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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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.

Covid-19
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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IAS 16 Generation assets for Power and Utilities

Generation assets for Power and Utilities

– are often large and complex installations. They are expensive to construct, tend to be exposed to harsh operating conditions and require periodic replacement or repair. This environment leads to specific accounting issues.

1 Fixed assets and components

IFRS has a specific requirement for ‘component’ depreciation, as described in IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment. Each significant part of an item of property, plant and equipment is depreciated separately. Significant parts of an asset that have similar useful lives and patterns of consumption can be grouped together. This requirement can create complications for utility entities, because many assets include components with a shorter useful life than the asset as a whole.

Identifying components of an asset

Generation assets might comprise a significant number of components, many of which will have differing useful lives. The significant components of these types of assets must be separately identified. This can be a complex process, particularly on transition to IFRS, because the detailed record-keeping needed for componentisation might not have been required in order to comply with national generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This can particularly be an issue for older power plants. However, some regulators require detailed asset records, which can be useful for IFRS component identification purposes.

An entity might look to its operating data if the necessary information for components is not readily identified by the accounting records. Some components can be identified by considering the routine shutdown or overhaul schedules for power stations and the associated replacement and maintenance routines. Consideration should also be given to those components that are prone to technological obsolescence, corrosion or wear and tear that is more severe than that of the other portions of the larger asset.

First-time IFRS adopters can benefit from an exemption under IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards. This exemption allows entities to use a value that is not depreciated cost in accordance with IAS 16, and IAS 23 Borrowing Costs as deemed cost on transition to IFRS. It is not necessary to apply the exemption to all assets or to a group of assets.

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IAS 36 How Impairment test

IAS 36 How Impairment test is all about this – When looking at the step-by-step IAS 36 impairment approach it comes down to the following broadly organised steps: IAS 36 How Impairment test

  • What?? – Determining the scope and structure of the impairment review, explained here,
  • If and when? – Determining if and when a quantitative impairment test is necessary, explained here,
  • IAS 36 How Impairment test or understanding the mechanics of the impairment test and how to recognise or reverse any impairment loss, if necessary. Which is explained in this section…

The objective of IAS 36 Impairment of assets is to outline the procedures that an entity applies to ensure that its assets’ carrying values are not … Read more

Recoverable amount

Recoverable amount of an asset or a cash-generating unit is the higher of its fair value less costs to sell and its value in use.

3 powerful capital maintenance concepts

3 powerful capital maintenance concepts – There are three (or two a matter of definition) concepts of capital: a financial concept of capital (nominal maintenance and purchasing power maintenance) and a physical concept of capital. Under the financial concept, capital is defined as the net assets or equity of the enterprise, while under the physical concept, capital is defined as the productive capacity of the enterprise expressed in some physical units of measurement, as for example units of output per day.

The selection of the appropriate concept of capital by an enterprise should be based on the needs of the users of its financial statements. So, the financial concept of capital should be and mostly is used by the financial … Read more

Impairment of intangible assets

Possible impairment of intangible assets has to be assessed on a periodical basis. Intangible assets are tested for impairment when there is indication that they might be impaired. Indicators of impairment include legal restrictions, business restructuring, development of new technology, economic changes, etc. Impairment of intangible assets

Impairment test for intangible assets is the same as that for a tangible fixed asset:

  1. comparing the carrying amount of the asset, and Impairment of intangible assets
  2. the higher of fair value (less cost to sell) and value in use. Impairment of intangible assets

If b) is lower than a) that difference is recognized as impairment. Impairment of intangible assets

Impairment test for goodwill is a little more complex. The goodwill is first … Read more

Diagnosed for importance decommissioning liability IFRS

Diagnosed for importance decommissioning liability IFRS

Impact of a decommissioning liability

– IAS 36 – Impact of a decommissioning liability in determining the recoverable amount of a Cash generating unit.

At a glance

Most liabilities are ignored when calculating recoverable amounts in impairment testing. However certain liabilities, such as decommissioning and restoration liabilities, cannot be separated from the related assets. This presents challenges when applying both the ‘fair value less costs of disposal’ approach and the ‘value in use’ approach.

The IFRS Interpretations Diagnosed for importance decommissioning liability IFRSCommittee (IC) considered how to apply the current guidance to a value in use calculation. The IC declined to take the issue on to the agenda as the guidance on value in use is clear, therefore … Read more

Impairment Example

Impairment Example – Accounting exampleReversal of impairment losses

Impairment of property, plant and equipment, intangible assets, and goodwill

The group assesses assets or groups of assets, called cash-generating units (CGUs), for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset or CGU may not be recoverable; for example, changes in the group’s business plans, changes in the group’s assumptions about commodity prices, low plant utilization, evidence of physical damage or, for oil and gas assets, significant downward revisions of estimated reserves or increases in estimated future development expenditure or decommissioning costs. If any such indication of impairment exists, the group makes an estimate of the asset’s or CGU’s recoverable amount. Individual assets are grouped into CGUs … Read more

Fair value less costs of disposal

Fair value less costs of disposal -Costs of disposal, other than already recognised as liabilities, are deducted in measuring fair value less costs of disposal.