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 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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The best 1 in overview – IFRS 9 Impairment requirements

IFRS 9 Impairment requirements

forward-looking information to recognise expected credit losses for all debt-type financial assets


Under IFRS 9 Impairment requirements, recognition of impairment no longer depends on a reporting entity first identifying a credit loss event.

IFRS 9 instead uses more forward-looking information to recognise expected credit losses for all debt-type financial assets that are not measured at fair value through profit or loss.

IFRS 9 requires an entity to recognise a loss allowance for expected credit losses on:

  • debt instruments measured at amortised cost
  • debt instruments measured at fair value through other comprehensive income
  • lease receivables
  • contract assets (as defined in IFRS 15 ‘Revenue from Contracts with Customers’)
  • loan commitments that are not measured at fair value through profit or loss
  • financial guarantee contracts (except those accounted for as insurance contracts).

IFRS 9 requires an expected loss allowance to be estimated for each of these types of asset or exposure. However, the Standard specifies three different approaches depending on the type of asset or exposure:

IFRS 9 Impairment requirements

* optional application to trade receivables and contract assets with a significant financing component, and to lease receivables

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Low credit risk operational simplification

Low credit risk operational simplification

IFRS 9 contains an important simplification that, if a financial instrument has low credit risk, then an entity is allowed to assume at the reporting date that no significant increases in credit risk have occurred. The low credit risk concept was intended, by the IASB, to provide relief for entities from tracking changes in the credit risk of high quality financial instruments. Therefore, this simplification is only optional and the low credit risk simplification can be elected on an instrument-by-instrument basis.

This is a change from the 2013 ED, in which a low risk exposure was deemed not to have suffered significant deterioration in credit risk. The amendment to make the simplification optional was made in response to requests from constituents, including regulators. It is expected that the Basel Committee SCRAVL consultation document will propose that sophisticated banks should only use this simplification rarely for their loan portfolios.

For low risk instruments, the entity would recognise an allowance based on 12-month ECLs. However, if a financial instrument is not considered to have low credit risk at the reporting date, it does not follow that the entity is required to recognise lifetime ECLs. In such instances, the entity has to assess whether there has been a significant increase in credit risk since initial recognition that requires the recognition of lifetime ECLs.

The standard states that a financial instrument is considered to have low credit risk if: [IFRS 9.B5.22]

  • The financial instrument has a low risk of default
  • The borrower has a strong capacity to meet its contractual cash flow obligations in the near term
  • Adverse changes in economic and business conditions in the longer term may, but will not necessarily, reduce the ability of the borrower to fulfil its contractual cash flow obligations Low credit risk operational simplification

A financial instrument is not considered to have low credit risk simply because it has a low risk of loss (e.g., for a collateralised loan, if the value of the collateral is more than the amount lent (see collateral) or it has lower risk of default compared with the entity’s other financial instruments or relative to the credit risk of the jurisdiction within which the entity operates.

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Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance

Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance

Expected credit losses continuously in focus

In December 2015, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (‘the Committee’) issued its Guidance on credit risk and accounting for expected credit losses (‘Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance’). The Guidance sets out supervisory guidance on sound credit risk practices associated with the implementation and ongoing application of expected credit loss (ECL) accounting frameworks, such as that introduced in IFRS 9, Financial Instruments.

The Committee expects a disciplined, high-quality approach to assessing and measuring ECL by banks. The Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance emphasises the inclusion of a wide range of relevant, reasonable and supportable forward looking information, including macroeconomic data, in a bank’s accounting measure of ECL. In particular, banks should not ignore future events simply because they have a low probability of occurring or on the grounds of increased cost or subjectivity.

In addition, the Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance notes the Committee’s view that that the use of the practical expedients in IFRS 9 should be limited for internationally active banks. This includes the use of the ‘low credit risk’ exemption and the ‘more than 30 days past due’ rebuttable presumption in relation to assessing significant increases in credit risk.

Obviously, banks keep in continued talks to their local regulator about the extent to which their regulator expects the (below) Banking IFRS 9 Guidance to apply to them.

Principles underlying the Banking IFRS 9 Guidance – in Summary

Supervisory guidance for credit risk and accounting for expected credit losses

Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance Basel Committee IFRS 9 Guidance

Principle 1


A bank’s board of directors and senior management are responsible for ensuring appropriate credit risk practices, including an effective system of internal control, to consistently determine adequate allowances.

Principle 2


The measurement of allowances should build upon robust methodologies to address policies, procedures and controls for assessing and measuring credit risk

Banks should clearly document the definition of key terms and criteria to duly consider the impact of forward-looking information including macro-economic factors, different potential scenarios and define accounting policies for restructurings

Principle 3

Credit Risk Rating

A bank should have a credit risk rating process in place to appropriately group lending exposures on the basis of shared credit risk characteristics

Principle 4

Allowances adequacy

A bank’s aggregate amount of allowances should be adequate and consistent with the objectives of the applicable accounting framework

Banks must ensure that the assessment approach (individual or collective) does not result in delayed recognition of ECL, e.g. by incorporating forward-looking information incl. macroeconomic factors on collective basis for individually assessed loans

Principle 5

Validation of models

A bank should have policies and procedures in place to appropriately validate models used to assess and measure expected credit losses

Principle 6

Experienced credit judgment

Experienced credit judgment in particular with regards to forward looking information and macroeconomic factors is essential

Consideration of forward looking information should not be avoided on the basis that banks consider costs as excessive or information too uncertain if this information contributes to a high quality implementation

Principle 7

Common systems

A bank should have a sound credit risk assessment and measurement process that provides it with a strong basis for common systems, tools and data

Principle 8


A bank’s public disclosures should promote transparency and comparability by providing timely, relevant, and decision-useful information

Principle 9

Assessment of Credit Risk Management

Banking supervisors should periodically evaluate the effectiveness of a bank’s credit risk practices

Principle 10

Approval of Models

Supervisors should be satisfied that the methods employed by a bank to determine accounting allowances lead to an appropriate measurement of expected credit losses

Principle 11

Assessment of Capital Adequacy

Banking supervisors should consider a bank’s credit risk practices when assessing a bank’s capital adequacy

Principles underlying the Banking IFRS 9 Guidance

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30 days past due rebuttable presumption – simple and sufficient

Past due status and more than 30 days past due rebuttable presumption

– making loss provision calculations simple –

The second simplification available in IFRS 9 sets out a rebuttable presumption that the credit risk on a financial asset has increased significantly since initial recognition when contractual payments are more than 30 days past due. [IFRS]

The first simplification available in IFRS 9 is the low credit presumption.

When payments are 30 days past due, a financial asset is considered to be in stage 2 and lifetime expected credit losses are recognised.

An entity can rebut this presumption when it has reasonable and supportable information available that demonstrates that even if payments are 30 days or more past due, it does not represent a significant increase in the credit risk of a financial instrument.

This 30 days past due simplification permits the use of delinquency or past due status, together with other more forward-looking information, to 30 days past dueidentify a significant increase in credit risk. The IASB decided that this simplification should be required as a rebuttable presumption to ensure that its application does not result in an entity reverting to an incurred loss model.[IFRS 9.BC5.190]

The IASB is concerned that past due information is a lagging indicator. Typically, credit risk increases significantly before a financial instrument becomes past due or other lagging borrower-specific factors (for example, a modification or restructuring) are observed.

Consequently, when reasonable and supportable information that is more forward-looking than past due information is available without undue cost or effort, it must be used to assess changes in credit risk and an entity cannot rely solely on past due information. However, if more forward-looking information (either on an individual or collective basis) is not available without undue cost or effort, an entity may use past due information to assess changes in credit risks.

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9 Essential Leases and No leases examples

9 Essential Leases and no leases examples

– shows the difference between cases of entities involved in contracts containing a lease under IFRS 16 Leases and similar but different cases of entities involved in contracts NOT containing a lease under IFRS 16 Leases.

To start setting the stage, the definition of a lease: A contract, or part of a contract, that conveys the right to use an asset (the underlying asset) for a period of time in exchange for consideration.

1. Lease Rail cars

The case
A contract between Customer and a freight carrier (Supplier) provides Customer with the use of 10 rail cars of a particular type for five years. The contract specifies the rail cars; the cars are owned by Supplier. Customer determines when, where and which goods are to be transported using the cars. When the cars are not in use, they are kept at Customer’s premises. Customer can use the cars for another purpose (for example, storage) if it so chooses.

However, the contract specifies that Customer cannot transport particular types of cargo (for example, explosives). If a particular car needs to be serviced or repaired, Supplier is required to substitute a car of the same type. Otherwise, and other than on default by Customer, Supplier cannot retrieve the cars during the five-year period.Leases and No leases examples

The contract also requires Supplier to provide an engine and a driver when requested by Customer. Supplier keeps the engines at its premises and provides instructions to the driver detailing Customer’s requests to transport goods. Supplier can choose to use any one of a number of engines to fulfil each of Customer’s requests, and one engine could be used to transport not only Customer’s goods, but also the goods of other customers (ie if other customers require the transportation of goods to destinations close to the destination requested by Customer and within a similar timeframe, Supplier can choose to attach up to 100 rail cars to the engine).

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Best intro to accounting for cryptocurrencies in 1 view

Best intro to accounting for cryptocurrencies

the basics provides guidance on some of the basic issues encountered in accounting for cryptocurrencies, focussing on the accounting for the holder.

The popularity of cryptocurrencies has soared in recent years, yet they do not fit easily within IFRS’ financial reporting structure.

For example, an approach of accounting for holdings of cryptocurrencies at fair value through profit or loss may seem intuitive but is incompatible with the requirements of IFRS in most circumstances. Here the acceptable methods of accounting for holdings in cryptocurrencies are discussed while touching upon other issues that may be encountered.

Relevant IFRS

IAS 38 Intangible AssetsIAS 2 InventoriesIFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement

What is a cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is digital or ‘virtual’ money, which uses cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the creation of additional currency units, and to verify the transfer of assets. Cryptography itself describes the process by which codes are written or generated to allow information to be kept secret.

In contrast to traditional forms of money which are controlled using centralised banking systems, cryptocurrencies use decentralised control. The decentralised control of a cryptocurrency works through a ‘blockchain’, which is a public transaction database, functioning as a distributed ledger.

This has advantages in that two parties can transact with each other directly without the need for an intermediary, saving time and cost.

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Determining a leases discount rate

Determining a leases discount rate

IFRS 16.26 sets out the discount rate requirement as follows:

At the commencement date, a lessee shall measure the lease liability at the present value of the lease payments that are not paid at that date. The lease payments shall be discounted using the interest rate implicit in the lease, if that rate can be readily determined. If that rate cannot be readily determined, the lessee shall use the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate.”

Given a significant number of organisations are unlikely to have the necessary historical data to determine the interest rate implicit in the lease (“IRIIL”) for transition, it seems logical that the use of the incremental borrowing rate (“IBR”) will be relatively common at the date of adoption.

Additionally, any company choosing to use one of the modified retrospective approaches is required to use the IBR. For leases signed after transition, companies may be more readily able to determine IRIIL, however it is likely that companies will enter into leases which require the continued use of the IBR.

Lessee’s incremental borrowing rate

The rate of interest that a lessee would have to pay to borrow over a similar term, and with a similar security, the funds necessary to obtain an asset of a similar value to the right of use asset in a similar economic environment.”

Additional detail on determining the incremental borrowing rate can be found in the guidance outlining the transition related practical expedient for using a single discount rate for a portfolio of leases:

a lessee may apply a single discount rate to a portfolio of leases with reasonably similar characteristics (such as leases with a similar remaining lease term for a similar class of underlying asset in a similar economic environment).”

Combining these two aspects together results in the six factors (in green) requiring consideration in determining an IBR, either for an individual lease or a portfolio of leases.

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How to best account for COVID-19 under IAS 10

How to best account for COVID-19 under IAS 10 Events after the reporting period? The question is whether the COVID-19 crises is an adjusting event of a non-adjusting event for the Financial Statements for the period ended 31 December 2019 that have not been authorised for final distribution to stakeholders or for filing at a chamber of commerce or similar institute.

If it is a non-adjusting event what disclosures does it still require in the financial statements or management report accompanying these financial statements?

In terms of accounting implications, the current consensus is that an entity shall not adjust the amounts recognized in its financial statements (IAS 10 10 Non-adjusting events) as at 31 December 2019 to reflect … Read more