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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Example Disclosure financial instruments

Example Disclosure financial instruments

The guidance for this example disclosure financial instruments is found here.

7 Financial assets and financial liabilities

This note provides information about the group’s financial instruments, including:

  • an overview of all financial instruments held by the group
  • specific information about each type of financial instrument
  • accounting policies
  • information about determining the fair value of the instruments, including judgements and estimation uncertainty involved.

The group holds the following financial instruments: [IFRS 7.8]

Amounts in CU’000

Notes

2020

2019

Financial assets

Financial assets at amortised cost

– Trade receivables

7(a)

15,662

8,220

– Other financial assets at amortised cost

7(b)

4,598

3,471

– Cash and cash equivalents

7(e)

55,083

30,299

Financial assets at fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI)

7(c)

6,782

7,148

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss (FVPL)

7(d)

13,690

11,895

Derivative financial instruments

– Used for hedging

12(a)

2,162

2,129

97,975

63,162

Example Disclosure financial instruments

Financial liabilities

Liabilities at amortised cost

– Trade and other payables1

7(f)

13,700

10,281

– Borrowings

7(g)

97,515

84,595

– Lease liabilities

8(b)

11,501

11,291

Derivative financial instruments

– Used for hedging

12(a)

766

777

Held for trading at FVPL

12(a)

610

621

124,092

107,565

The group’s exposure to various risks associated with the financial instruments is discussed in note 12. The maximum exposure to credit risk at the end of the reporting period is the carrying amount of each class of financial assets mentioned above. [IFRS 7.36(a), IFRS 7.31, IFRS 7.34(c)]

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11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

Several IFRS standards provide guidance regarding the scope and application of the fair value option for assets and liabilities. Here they are from 1 to 11…….

1 Investments in associates and joint ventures

Investments held by venture capital organizations and the like are exempt from IAS 28’s requirements only when they are measured at fair value through profit or loss (FVPL) in accordance with IFRS 9. Changes in the fair value (FV) of such investments are recognized in profit or loss in the period of change.

The IASB acknowledged that FV information is often readily available in venture capital organizations and entities in similar industries, even for start-up and non-listed entities, as the methods and basis for fair value measurement are well established. The IASB also confirmed that the reference to well-established practice is to emphasize that the exemption applies generally to those investments for which fair value is readily available.

2 Intangible assets

Subsequent to initial recognition of intangible assets, an entity may adopt either the cost model or the revaluation model as its accounting policy. The policy should be applied to the whole of a class of intangible assets and not merely to individual assets within a class11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13, unless there is no active market for an individual asset.

The revaluation model may only be adopted if the intangible assets are traded in an active market; hence it is not frequently used. Further, the revaluation model may not be applied to intangible assets that have not previously been recognized as assets. For example, over the years an entity might have accumulated for nominal consideration a number of licenses of a kind that are traded on an active market. 11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

The entity may not have recognized an intangible asset as the licenses were individually immaterial when acquired. If market prices for such licenses significantly increased, the value of the licenses held by the entity would substantially increase. In this case, the entity would be prohibited by IAS 38 from applying the revaluation model to the licenses, because they were not previously recognized as an asset.

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Accounting Policies to First IFRS FS

Accounting Policies to First IFRS FS – An entity must use the same accounting policies in its opening IFRS statement of financial position and throughout all periods presented in its first IFRS financial statements. Those accounting policies must comply with each IFRSs effective at the end of its first IFRS reporting period, unless there is a mandatory exception to retrospective application or an optional exemption from the requirements of IFRSs.

[IFRS 1, paras 7 – 9]Accounting Policies to First IFRS FS

Note that:

  • An entity may apply a new IFRS that is not yet mandatory if that IFRSs permits early application.
  • The transitional provisions in IFRSs do not apply to a first-time adopter’s transition to IFRSs.

Mandatory Exceptions to Retrospective Application and Optional Exemptions from Read more

What Is Fintech reporting IFRS 15

What Is Fintech or Financial Technology And Its Benefits?

New and fast-growing technologies like Financial Technology or Fintech have the potential benefits to collect and process data in real-time. This transforms how all businesses are working, how products and services are creating in the new economy, and how customers are engaging in this process. Every professional and commercial industry is affecting due by this change in workflows and business processes. The financial and economic sector is no exception.

Financial Technology or Fintech?

Fintech, short for Financial Technology, is a growing field and is now an economic revolution by the tech-savvy. It is the development of new technology to transform traditional institutions such as banks and insurance companies by uplift how they handle their finances and economic services. The process is not only digitizing money but also monetizing data to fit into the digitized world.

FinTech solutions have huge potential benefits for all businesses, especially new and existing small businesses. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential for economic maturity and employment. However, others may find it difficult to get the financing they need to survive and thrive.

Example

Automated drafting of portfolio management commentaries – Analytics & Reporting (October 2018, Societe Generale Securities Services)

Addventa Fintech exclusive partnership for automated drafting of portfolio management commentaries based on artificial intelligence solutions.

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Disclosure Financial risk management

Disclosure Financial risk management

Disclosure financial risk management provides the guidance on the need for disclosure of the management policies, procedures and measurement practices in place at the operations within the reporting entity’s group of companies and an actual example of disclosures for financial risk management.

Disclosure Financial risk management guidance

Classes of financial instruments

Where IFRS 7 requires disclosures by class of financial instrument, the entity shall group its financial instruments into classes that are appropriate to the nature of the information disclosed and that take into account the characteristics of those financial instruments. The classes are determined by the entity and are therefore distinct from the categories of financial instruments specified in IFRS 9. Disclosure Financial risk management

As a minimum, the entity should distinguish between financial instruments measured at amortised cost and those measured at fair value, and treat as separate class any financial instruments outside the scope of IFRS 9. The entity shall provide sufficient information to permit reconciliation to the line items presented in the balance sheet. Guidance on classes of financial instruments and the level of required disclosures is provided in Appendix B to IFRS 7. [IFRS 7.6, IFRS 7.B1-B3]

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Disclosure financial assets and liabilities

Disclosure financial assets and liabilities

– provides a narrative providing guidance on users of financial statements’ needs to present financial disclosures in the notes to the financial statements grouped in more logical orders. But there is and never will be a one-size fits all.

Here it has been decided to separately disclose financial assets and liabilities and non-financial assets and liabilities, because of the distinct different nature of these classes of assets and liabilities and the resulting different types of disclosures, risks and tabulations.

Disclosure financial assets and liabilities guidance

Disclosing financial assets and liabilities (financial instruments) in one note

Users of financial reports have indicated that they would like to be able to quickly access all of the information about the entity’s financial assets and liabilities in one location in the financial report. The notes are therefore structured such that financial items and non-financial items are discussed separately. However, this is not a mandatory requirement in the accounting standards.

Accounting policies, estimates and judgements

For readers of Financial Statements it is helpful if information about accounting policies that are specific to the entityDisclosure financial assets and liabilitiesand about significant estimates and judgements is disclosed with the relevant line items, rather than in separate notes. However, this format is also not mandatory. For general commentary regarding the disclosures of accounting policies refer to note 25. Commentary about the disclosure of significant estimates and judgements is provided in note 11.

Scope of accounting standard for disclosure of financial instruments

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IFRS 7 does not apply to the following items as they are not financial instruments as defined in paragraph 11 of IAS 32:

  1. prepayments made (right to receive future good or service, not cash or a financial asset)
  2. tax receivables and payables and similar items (statutory rights or obligations, not contractual), or
  3. contract liabilities (obligation to deliver good or service, not cash or financial asset).

While contract assets are also not financial assets, they are explicitly included in the scope of IFRS 7 for the purpose of the credit risk disclosures. Liabilities for sales returns and volume discounts (see note 7(f)) may be considered financial liabilities on the basis that they require payments to the customer. However, they should be excluded from financial liabilities if the arrangement is executory. the Reporting entity Plc determined this to be the case. [IFRS 7.5A]

Classification of preference shares

Preference shares must be analysed carefully to determine if they contain features that cause the instrument not to meet the definition of an equity instrument. If such shares meet the definition of equity, the entity may elect to carry them at FVOCI without recycling to profit or loss if not held for trading.

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Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting is an IFRS.org initiative to focus financial reporting on users. There is a general view that financial reports have become too complex and difficult to read and that financial reporting tends to focus more on compliance than communication. See also narrative reporting as a discussion on alternative ways of reporting.

At the same time, users’ tolerance for sifting through information to find what they need continues to decline.

This has implications for the reputation of companies who fail to keep pace. A global study confirmed this trend, with the majority of analysts stating that the quality of reporting directly influenced their opinion of the quality of management.

To demonstrate what companies could do to make their financial report more relevant, there are several suggestions to ‘streamline’ the financial statements to reflect some of the best practices that have been emerging globally over the past few years. In particular:

  • Information is organized to clearly tell the story of financial performance and make critical information more prominent and easier to find.
  • Additional information is included where it is important for an understanding of the performance of the company. For example, we have included a summary of significant transactions and events as the first note to the financial statements even though this is not a required disclosure.

Improving disclosure effectiveness

Terms such as ’disclosure overload’ and ‘cutting the clutter’, and more precisely ‘disclosure effectiveness’, describe a problem in financial reporting that has become a priority issue for the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB or Board), local standard setters, and regulatory bodies. The growth and complexity of financial statement disclosure is also drawing significant attention from financial statement preparers, and more importantly, the users of financial statements.

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1st and best IFRS Accounting for client money

IFRS Accounting for client money

If an entity holds money on behalf of clients (‘client money’):

  • should the client money be recognised as an asset in the entity’s financial statements?
  • where the client money is recognised as an asset, can it be offset against the corresponding liability to the client on the face of the statement of financial position?

DEFINITION: Client money

“Client money” is used to describe a variety of arrangements in which the reporting entity holds funds on behalf of clients. Client money arrangements are often regulated and more specific definitions of the term are contained in some regulatory pronouncements. The guidance in this alert is not specific to any particular regulatory regime.

Entities may hold money on behalf of clients under many different contractual arrangements, for example:

  • a bank may hold money on deposit in a customer’s bank account;
  • a fund manager or stockbroker may hold money on behalf of a customer as a trustee;
  • an insurance broker may hold premiums paid by policyholders before passing them onto an insurer;
  • a lawyer or accountant may hold money on behalf of a client, often in a separate client bank account where the interest earned is for the client’s benefit.

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