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


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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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.

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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IFRS 10 Special control approach

IFRS 10 Special control approach

– determines which entities are consolidated in a parent’s financial statements and therefore affects a group’s reported results, cash flows and financial position – and the activities that are ‘on’ and ‘off’ the group’s balance sheet. Under IFRS, this control assessment is accounted for in accordance with IFRS 10 ‘Consolidated financial statements’.

Some of the challenges of applying the IFRS 10 Special control approach include:

  • identifying the investee’s returns, which in turn involves identifying its assets and liabilities. This may appear straightforward but complications arise when the legal ownership of assets diverges from the accounting depiction (for example, in financial asset transfers that ‘fail’ de-recognition, and in finance leases). In general, the assessment of the investee’s assets and returns should be consistent with the accounting depiction in accordance with IFRS
  • it may not always be clear whether contracts and other arrangements between an investor and an investee
    • create rights or exposure to a variable return from the investee’s performance for the investor; or
    • transfer risk or variability from the investor to the investee IFRS 10 Special control approach
  • the relevant activities of an SPE may not be obvious, especially when its activities have been narrowly specified in its purpose and design IFRS 10 Special control approach
  • the rights to direct those activities might also be difficult to identify, because for example, they arise only in particular circumstances or from contracts that are outside the legal boundary of the SPE (but closely related to its activities).

IFRS 10 Special control approach sets out requirements for how to apply the control principle in less straight forward circumstances, which are detailed below:  IFRS 10 Special control approach

  • when voting rights or similar rights give an investor power, including situations where the investor holds less than a majority of voting rights and in circumstances involving potential voting rights
  • when an investee is designed so that voting rights are not the dominant factor in deciding who controls the investee, such as when any voting rights relate to administrative tasks only and the relevant activities are directed by means of contractual arrangements IFRS 10 Special control approach
  • involving agency relationships IFRS 10 Special control approach
  • when the investor has control only over specified assets of an investee
  • franchises. IFRS 10 Special control approach

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High level overview IFRS 3 Business Combinations


A summary on one page and more detail for reference

The overview

Scope & Identifying a business combination
A business combination is:
Transaction or event in which acquirer obtains control over a business (e.g. Read more

5 Comprehensive cash flow accounting events

Here are 5 Comprehensive cash flow accounting events with special presentation and/or disclosure requirements under IAS 7. They are:

1 IFRS 9 Classification of cash flows arising from a derivative used in an economic hedge

Consequential amendments were not made to IAS 7 as a result of the introduction of, and subsequent changes to, IFRS 9 Financial Instruments.

A related issue which often arises in practice is the classification of cash flows that arise from a derivative that, although used economically to hedge exposures, is not designated in an IFRS 9 qualifying hedge relationship. The same issue arises under IAS 39, for those insurers that meet the criteria for, and have chosen to apply, the temporary exemption from the application … Read more

IAS 32 Clearly distinguishing liability and equity

IAS 32 Clearly distinguishing liability and equity – When an entity issues a financial instrument, it must determine its classification either as a liability (debt) or as equity. That determination has an immediate and significant effect on the entity’s reported results and financial position. Liability classification affects an entity’s gearing ratios and typically results in any payments being treated as interest and charged to earnings.

Equity classification avoids these impacts but may be perceived negatively by investors if it is seen as diluting their existing equity interests. Understanding the classification process and its effects is therefore a critical issue for management and must be kept in mind when evaluating alternative financing options.

IAS 32 Financial Instruments: Presentation addresses this classification … Read more

IFRS vs US GAAP Business combinations

IFRS vs US GAAP Business combinations – IFRS and US GAAP are largely converged in this area. The business combinations standards under US GAAP and IFRS are close in principles and language. However, some differences remain between US GAAP and IFRS pertaining to (1) the definition of control, (2) recognition of certain assets and liabilities based on the reliably measurable criterion, (3) accounting for contingencies, and (4) accounting for non-controlling interests. Significant differences also continue to exist in subsequent accounting. Different requirements for impairment testing and accounting for deferred taxes (e.g., the recognition of a valuation allowance) are among the most significant.

New definitions of a business were also issued under both US GAAP and IFRS. While the new … Read more

IFRS 3 Fair value of contingent consideration

IFRS 3 Fair value of contingent consideration – Contingent consideration often involves the buyer transferring additional consideration to the seller if certain performance targets are met in the future. This allows the buyer to share the risk associated with the future of the business with the seller by making some of the consideration contingent on future performance. What factors should be considered in determining the fair value of this type of arrangement? IFRS 3 Fair value of contingent consideration

Valuation methods for contingent consideration range from discounted cash flow analyses to more complex Monte Carlo simulations. The terms of the arrangement and the payout structure will influence the type of valuation model the acquirer uses. IFRS 3 Fair value of Read more

The measurement period in business combinations – the best 1 year window to complete

The measurement period in business combinations explains the one year window allowed in properly accounting for business combinations or as they have been called in the past acquisitions/M&A etc.

The accounting for a business combination requires substantial effort and resources. The initial accounting often is incomplete at the end of the reporting period in which the business combination happens. This is because the acquirer has been unable to obtain all pertinent information necessary to evaluate the conditions that existed as of the acquisition date. As a result, the acquirer may have to record provisional amounts for certain assets or liabilities — for instance, independent valuations for intangible assets may not yet be finalised.The measurement period in business combinations

The measurement period in business combinations

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