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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Capitalisation of expenditure – 1 Complete answer

Capitalisation of expenditure

Capitalisation of expenditure is only possible when one of the following situations occur:

  • Capital expenditure (including equipment repairs and maintenance)
  • Recording lease contracts – Right-of-Use Assets
  • Capitalisation of borrowing costs
  • Capitalisation of cloud computing costs
  • Capitalisation of intangible assets
  • Capitalisation of internally capitalized intangible assets
  • Research & development costs
  • Prepaid expenses

Capital expenditure (including equipment repairs and maintenance)

The cost of an item of property, plant and equipment under IAS 16 Property, plant and equipment shall be recognised as an asset if, and only if:

  • it is probable that future economic benefits associated with the item will flow to the entity; and
  • the cost of the item can be measured reliably. (IAS 16.7)

Investment property

Certain properties which are used on rental are classified as an investment property in which case IAS 40 Investment property will apply. Only tangible items which have a useful life of more than one period are classified as property, plant and equipment as per IAS 16. But refer to the words “more than one period” as more than one accounting period of 12 months.

Also, an entity shall determine a threshold limit commensurate to its size for recognizing a tangible item as property, plant and equipment. For example, a tangible item of insignificant amount although satisfying the definition of property, plant and equipment may be expensed.

Initial recognition of indirect costs

Items of property, plant and equipment may be acquired for safety or environmental reasons. The acquisition of such property plant and equipment, although not directly increasing the future economic benefits of any particular existing item of property, plant and equipment, may be necessary for an entity to obtain the future economic benefits from its other assets.

Such items of property plant and equipment qualify for recognition as assets because they enable an entity to derive future economic benefits from related assets in excess of what could be derived had those items not been acquired.

Subsequent recognition of indirect costs

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Fair value employee share options in IFRS 2

Fair value employee share options

Share options give the holder the right to buy the underlying shares at a set price, called the ‘exercise price’, over or at the end of an agreed period. If the share price exceeds the option’s exercise price when the option is exercised, then the holder of the option profits by the amount of the excess of the share price over the exercise price. Benefit is derived from the right under the option to buy a share for less than its value.

The holder’s cost is the exercise price, whereas the value is the share price. It is not necessary for the holder to sell the share for this profit to exist. Sale only results in realisation of the profit. Because an option holder’s profit increases as the underlying share price increases, share options are used to incentivise employees to contribute to an increase in the price of the underlying shares.

Employee options are typically call options, which give holders the right but not the obligation to buy shares. However, other types of options are also traded in markets. For example, put options give holders the right to sell the underlying shares at an agreed price for a set period.

Given that holders of put options profit when share prices fall below the exercise price, such options are not viewed as aligning the interests of employees and shareholders. All references in this section to ‘share options’ are to employee call options.

Share options granted by entities often cannot be valued with reference to market prices. Many entities, even those whose shares are quoted publicly, do not have options traded on their shares. Options that trade on recognised exchanges such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange are created by market participants and are not issued by entities directly.

Even when there are exchange-traded options on an entity’s shares for which prices are available, the terms and conditions of these options are generally different from the terms and conditions of options issued by entities in share-based payments and, as a result, the prices of such traded options cannot be used directly to value share options issued in a share-based payment.

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EBITDA – 1 Best complete read

EBITDA – Earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortisation

– is a measure of a company’s overall financial performance and is used as an alternative to simple earnings or net income in some circumstances. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, however, can be misleading because it strips out the cost of capital investments like property, plant, and equipment.

This metric also excludes expenses associated with debt by adding back interest expense and taxes to earnings. Nonetheless, it is a more precise measure of corporate performance since it is able to show earnings before the influence of accounting and financial deductions.EBITDA

Simply put, Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation is a measure of profitability. While there is no legal requirement for companies to disclose their EBITDA (here also written as EBIT-DA), according to the U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (US GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), it can be worked out and reported using information found in a company’s financial statements.

The earnings, tax, and interest figures are found on the income statement, while the depreciation and amortisation figures are normally found in the notes to operating profit or on the cash flow statement. The usual shortcut to calculate EBITDA is to start with operating profit, also called earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) and then add back depreciation and amortisation.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/EBITDA

Origins of EBITDA

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Transfer pricing – IAS 12 Best complete read

Transfer pricing
 for
transactions between related parties

A transfer price is the price charged between related parties (e.g., a parent company and its controlled foreign corporation) in an inter-company transaction. Although inter-company transactions are eliminated when consolidating the financial results of controlled foreign corporations and their domestic parents, for preparation of individual tax returns each entity (or a tax consolidation unit of more than one entity in the group in one and the same tax jurisdiction) prepares stand-alone (or a tax consolidation unit) tax returns.

See also:

IAS 24 Related parties narrative IFRS 15 Revenue narrative IAS 12 Income tax narrative

Transfer prices directly affect the allocation of group-wide taxable income across national tax jurisdictions. Hence, a group’s transfer-pricing policies can directly affect its after-tax income to the extent that tax rates differ across national jurisdictions.

Arm’s length transaction principle

Most OECD countries rely upon the OECD TP Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations, that were originally released in 1995 and subsequently updated in 2017 (OECD TP Guidelines). The OECD TP Guidelines reaffirmed the OECD’s commitment to the arm’s length transaction principle.

In fact, the arm’s length transaction principle is considered “the closest approximation of the workings of the open market in cases where goods and services are transferred between associated enterprises.” The arm’s length principle implies that transfer prices between related parties should be set as though the entities were operating at arm’s length (i.e. were independent enterprises).

The application of the arm’s length transaction principle is generally based on a comparison of all the relevant conditions in a controlled transaction with the conditions in an uncontrolled transaction (i.e. a transaction between independent enterprises).

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Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities example

Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities example

The guidance for this disclosure example is provided here.

8 Non-financial assets and liabilities

This note provides information about the group’s non-financial assets and liabilities, including:

  • specific information about each type of non-financial asset and non-financial liability
    • property, plant and equipment (note 8(a))
    • leases (note 8(b))
    • investment properties (note 8(c))
    • intangible assets (note 8(d))
    • deferred tax balances (note 8(e))
    • inventories (note 8(f))
    • other assets, including assets classified as held for sale (note 8(g))
    • employee benefit obligations (note 8(h))
    • provisions (note 8(i))
  • accounting policies
  • information about determining the fair value of the assets and liabilities, including judgements and estimation uncertainty involved (note 8(j)).

8(a) Property, plant and equipment

Amounts in CU’000

Freehold land

Buildings

Furniture, fittings and equipment

Machinery and vehicles

Assets under construction

Total

At 1 January 2019

Cost or fair value

11,350

28,050

27,510

70,860

137,770

Accumulated depreciation

-7,600

-37,025

-44,625

Net carrying amount

11,350

28,050

19,910

33,835

93,145

Movements in 2019

Exchange differences

-43

-150

-193

Revaluation surplus

2,700

3,140

5,840

Additions

2,874

1,490

2,940

4,198

3,100

14,602

Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals

-424

-525

-2,215

3,164

Depreciation charge

-1,540

-2,030

-4,580

8,150

Closing net carrying amount

16,500

31,140

20,252

31,088

3,100

102,080

At 31 December 2019

Cost or fair value

16,500

31,140

29,882

72,693

3,100

153,315

Accumulated depreciation

-9,630

-41,605

-51,235

Net carrying amount

16,500

31,140

20,252

31,088

3,100

102,080

Movements in 2020

Exchange differences

-230

-570

-800

Revaluation surplus

3,320

3,923

7,243

Acquisition of subsidiary

800

3,400

1,890

5,720

11,810

Additions

2,500

2,682

5,313

11,972

3,450

25,917

Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals

-550

-5,985

-1,680

-8,215

Transfers

950

2,150

-3,100

Depreciation charge

-1,750

-2,340

-4,380

-8,470

Impairment loss (ii)

-465

-30

-180

-675

Closing net carrying amount

22,570

38,930

19,820

44,120

3,450

128,890

At 31 December 2020

Cost or fair value

22,570

38,930

31,790

90,285

3,450

187,025

Accumulated depreciation

-11,970

-46,165

-58,135

Net carrying amount

22,570

38,930

19,820

44,120

3,450

128,890

(i) Non-current assets pledged as security

Refer to note 24 for information on non-current assets pledged as security by the group.

(ii) Impairment loss and compensation

The impairment loss relates to assets that were damaged by a fire – refer to note 4(b) for details. The whole amount was recognised as administrative expense in profit or loss, as there was no amount included in the asset revaluation surplus relating to the relevant assets. [IAS 36.130(a)]

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EPS in IAS 33

EPS (Earnings per share)

EPS measures are intended to represent the income earned (or loss incurred) by each ordinary share during a reporting period and therefore provide an indicator of reported performance for the period.

The EPS measure is also widely used by users of financial statements as part of the price-earnings ratio, which is calculated by dividing the price of an ordinary share by its EPS amount. This ratio is therefore an indicator of how many times (years) the earnings would have to be repeated to be equal to the share price of the entity.

Users of financial statements also use the EPS measure as part of the dividend cover calculation. This measure is calculated by dividing the EPS amount for a period by the dividend per share for that period. It therefore provides an indication of how many times the earnings cover the distribution being made to the ordinary shareholders.

Basic EPS and diluted EPS are presented by entities whose ordinary shares or potential ordinary shares (POSs) are traded in a public market or that file, or are in the process of filing, their financial statements for the purpose of issuing any class of ordinary shares in a public market. (IAS 33.2)

Basic EPS and diluted EPS for both continuing and total operations are presented in the statement of profit or loss and OCI, with equal prominence, for each class of ordinary shares that has a differing right to share in the profit or loss for the period. (IAS 33.66-67A)

Separate EPS information is disclosed for discontinued operations, either in the statement of profit or loss and OCI or in the notes to the financial statements. (IAS 33.66-68A)

Basic EPS is calculated by dividing the profit or loss attributable to ordinary shareholders by the weighted-average number of ordinary shares outstanding during the period. (IAS 33.10)

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IFRS 13 Relief from royalty method

IFRS 13 Relief from royalty method – The ‘Royalty Relief’ (also known as Relief from Royalty) method is based on the notion that a brand holding company owns the brand and licenses it to an operating company.  One method to determine the market value of Intellectual Property assets like patents, trademarks, and copyrights is to use Relief from royalty method (also known as Royalty avoidance approach or Royalty Relief approach). This approach determines the value of Intellectual Property assets by estimating what it would cost the business if it had to purchase the Intellectual Property (IP) it uses from an outsider. Other valuation methods are provide here.

This approach requires the valuator to

  1. project future sales of the products
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Venture capital valuation method

Venture capital valuation method

With the estimation challenges that analysts face in valuing young companies, it should come as no surprise that they look for solutions that seem to, at least on the surface, offer them a way out. Many of these solutions, though, are the source of the valuation errors we see in young company valuations. In this section, we will look at the most common manifestations of what we view as the dark side in young company valuations, and how they play out in the venture capital valuation method.

  1. Top line and bottom line, no detail: It is difficult to estimate the details on cash flow and reinvestment for young companies. Consequently, many valuations of young companies focus on the top line (revenues) and the bottom line (earnings, and usually equity earnings), with little or no attention paid to either the intermediate items (that separate earnings from revenues) or the reinvestment requirements (that separate earnings from cash flows)
  2. Focus on the short term, rather than the long term: The uncertainty we feel about the estimates that we make for young companies become greater as we go further out in time. Many analysts use this as a rationale for cutting short the estimation period, using only three to five years of forecasts in the valuation. “It is too difficult to forecast out beyond that point in time” is the justification that they offer for this short time horizon.
  3. Mixing relative with intrinsic valuation: To deal with the inability to estimate cash flows beyond short time periods, analysts who value young companies use relative valuation as a crutch. Thus, the value at then end of the forecast period (three to five years) is often estimated by applying an exit multiple to the expected revenues or earnings in that year and the value of that multiple is itself estimated by looking at what publicly traded companies in the business trade at right now.
  4. Discount rate as the vehicle for all uncertainty: The risks associated with investing in a young company include not only the traditional factors – earnings volatility and sensitivity to macroeconomic conditions, for example – but also the likelihood that the firm will not survive to make a run at commercial success. When valuing private businesses, analysts often hike up discount rates to reflect all of the concerns that they have about the firm, including the likelihood that the firm will not make it.
  5. Ad hoc and arbitrary adjustments for differences in equity claims: As we noted in the last section, equity claims in young businesses can have different rights when it comes to cash flow and control and have varying degrees of illiquidity. When asked to make judgments on the value of prior claims on cash flows, superior control rights or lack of liquidity, many analysts use rules of thumb that are either arbitrary or based upon dubious statistical samples.

All five of these practices come into play in the most common approach used to value young firms, which is the venture capital approach. This approach has four steps to it:

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