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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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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Accounting for mergers – Best 2 Read

Accounting for mergers

Mergers and acquisitions (business combinations) can have a fundamental impact on the acquirer’s operations, resources and strategies. For most entities such transactions are infrequent, and each is unique. IFRS 3 ‘Business Combinations’ contains the requirements for accounting for mergers, which are challenging in practice.

This narrative provides a high-level overview of IFRS 3 and explains the key steps in accounting for business combinations in accordance with this Standard. It also highlights some practical application issues dealing with:

  • how to avoid unintended accounting consequences when bringing two businesses together, and
  • deal terms and what effect they can have on accounting for business combinations.

The acquisition method in accounting for mergers

IFRS 3 establishes the accounting and reporting requirements (known as ‘the acquisition method’) for the acquirer in a business combination. The key steps in applying the acquisition method are summarised below:

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Goodwill or bargain on acquisition

Goodwill or bargain on acquisition – in short

Goodwill is initially measured at cost, being the excess of the aggregate of the consideration transferred, the amount recognised for non-controlling interests and any fair value of the Group’s previously held equity interests in the acquiree over the identifiable net assets acquired and liabilities assumed.

If the sum of this consideration and other items is lower than the fair value of the net assets acquired, the difference is, after reassessment, recognised in profit or loss as a gain on bargain purchase.

Business combinations

Business combinations are accounted for using the acquisition method. Cost of an acquisition is measured at the fair value of the assets given and liabilities incurred or assumed at the date of exchange. Identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination (including contingent liabilities) are measured initially at their fair values at the acquisition date. There are no non-controlling interest in the Group’s subsidiaries.

The Dorolco acquisition – On xx October 202x Dorco Loan PLC acquired 100% of the Dorolco operations, by acquiring 100% of all voting shares in the legal entities now part of this Group.

Assets acquired and liabilities assumed – Because the holding companies established in structuring the Dorolco acquisition have been incorporated on behalf of this transaction, the opening balance sheet as at xx October 202x shown in the Consolidated Financial Statements as comparatives to the balance sheet as at 31 December 202x is the balance sheet at incorporation date. Shares issued were paid on acquisition date, except for the share option plan shares issued at closing date (1,000,000 shares issued, of which as at 31 December 202x 155,000 were not yet granted and paid up).

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Lessee accounting under IFRS 16

Lessee accounting under IFRS 16

The key objective of IFRS 16 is to ensure that lessees recognise assets and liabilities for their major leases.

1. Lessee accounting model

A lessee applies a single lease accounting model under which it recognises all leases on-balance sheet, unless it elects to apply the recognition exemptions (see recognition exemptions for lessees in the link). A lessee recognises a right-of-use asset representing its right to use the underlying asset and a lease liability representing its obligation to make payments. [IFRS 16.22]

[IFRS 16.47, IFRS 16.49]

IFRS 16 Balance sheet Profit or loss

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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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Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting is an IFRS.org initiative to focus financial reporting on users. There is a general view that financial reports have become too complex and difficult to read and that financial reporting tends to focus more on compliance than communication. See also narrative reporting as a discussion on alternative ways of reporting.

At the same time, users’ tolerance for sifting through information to find what they need continues to decline.

This has implications for the reputation of companies who fail to keep pace. A global study confirmed this trend, with the majority of analysts stating that the quality of reporting directly influenced their opinion of the quality of management.

To demonstrate what companies could do to make their financial report more relevant, there are several suggestions to ‘streamline’ the financial statements to reflect some of the best practices that have been emerging globally over the past few years. In particular:

  • Information is organized 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, we have included a summary of significant transactions and events as the first note to the financial statements even though this is not a required disclosure.

Improving disclosure effectiveness

Terms such as ’disclosure overload’ and ‘cutting the clutter’, and more precisely ‘disclosure effectiveness’, describe a problem in financial reporting that has become a priority issue for the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB or Board), local standard setters, and regulatory bodies. The growth and complexity of financial statement disclosure is also drawing significant attention from financial statement preparers, and more importantly, the users of financial statements.

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High level overview IFRS 3 Business Combinations

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. of shares or net assets, legal Read more