Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting is an 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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Sale with a right of return in IFRS 15

Sale with a right of return in IFRS 15

Under IFRS 15 Revenue from contract with customers, when an entity makes a sale with a right of return it recognises revenue at the amount to which it expects to be entitled by applying the variable consideration and constraint guidance set out in Step 3 of the model (see Step 3 Determine the transaction price). The entity also recognises a refund liability and an asset for any goods or services that it expects to be returned.

  • An entity applies the accounting guidance for a sale with a right of return when a customer has a right to:
    a full or partial refund of any consideration paid;
  • a credit that can be applied against amounts owed, or that will be owed, to the entity; or
  • another product in exchange (unless it is another product of the same type, quality, condition and price – e.g. exchanging a red sweater for a white sweater). [IFRS 15.B20]

An entity does not account for its stand-ready obligation to accept returns as a performance obligation. [IFRS 15.B21–B22]

In addition to product returns, the guidance also applies to services that are provided subject to a refund.Sale with a right of return

The guidance does not apply to:

  • exchanges by customers of one product for another of the same type, quality, condition and price; and
  • returns of faulty goods or replacements, which are instead evaluated under the guidance on warranties. [IFRS 15.B26–B27]

When an entity makes a sale with a right of return, it initially recognises the following: [IFRS 15.B21, B23, B25]

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1 Best Complete Read – Financial Instruments

Financial Instruments is a summary of the current (Financial Statements preparation for 2020 on wards) IFRS reporting requirements relating to the combination of IAS 32 Financial Instruments: Presentation, IFRS 7 Financial instruments: Disclosure and IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, into one overall narrative.

IFRS standards for Financial Instruments have a complicated history. It was originally intended that IFRS 9 would replace IAS 39 in its entirety. However, in response to requests from interested parties that the accounting for financial instruments be improved quickly, the project to replace IAS 39 was divided into three main phases.

The three main phases of the project to replace IAS 39 were:

  1. Phase 1: classification and measurement of financial assets and financial liabilities.
  2. Phase
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IFRS 15 Presentation in main statements

IFRS 15 Presentation in main statements – While an entity must provide sufficient information to meet the objective, the disclosures described in the standards are not intended to be a checklist of minimum requirements. That is, entities do not need to include disclosures that are not relevant or are not material to them. In addition, an entity does not need to disclose information in accordance with the revenue standards if it discloses that information in accordance with another standard.

Entities are required to consider the level of detail necessary to satisfy the disclosure objective and the degree of emphasis to place on each of the various requirements. The level of aggregation or disaggregation of disclosures requires judgement. Furthermore, entities are … Read more

Correct presentation of revenue in IFRS 15

Correct presentation of revenue in IFRS 15 provides explicit presentation requirements, which are quite detailed and increase the volume of required disclosures that entities have to include in their interim and annual financial statements. Many of the requirements in IFRS 15 involve information that entities did not previously disclose, all in all the usefulness of information in the financial statements should grow using these presentation requirements.

In practice, the nature and extent of changes to an entity’s financial statements depend on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the nature of its revenue-generating activities and the level of information it previously disclosed.

Reassessment of old revenue disclosures

As part of their adoption of IFRS 15, entities also need … Read more

Construction contracts computations

Construction contracts computations

Construction contracts computations explains some newer features in IFRS 15 such as contract reporting lines and their computations as examples.

As part of the replacement of IAS 11 Construction contracts, IAS 18 Revenue and related interpretations by IFRS 15 Revenue from contracts with customers the presentation and disclosure regarding construction contracts has significantly changed.

The good news for contractors is that the progressive revenue recognition similar to current stage-of-completion accounting is largely retained for many long-term construction contracts. Therefore, in their Financial Statements 2018, contractors have found that applying the new standard to a traditional construction contract results in an accounting outcome broadly similar to IAS 11.

Nevertheless, the devil is in the details. IFRS 15 introduced many new concepts Read more

Hyperinflation in Argentina

Hyperinflation in Argentina – Argentina is now (October 2019) considered to be a hyperinflationary economy. IAS 29 – Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies is therefore applicable to entities whose functional currency is the Argentine peso.

Assessment of the situation

Hyperinflation in ArgentinaIAS 29 sets out a number of quantitative and qualitative characteristics for the purpose of assessing whether an economy is hyperinflationary (IAS 29 3), including:

  • the general population prefers to keep its wealth in non-monetary assets or in a relatively stable foreign currency (e.g., the US dollar or the euro);
  • transactions are conducted in terms of a relatively stable foreign currency;
  • sales and purchases on credit take place at prices that compensate for the expected loss of purchasing power
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Fair value disclosures

Fair value disclosures  – The below illustrative disclosures are limited to financial assets and liabilities measured in accordance with IFRS 9. In many cases, insurers may have other balances that require fair value measurement disclosures in accordance with IFRS 13.

Fair value hierarchy Fair value disclosures


Explanation Fair value disclosures

IFRS 13 73

The insurer categorises a financial asset or a financial liability measured at fair value at the same level of fair value hierarchy as the lowest-level input that is significant to the entire measurement.

The insurer ranks fair value measurements based on the type of inputs, as follows:

IFRS 13 76,

IFRS 13 91(a)

Level 1: The fair value of financial instruments traded in active

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Disclosure requirements IFRS 4 and IFRS 17

Disclosure requirements IFRS 4 and IFRS 17 – Explanation of recognized amounts from IFRS 4 to IFRS 17

1 Introduction Disclosure requirements IFRS 4 and IFRS 17

[IFRS 17 (98), IFRS 17 (93)-(96)]

Disclosure requirements IFRS 4 and IFRS 17IFRS 4 requires an entity to disclose information that identifies and explains the amounts in its financial statements arising from insurance contracts. In order to comply with this objective, IFRS 4 outlines what should be disclosed regarding reconciliations, policies, methods and processes but provides limited guidance on how these disclosure requirements should be met.

IFRS 17 requirements are much more extensive. It requires the entity to provide specific reconciliations showing how the net carrying amounts of insurance contracts changed during the period as a Read more

Disclosure recognised insurance amounts

Disclosure recognised insurance amountsDisclosure recognised insurance amounts

or the clarification and explanation of recognised insurance amounts for a complex industry – insurance. An entity is required to disclose the following:

  • Reconciliations that show how the net carrying amount of contracts within the scope of IFRS 17 changed during each period (see 1 below)
  • Disclosures for contracts other than those to which the entity applies the premium allocation approach:
    • Analysis of insurance revenue recognized in the period for contracts (see 2 below) Disclosure recognised insurance amounts
    • Analysis of the effect of contracts initially recognized in each period (see 3 below) Disclosure recognised insurance amounts
    • Explanation of when the entity expects to recognize the contractual service margin (CSM) at
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