from the UK’s Brexit decision, see below.]

(a) Significant estimates and judgements

The areas involving significant estimates or judgements are disclosed in other areas of the notes to facilitate a complete overview of each IFRS subject/Note disclosure. These significant estimates or judgements are:

Estimates and judgements are continually evaluated. They are based on historical experience and other factors, including expectations of future events that may have a financial impact on the entity and that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances.

11(b) Correction of material error in calculating depreciation

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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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Employee benefits accounting policies

Employee benefits accounting policies

This is a separated part of the example accounting policies, it is separated because of the size of this note and the specific nature of employee benefits.

Example accounting policies – Introduction

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. Here is a section providing guidance on what the requirements are, below a comprehensive example is provided, easy to tailor to the specific needs of your company.

Employee benefits Guidance

Presentation and measurement of annual leave obligations

RePort Plc has presented its obligation for accrued annual leave within current employee benefit obligations. However, it may be equally appropriate to present these amounts either as provisions (if the timing and/or amount of the future payments is uncertain, such that they satisfy the definition of ‘provision’ in IAS 37) or as other payables.

For measurement purposes, we have assumed that RePort Plc has both annual leave obligations that are classified as Employee benefits accounting policiesshort-term benefits and those that are classified as other long-term benefits under the principles in IAS 19. The appropriate treatment will depend on the individual facts and circumstances and the employment regulations in the respective countries.(IAS19(8),(BC16)-(BC21))

To be classified and measured as short-term benefits, the obligations must be expected to be settled wholly within 12 months after the end of the annual reporting period in which the employee has rendered the related services. The IASB has clarified that this must be assessed for the annual leave obligation as a whole and not on an employee-by-employee basis.

Share-based payments – expense recognition and grant date

Share-based payment expenses should be recognised over the period during which the employees provide the relevant services. This period may commence prior to the grant date. In this situation, the entity estimates the grant date fair value of the equity instruments for the purposes of recognising the services received during the period between service commencement date and grant date.(IFRS2(IG4))

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Disclosure equity

Disclosure equity

Get the requirements for properly disclosing equity as the owners’ balance of assets less liabilities 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.

Disclosure equity guidance

Share premium

IAS 1 requires disclosure of the par RePort of shares (if any), but does not prescribe a particular form of presentation for the share premium. RePorting Co. is disclosing the share premium in the notes. However, local company laws may have specific rules. For example, they may require separate presentation in the balance sheet. [IAS 1.79(a)]

Treasury shares

IAS 32 states that treasury shares must be deducted from equity and that no gain or loss shall be recognised on the Disclosure equitypurchase, sale, issue or cancellation of such shares. However, the standard does not specify where in equity the treasury shares should be presented. RePorting Co. has elected to present the shares in ‘other equity’, but they may also be disclosed as a separate line item in the balance sheet, deducted from retained earnings or presented in a specific reserve. Depending on local company law, the company may have the right to resell the treasury shares. [IAS 32.33]

Other reserves

An entity shall present, either in the statement of changes in equity or in the notes, for each accumulated balance of each class of other comprehensive income a reconciliation between the carrying amount at the beginning and the end of the period, separately disclosing each item of other comprehensive income and transactions with owners. See also commentary paragraphs 2 and 3 to the statement of changes in equity. [IAS 1.106(d)]

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The real meaning of Integrated reporting

The real meaning of integrated reporting

Integrated reporting is more than only aimed at informing interested stakeholders about performance achieved against targets, the vision and strategy adopted to serve the stakeholders’ interests, and other factors that can influence business performance in future.

Clearly regulations require companies to exercise transparency. However, a more fundamental reason for reporting lies in accountability: a company needs to account for the impact it has on the stakeholders it relates to. Not exercising such transparency would impose serious risks, including high financing costs to compensate for a lack of transparency or governance or, ultimately, losing the license to operate. By contrast, a transparent approach would not only improve reputation, but also would bind stakeholders such as employees to the company’s objectives.

The reason for including environmental and social factors in reporting

In today’s world companies play a significant role in shaping the future of society. Awareness of this has risen significantly over the last decades, resulting in changed attitudes towards the role business is expected to play.

It also resulted in changes in the views of business leaders about the role they want to play.

Business these days is seen more than ever as the agent of a wide group of stakeholders. Unlike the old paradigm that ‘the business of business is business’, companies accept wider accountability in current times towards the stakeholders whose interests they impact – no longer can companies focus only on the interests of those with a financial interest.

This wider accountability implies that companies have to fulfil the (information) needs of those who provide them with integrated reportingother economic resources such as labour, space, air or natural resources and those who enter into transactions with the organization such as customers. Therefore a company’s current performance and future ability to continue operations and achieve business growth needs to be evaluated on the basis of a comprehensive set of factors that influence these.

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