Natural disasters IFRS accounting

Natural disasters IFRS accounting

In the wake of the recent and devastating flood events in Queensland and Victoria, the destruction caused by Cyclone Yasi in Far North Queensland and the fires that have raged in Western Australia, attention for business has now turned from crisis management and clean up to addressing the longer term financial and business implications.

Business Continuity and Crisis Management

In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, the focus should be on stabilising your business.

Factors to consider include:

  • Cash flow – consider your short term cash flow requirements and evaluate how these needs might be met. This could include sourcing government grant assistance, taking advantage of concessions offered by government agencies to disaster affected business (eg ATO lodgement and payment deferrals), discussing short term financing needs with your bankers, discussions with stakeholders such as shareholders, deferring or re-prioritising (where possible) major items of expenditure and reviewing your commitments to your customers and suppliers.
  • People – employees may have been directly or indirectly impacted by the disasters, and support for staff at this time can be critical to the recovery of your business. Consideration should be given to ensuring staff are able to take an appropriate time off work (both when directly affected and also to participate in voluntary clean-up activities where appropriate), providing support services such as Employee Assistance Programs, and ensuring premises and work sites are safe. Other factors to consider include actively managing your workforce to preserve working capital, ensuring employees are focused on tasks that provide the biggest benefit to your business, and being mindful of potential legal obligations and responsibilities to employees. Above all, it is extremely important to communicate effectively with employees at times of crisis, to ensure that they remain focused on the things that matter to your business, and to ensure that a lack of information is not filled by counter-productive speculation and rumour.
  • Customers and suppliers – businesses should focus on discussing how the disasters have impacted key customers and suppliers, as disruptions to the supply-chain or sales pipeline may have significant adverse impacts on cash flow. Consideration should not just be given to those suppliers and customers directly impacted, but also to the indirect impacts (e.g. suppliers to your supplier / customers of your customer etc).

In the longer term, many businesses will need to consider and perhaps recreate their business continuity plans/crisis management strategies moving forward. Despite many businesses having these plans in place, the “acid test” of true crisis has highlighted that many businesses were not as well prepared as they thought. Many plans had never been properly tested in the past.

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Going concern and pandemics

Going concern and pandemics

IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements requires management, when preparing financial statements, to make an assessment of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern, and whether the going concern assumption is appropriate.

Furthermore, disclosures are required when the going concern basis is not used or when management is aware, in making their assessment, of material uncertainties related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt upon the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Disclosure of significant judgement is also required where the assessment of the existence of a material uncertainty is a significant judgement.

In assessing whether the going concern assumption is appropriate, the standard requires that all available information about the future, which is at least, but not limited to, twelve months from the end of the reporting period, should be taken into account.

This assessment needs to be performed up to the date on which the financial statements are issued.

Refer to ‘Current vulnerability due to concentration and liquidity risks‘ below for further discussion on the current vulnerability entities are facing due to concentration and liquidity risks.

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Disclosure capital management

Disclosure capital management

Get the requirements for properly disclosing capital management procedures applied by your company 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.

Disclosure capital management guidance

Capital risk management

1. Capital is not defined in any of the IFRSs. Entities must describe what they manage as capital, based on the type of information that is provided internally to the key management personnel. It therefore depends on the individual entity as to whether capital includes interest-bearing debt or not.

If such debt is included, however, and the loan agreements include capital requirements such as financial covenants that must be satisfied, then these need to be disclosed under paragraph 135(d) of IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements. [IAS 1.134, IAS 1.135]

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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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Need for accounting measurement the big 1

Need for accounting measurement

Need for accounting measurement provides a summary of the measurement bases in use in Financial Reporting
and the concepts behind these measurement bases.
The measurement bases that will be considered here are

All these bases are forms of accrual accounting – that is, they are intended to measure income as it is earned and costs as they are incurred, as opposed to simply recording cash flows. The last four are all forms of current value measurement.

In forming a judgment on the appropriateness of measurement bases, in literature, the overriding tests has been identified to be their cost-effectiveness and fitness for purpose. However, in the absence of direct evidence on these matters, it is usual to argue in terms of various secondary characteristics that ought to be relevant in assessing the quality of information (see the key indicators in What is useful information?).

The most important of these characteristics are generally considered to be relevance and faithful representation / reliability (older term).

For each basis, an outline is given of how it works and the relevance and faithful representation of the resulting measurements. The question of measurement costs is also considered briefly. In reading the analyses that follow, the following comments should be borne in mind.

Bases of measurement in financial reporting are not carved in stone. Different people have different views on how each basis should work, and meanings evolve as practice changes. Some readers may therefore find that the way a particular basis is described does not match how they understand it.

This does not mean either that their understanding is wrong or that the description in the report is wrong; views on these things simply differ.

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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

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

Events after the Reporting period

When should a reporting entity recognise events after the reporting period in the financial statements that are being finalised?

What are the disclosures that should be given about the date when the financial statements were authorised for issue and about the events after the reporting date?

The answers look a bit colorful but are spot on and short……

The events

The three important terms were it is all about are:

1. Events after the reporting period:

are those events, favourable and unfavourable, that occur between the end of the reporting period and the date when the financial statements are authorised for issue. (IAS 10 3 Definitions)

2. Adjusting events:

are events occurring after the reporting date that provide Read more

Consolidated financial statements

The financial statements of a group in which the assets, liabilities, equity, income, expenses and cash flows of the parent and its subsidiaries are presented as those of a single economic entity. The detailed ‘mechanics’ of the consolidation process vary from one group to another, depending on the group’s structure, history and financial reporting systems. IFRS 10 and much of the literature on consolidation are based on a traditional approach to consolidation under which the financial statements (or, more commonly in practice, group ‘reporting packs’) of group entities are aggregated and then adjusted on each reporting date.