Landlord accounting model – IFRS 16 best replacement for IAS 40

Landlord accounting model

Landlords continue to classify leases as finance or operating leases, and continue to classify many real estate leases as operating leases.

1 Overview

The lessor follows a dual accounting approach for lease accounting. The accounting is based on whether significant risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an underlying asset are transferred to the lessee, in which case the lease is classified as a finance lease. This is similar to the previous lease accounting requirements that applied to lessors.

What are the impacts of IFRS 16 on lessors?

Much of the guidance in IFRS 16 on lessor accounting is a ‘carry forward’ from IAS 17 Leases – literally a cut-and-paste. This reflects feedback from financial statement users and other stakeholders that lessor accounting was not ‘broken’.

However, there are a number of changes in the details of lessor accounting. For example, lessors apply the new:

  • definition of a lease (see this page);
  • guidance on separating components of a contract (see this page);
  • guidance on lease term (see this page);
  • guidance on lease modifications (see this page);
  • guidance on sub-lease (see this page); and
  • guidance on sale-and-leaseback (see this page).

The same definition of ‘lease term’ applies to both lessees and lessors. IFRS 16 includes guidance on when extension options and termination options are taken into consideration when determining the lease term. Additional guidance has been issued about determining the lease term – an estimate that could significantly impact the overall lease accounting.

In addition, IFRS 16 includes specific guidance on separating the components of a contract and accounting for lease modifications by lessors.

The new guidance may significantly impact the accounting for sub-leases and sale-and-leaseback transactions.

2 Lease classification

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Borrowing costs – Q&A IAS 23

Q&A Borrowing costs

Q&A Borrowing costs is a questions and answers lesson type of narrative following the captions of this rather simple IFRS Standard.

  1. General scope and definitions
  2. Borrowing costs eligible for capitalisation
  3. Foreign exchange differences
  4. Cessation of capitalisation
  5. Interaction IAS 23 and IFRS 15 Construction contracts with customers

General scope and definitions

1.1 A qualifying asset is an asset that ‘necessarily takes a substantial period of time to get ready for its intended use or sale’. Is there any bright line for determining the ‘substantial period of time’?

No. IAS 23 does not define ‘substantial period of time’. Management exercises judgement when determining which assets are qualifying assets, taking into account, among other factors, the nature of the asset. An asset that normally takes more than a year to be ready for use will usually be a qualifying asset. Once management chooses the criteria and type of assets, it applies this consistently to those types of asset.

Management discloses in the notes to the financial statements, when relevant, how the assessment was performed, which criteria were considered and which types of assets are subject to capitalisation of borrowing costs.

1.2 The IASB has amended the list of costs that can be included in borrowing costs, as part of its 2008 minor improvement project. Will this change anything in practice?

The amendment eliminates inconsistencies between interest expense as calculated under IAS 23 and IFRS 9. IAS 23 refers to the effective interest rate method as described in IFRS 9. The calculation includes fees, transaction costs and amortisation of discounts or premiums relating to borrowings. These components were already included in IAS 23. However, IAS 23 also referred to ‘ancillary costs’ and did not define this term.

This could have resulted in a different calculation of interest expense than under IFRS 9. No significant impact is expected from this change. Alignment of the definitions means that management only uses one method to calculate interest expense.

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Sale and leaseback accounting under IFRS 15

Sale and leaseback accounting

A sale and lease back transaction is a popular way for entities to secure long-term financing from substantial property, plant and equipment assets such as land and buildings. IFRS 16 made significant changes to sale and lease back accounting in comparison with IAS 17. A sale and leaseback transaction is one where an entity (the Read more

IFRS 16 Lessor accounting

IFRS 16 Lessor accounting

Lessors continue to classify leases as finance or operating leases.

1. Lessor accounting model

The lessor follows a dual accounting approach for lease accounting. The accounting is based on whether significant risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an underlying asset are transferred to the lessee, in which case the lease is classified as a finance lease. This is similar to the previous lease accounting requirements that applied to lessors. The lessor accounting models are also essentially unchanged from IAS 17 Leases. [IFRS 16.B53, IFRS 16.BC289]

Are the lessee and lessor accounting models consistent?

No. A key consequence of the decision to retain the IAS 17 dual accounting model for lessors is a lack of consistency with the new lessee accounting model. This can be seen in the case Lease classification below:

There are also more detailed differences. For example, lessees and lessors use the same guidance for determining the lease term and assessing whether renewal and purchase options are reasonably certain to be exercised, and termination options not reasonably certain to be exercised. However, unlike lessees, lessors do not reassess their initial assessments of lease term and whether renewal and purchase options are reasonably certain to be exercised, and termination options not reasonably certain to be exercised (see changes in the lease term in the link).

Other differences are more subtle. For example, although the definition of lease payments is similar for lessors and lessees (see lease payments in the link), the difference is the amount of residual value guarantee included in the lease payments.

  • The lessor includes the full amount (regardless of the likelihood that payment will be due) of any residual value guarantees provided to the lessor by the lessee, a party related to the lessee or a third party unrelated to the lessor that is financially capable of discharging the obligations under the guarantee.
  • The lessee includes only any amounts expected to be payable to the lessor under a residual value guarantee.

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Sub-leases under IFRS 16

Sub-leases under IFRS 16

The classification guidance in IFRS 16 means that many sub-leases are finance leases, impacting the financial position and financial performance of intermediate lessors.

A sub-lease is a transaction in which a lessee (or ‘intermediate lessor’) grants a right to use the underlying asset to a third party, and the lease (or ‘head lease’) between the original lessor and lessee remains in effect.

A company applies IFRS 16 to all leases of right-of-use assets in a sub-lease. The intermediate lessor accounts for the head lease and the sub-lease as two different contracts, applying both the lessee and lessor accounting requirements. [IFRS 16.3]

Sub-leases under IFRS 16

An intermediate lessor classifies the sub-lease as a finance lease or as an operating lease with reference to the right-of-use asset arising from the head lease. That is, the intermediate lessor treats the right-of-use asset as the underlying asset in the sub-lease, not the item of property, plant or equipment that it leases from the head lessor. [IFRS 16.B58]

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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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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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IFRS 16 Good Important Read – Lease payments

Lease payments – Lessee perspective

or what does a lessee include in its lease liability?

At the commencement date, a lessee measures the lease liability as the present value of lease payments that have not been paid at that date. In a simple lease that includes only fixed lease payments, this can be a simple calculation (IFRS 16.26).

Lease payments

Worked example – Fixed lease payments are included in lease liabilities
Lessee B enters into a five year lease of a photocopier. The lease payments are 10,000 per annum, paid at the end of each year.

Because the annual lease payments are fixed amounts, B includes the present value of the five annual payments in the initial measurement of the lease liability.

Using a discount rate (determined as B’s incremental borrowing rate) of 5%, the lease liability at the commencement date is calculated as follows:

Year

Lease payments

Discounted

1

10,000

9,524

2

10,000

9,070

3

10,000

8,638

4

10,000

8,227

5

10,000

7,835

Lease liability at commencement date

43,294

 

Categories of lease payment

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Focus on IFRS 16 Leases – Best read

Focus on IFRS 16 Leases

 

Best focus on IFRS 16 LeasesBest focus on IFRS 16 Leases

Focus on IFRS 16 Leases 2

Focus on IFRS 16 Leases 3

(Source https://www.bdo.global/en-gb/services/audit-assurance/ifrs/ifrs-at-a-glance)

Focus on IFRS 16 Leases or in slightly more detail…..

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IFRS vs US GAAP Investment property – Broken in 10 great excellent reads

IFRS vs US GAAP Investment property

The following discussion captures a number of the more significant GAAP differences under both the impairment standards. It is important to note that the discussion is not inclusive of all GAAP differences in this area.

The significant differences and similarities between U.S. GAAP and IFRS related to accounting for investment property are summarized in the following tables.

Standards Reference

US GAAP1

IFRS2

360 Property, Plant and equipment

IAS 40 Investment property

Introduction

The guidance under US GAAP and IFRS as it relates to investment property contains some significant differences with potentially far-reaching implications.

Links to detailed observations by subject

Definition and classification Initial measurement Subsequent measurement
Fair value model Cost model Subsequent expenditure
Timing of transfers Measurement of transfers Redevelopment
Disposals

Overview

US GAAP

IFRS

Unlike IFRS Standards, there is no specific definition of ‘investment property’; such property is accounted for as property, plant and equipment unless it meets the criteria to be classified as held-for-sale.

Investment property’ is property (land or building) held by the owner or lessee to earn rentals or for capital appreciation, or both.

Unlike IFRS Standards, there is no guidance on how to classify dual-use property. Instead, the entire property is accounted for as property, plant and equipment.

A portion of a dual-use property is classified as investment property only if the portion could be sold or leased out under a finance lease. Otherwise, the entire property is classified as investment property only if the portion of the property held for own use is insignificant.

Unlike IFRS Standards, ancillary services provided by a lessor do not affect the treatment of a property as property, plant and equipment.

If a lessor provides ancillary services, and such services are a relatively insignificant component of the arrangement as a whole, then the property is classified as investment property.

Like IFRS Standards, investment property is initially measured at cost as property, plant and equipment.

Investment property is initially measured at cost.

Unlike IFRS Standards, subsequent to initial recognition all investment property is measured using the cost model as property, plant and equipment.

Subsequent to initial recognition, all investment property is measured under either the fair value model (subject to limited exceptions) or the cost model.

If the fair value model is chosen, then changes in fair value are recognised in profit or loss.

Unlike IFRS Standards, there is no requirement to disclose the fair value of investment property.

Disclosure of the fair value of all investment property is required, regardless of the measurement model used.

Similar to IFRS Standards, subsequent expenditure is generally capitalised if it is probable that it will give rise to future economic benefits.

Subsequent expenditure is capitalised only if it is probable that it will give rise to future economic benefits.

Unlike IFRS Standards, investment property is accounted for as property, plant and equipment, and there are no transfers to or from an ‘investment property’ category.

Transfers to or from investment property can be made only when there has been a change in the use of the property.

IFRS vs US GAAP Investment property IFRS vs US GAAP Investment property IFRS vs US GAAP Investment property

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