IAS 16 Generation assets for Power and Utilities

Generation assets for Power and Utilities

– are often large and complex installations. They are expensive to construct, tend to be exposed to harsh operating conditions and require periodic replacement or repair. This environment leads to specific accounting issues.

1 Fixed assets and components

IFRS has a specific requirement for ‘component’ depreciation, as described in IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment. Each significant part of an item of property, plant and equipment is depreciated separately. Significant parts of an asset that have similar useful lives and patterns of consumption can be grouped together. This requirement can create complications for utility entities, because many assets include components with a shorter useful life than the asset as a whole.

Identifying components of an asset

Generation assets might comprise a significant number of components, many of which will have differing useful lives. The significant components of these types of assets must be separately identified. This can be a complex process, particularly on transition to IFRS, because the detailed record-keeping needed for componentisation might not have been required in order to comply with national generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This can particularly be an issue for older power plants. However, some regulators require detailed asset records, which can be useful for IFRS component identification purposes.

An entity might look to its operating data if the necessary information for components is not readily identified by the accounting records. Some components can be identified by considering the routine shutdown or overhaul schedules for power stations and the associated replacement and maintenance routines. Consideration should also be given to those components that are prone to technological obsolescence, corrosion or wear and tear that is more severe than that of the other portions of the larger asset.

First-time IFRS adopters can benefit from an exemption under IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards. This exemption allows entities to use a value that is not depreciated cost in accordance with IAS 16, and IAS 23 Borrowing Costs as deemed cost on transition to IFRS. It is not necessary to apply the exemption to all assets or to a group of assets.

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IFRS vs US GAAP Employee benefits

IFRS vs US GAAP Employee benefits

The following discussion captures a number of the more significant GAAP differences under both the impairment standards. It is important to note that the discussion is not inclusive of all GAAP differences in this area.

The significant differences and similarities between U.S. GAAP and IFRS related to accounting for investment property are summarized in the following tables.

Standards Reference

US GAAP1

IFRS2

715 Compensation – Retirement benefits

710-10 Compensation- General – Overall

712-10 Compensation – Nonretirement Postemployment Benefits – Overall

IAS 19 Employee Benefits

IFRIC 14 The limit on a defined benefit asset minimum funding requirements and their interaction

Introduction

The guidance under US GAAP and IFRS as it relates to employee benefits contains some significant differences with potentially far-reaching implications.

This narrative deals with employee benefits provided under formal plans and agreements between an entity and its employees, under legislation or through industry arrangements, including those provided under informal practices that give rise to constructive obligations.

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Best guide IFRS 16 Lessee modifications

Best guide IFRS 16 Lessee modifications

summarises the process surrounding changes in lease contracts that identify as lease modification.

A lessee that chooses not to apply the practical expedient (IFRS 16 option for rent concessions arising directly from the COVID-19 pandemic that are not going to be accounted for as lease modifications), or agrees changes to its lease contracts that do not qualify for the practical expedient, assesses whether there is a lease modification.

Overview

A change in the scope of a lease, or the consideration for a lease, that was not part of the original terms and conditions meets the standard’s definition of a lease modification.

A lessee accounts for a lease modification as a separate lease if both of the following conditions exist:

  • the modification increases the scope of the lease by adding the right to use one or more underlying assets; and
  • the consideration for the lease increases by an amount equivalent to the stand- alone price for the increase in scope and any appropriate adjustments to that stand-alone price to reflect the circumstances of the particular contract.

For a modification that is not a separate lease, at the effective date of the modification the lessee accounts for it by remeasuring the lease liability using a discount rate determined at that date and:

  • for modifications that decrease the scope of the lease: decreasing the carrying amount of the right-of-use asset to reflect the partial or full termination of the lease, and recognising a gain or loss that reflects the proportionate decrease in scope; and
  • for all other modifications: making a corresponding adjustment to the right-of- use asset.

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IAS 36 How Impairment test

IAS 36 How Impairment test is all about this – When looking at the step-by-step IAS 36 impairment approach it comes down to the following broadly organised steps: IAS 36 How Impairment test

  • What?? – Determining the scope and structure of the impairment review, explained here,
  • If and when? – Determining if and when a quantitative impairment test is necessary, explained here,
  • IAS 36 How Impairment test or understanding the mechanics of the impairment test and how to recognise or reverse any impairment loss, if necessary. Which is explained in this section…

The objective of IAS 36 Impairment of assets is to outline the procedures that an entity applies to ensure that its assets’ carrying values are not … Read more

The step-by-step IAS 36 impairment of assets approach

When looking at the step-by-step IAS 36 impairment of assets approach it comes down to the following broadly organised steps: Assets in scope IAS 36

  • What?? – Determining the scope and structure of the impairment review,
  • If and when? – Determining if and when a quantitative impairment test is necessary, jump to this part here
  • How? – Understanding the mechanics of the impairment test and how to recognise or reverse any impairment loss, if necessary, jump to this part here.

The objective of IAS 36 Impairment of assets is to outline the procedures that an entity applies to ensure that its assets’ carrying values are not stated above their recoverable amounts (the amounts to be recovered through use or … Read more

Cash-generating unit (CGU)

A cash-generating unit is the smallest identifiable group assets that generates cash inflows that are largely independent of the cash inflows from other assets.

IFRS 2 Determination of the vesting period

Overview IFRS 2 Determination of the vesting period

Employee service costs are recognised in profit or loss over the vesting period from the service commencement date until vesting date. The following topics are of importance in IFRS 2 Determination of the vesting period

Service commencement date and grant date

The ‘vesting period’ is the period during which all of the specified vesting conditions are to be satisfied in order for the employees to be entitled unconditionally to the equity instrument. Normally, this is the period between grant date and the vesting date (see IFRS 2 Definitions).

However, services are recognised when they are received and grant date may occur after the employees have begun rendering services. Grant date is … Read more

Take 1 stop for best read – Measurement uncertainty

Measurement uncertainty - Uncertainty that arises when the result of applying a measurement basis is imprecise and can be determined only with a range.

IFRS 2 Employee equity-settled share-based payment

IFRS 2 Employee equity-settled share-based payment – Headlines

Employee services are recognised as expenses, unless they qualify for recognition as assets, with a corresponding increase in equity.

  • Employee service costs are recognised over the vesting period from the service commencement date until vesting date.
  • Employee services are measured indirectly with reference to the fair value of the equity instruments granted; this is done by applying the modified grant-date method. If, in rare circumstances, the fair value of the equity instruments granted cannot be measured reliably, then the intrinsic value method is applied.
  • Under the modified grant-date method, the grant-date fair value of the equity instruments granted is determined once at grant date, which may be after the service commencement date.
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The Statement of Cash Flows

A Historical Perspective on the Statement of Cash Flows

In 1987, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an accounting standard, FASB Statement no. 95, requiring that the statement of cash flows be presented as one of the three primary financial statements. Previously, companies had been required to present a statement of changes in financial position, often called the funds statement. In 1971, APC Opinion no. 19 made the funds statement a required financial statement although many companies had begun reporting funds flow information several years earlier.

The funds statement provided useful information, but it had several limitations. First, APB Opinion no. 19 allowed considerable flexibility in how funds could be defined and how they were reported on the statement. Read more