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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Compound financial instruments

Compound financial instruments – An incredible shift in accounting concepts

Compound financial instruments contain elements which are representative of both equity and liability classification.

A common example is a convertible bond, which typically (but not always, see ‘2 Convertible bonds‘ below) consists of a liability component in relation to a contractual arrangement to deliver cash or another financial asset) and an equity instrument (a call option granting the holder the right, for a specified period of time,Compound financial instruments to convert the bond into a fixed number of ordinary shares of the entity).

Other examples of possible compound financial instruments include instruments with rights to a fixed minimum dividend and additional discretionary dividends, and instruments with fixed dividend rights but … Read more

Costs to issue or buy back issued shares

The accounting rule: Costs to issue or buy back issued shares by the issuing entity are accounted for as a deduction from equity, net of any related income tax benefit (the issue or buy back not being part of a business combination). 

An entity typically incurs various costs in issuing or acquiring its own equity instruments. Those costs might include registration and other regulatory fees, amounts paid to legal, accounting and other professional advisers, printing costs and stamp duties. The transaction costs of an equity transaction are accounted for as a deduction from equity (net of any related income tax benefit) to the extent they are incremental costs directly attributable to the equity transaction that otherwise would have been avoided. … Read more

Types of accounting errors

Types of accounting errors come in the form of different kinds of errors. Some errors are discovered in the period in which they are made and are easily adjusted. Others may not be discovered currently and are incorrectly reflected in the financial statements until discovered. Some errors are never discovered; however, the effects of these errors may be counterbalanced in subsequent periods, and after this takes place, account balances are again accurately stated. Errors may be classified as follows:

  1. Errors discovered currently in the course of normal accounting procedures. Examples of this type of error are clerical errors, such as an addition error, posting to the wrong account) misstating an account, or omitting an account from the trial balance.
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Potential voting rights

Potential voting rightsPotential voting rights – An investor may hold instruments that (if exercised or converted), give the investor power to direct the relevant activities. These are called ‘potential voting rights’ and may be held through ownership of the following types of instrument:

  • share options and warrants Potential voting rights
  • convertible bonds Potential voting rights
  • convertible preference shares. Potential voting rights

Potential voting rights can contribute to control of an investee in combination with current voting rights, or even confer control on their own. However, IFRS 10 requires an assessment to determine whether potential voting rights are substantive. IFRS 10 has no bright lines and so judgment will be required.

IFRS 10’s ‘substantive’ assessment takes into account both:

  • the general guidance
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