Sale and leaseback accounting under IFRS 16

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 seller-lessee) transfers an asset to another entity (the buyer-lessor) for consideration and leases that asset back from the buyer-lessor.

The IFRS 16 guidance on ‘failed sales’ means that some sale-and-lease back transactions are accounted for as pure financing transactions by both lessors and lessees.

In a sale-and-lease back transaction, a company (the seller-lessee) transfers an underlying asset … Read more

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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Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities example

Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities example

The guidance for this disclosure example is provided here.

8 Non-financial assets and liabilities

This note provides information about the group’s non-financial assets and liabilities, including:

  • specific information about each type of non-financial asset and non-financial liability
    • property, plant and equipment (note 8(a))
    • leases (note 8(b))
    • investment properties (note 8(c))
    • intangible assets (note 8(d))
    • deferred tax balances (note 8(e))
    • inventories (note 8(f))
    • other assets, including assets classified as held for sale (note 8(g))
    • employee benefit obligations (note 8(h))
    • provisions (note 8(i))
  • accounting policies
  • information about determining the fair value of the assets and liabilities, including judgements and estimation uncertainty involved (note 8(j)).

8(a) Property, plant and equipment

Amounts in CU’000

Freehold land

Buildings

Furniture, fittings and equipment

Machinery and vehicles

Assets under construction

Total

At 1 January 2019

Cost or fair value

11,350

28,050

27,510

70,860

137,770

Accumulated depreciation

-7,600

-37,025

-44,625

Net carrying amount

11,350

28,050

19,910

33,835

93,145

Movements in 2019

Exchange differences

-43

-150

-193

Revaluation surplus

2,700

3,140

5,840

Additions

2,874

1,490

2,940

4,198

3,100

14,602

Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals

-424

-525

-2,215

3,164

Depreciation charge

-1,540

-2,030

-4,580

8,150

Closing net carrying amount

16,500

31,140

20,252

31,088

3,100

102,080

At 31 December 2019

Cost or fair value

16,500

31,140

29,882

72,693

3,100

153,315

Accumulated depreciation

-9,630

-41,605

-51,235

Net carrying amount

16,500

31,140

20,252

31,088

3,100

102,080

Movements in 2020

Exchange differences

-230

-570

-800

Revaluation surplus

3,320

3,923

7,243

Acquisition of subsidiary

800

3,400

1,890

5,720

11,810

Additions

2,500

2,682

5,313

11,972

3,450

25,917

Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals

-550

-5,985

-1,680

-8,215

Transfers

950

2,150

-3,100

Depreciation charge

-1,750

-2,340

-4,380

-8,470

Impairment loss (ii)

-465

-30

-180

-675

Closing net carrying amount

22,570

38,930

19,820

44,120

3,450

128,890

At 31 December 2020

Cost or fair value

22,570

38,930

31,790

90,285

3,450

187,025

Accumulated depreciation

-11,970

-46,165

-58,135

Net carrying amount

22,570

38,930

19,820

44,120

3,450

128,890

(i) Non-current assets pledged as security

Refer to note 24 for information on non-current assets pledged as security by the group.

(ii) Impairment loss and compensation

The impairment loss relates to assets that were damaged by a fire – refer to note 4(b) for details. The whole amount was recognised as administrative expense in profit or loss, as there was no amount included in the asset revaluation surplus relating to the relevant assets. [IAS 36.130(a)]

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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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Best guide IFRS 16 Lessor modifications

Best guide IFRS 16 Lessor modifications

summarises the accounting for lessor modifications that depends on – and may change – the lease classification.

Unlike IAS 17 Leases, the new standard provides detailed guidance on the lessor accounting for lease modifications, with separate guidance for modifications to finance leases and operating leases.

However, additional complexities arise for modifications of a finance lease receivable not accounted for as a separate lease for which, under paragraph 80(b) of IFRS 16, the lessor applies the requirements of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments. A number of issues arise due to differences in the basic concepts between IFRS 16 and IFRS 9.

The following diagram summarises the accounting for lease modifications by a lessor.

Best guide IFRS 16 Lessor modifications

Separate lease Not a separate lease – Finance to operating Not a separate lease – Finance to finance Lessor modifications to operating expenses

* A lessee reassessment of whether it is reasonably certain to exercise an option to extend, or not to exercise a termination option, included in the original lease contract is not a lease modification

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Financing activities

Financing activities - Activities that result in changes in the size and composition of the contributed capital and borrowings of the entity.