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.

Read more

The Statement of Cash Flows

Statement of Cash Flows

IAS 7.10 requires an entity to analyse its cash inflows and outflows into three categories:

  • Operating;
  • Investing; and
  • Financing.

IAS 7.6 defines these as follows:

Operating activities are the principal revenue producing activities of the entity and other activities that are not investing or financing activities.’

Investing activities are the acquisition and disposal of long-term assets and other investments not included in cash equivalents.’

Financing activities are activities that result in changes in the size and composition of the contributed equity and borrowings of the entity.’

1. Operating activities

It is often assumed that this category includes only those cash flows that arise from an entity’s principal revenue producing activities.

However, because cash flows arising from operating activities represents a residual category, which includes any cashStatement of cash flows flows that do not qualify to be recorded within either investing or financing activities, these can include cash flows that may initially not appear to be ‘operating’ in nature.

For example, the acquisition of land would typically be viewed as an investing activity, as land is a long-term asset. However, this classification is dependent on the nature of the entity’s operations and business practices. For example, an entity that acquires land regularly to develop residential housing to be sold would classify land acquisitions as an operating activity, as such cash flows relate to its principal revenue producing activities and therefore meet the definition of an operating cash flow.

2. Investing activities

An entity’s investing activities typically include the purchase and disposal of its intangible assets, property, plant and equipment, and interests in other entities that are not held for trading purposes. However, in an entity’s consolidated financial statements, cash flows from investing activities do not include those arising from changes in ownership interest of subsidiaries that do not result in a change in control, which are classified as arising from financing activities.

It should be noted that cash flows related to the sale of leased assets (when the entity is the lessor) may be classified as operating or investing activities depending on the specific facts and circumstances.

Read more

Equity – 2 understand it all at best

Equity

There are, at least, two ways to discuss equity:

  • Equity is the residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all its liabilities, or
  • An equity instrument is any contract that evidences a residual interest in the assets of an entity after deducting all of its liabilities.

But also:

1. Equity the residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all its liabilities

1. Statement of Financial Position

Assets

Equity and liabilities

1. Non-current assets

2. Current assets

Help

Help

A – TOTAL ASSETS [1 + 2] = B

3. Non-current liabilities (including Provisions)

4. Current liabilities (including Provisions)

5. Equity [1 + 2 -/- 3 -/- 4]

Help

B – TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES [3 + 4 + 5] = A

Read more

Note 1 Cash and cash equivalents

Definition of cash and cash equivalents

IAS 7.6 includes the following definitions:

Cash’:

  • Cash on hand (physical currency held), and
  • Demand deposits.

Cash equivalents’:

  • Short-term, highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and which are subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value.

IAS 7.7 then notes that cash equivalents are held for the purpose of meeting short term cash commitments rather than for investment or other purposes. IAS 7.7 also notes that:

‘…an investment normally qualifies as a cash equivalent only when it has a short maturity of, say, three months or less from the date of acquisition.’

Demand deposits

Demand deposits are not defined in IFRS. However, in order to qualify as cash, the related balance needs to have the same liquidity as cash itself, and so funds on ‘demand deposit’ need to be capable of being withdrawn at any time without penalty.

In general, deposits which can be withdrawn without penalty within 24 hours, or one working day, are regarded as being demand deposits. These include amounts deposited at financial institutions (such as funds in a bank current account), and may extend to cover deposits at non-financial institutions such as legal advisers, if funds are held for client in separate and designated accounts that can be called upon by the client at any time.

If a deposit does not qualify to be regarded as cash, it may qualify to be classified as a cash equivalent.

Consider this!

Questions arise about whether investments that can be withdrawn on demand (e.g. money market funds) could qualify to be regarded as cash equivalents.

In general, this is possible, but only in very limited circumstances.

This is because, in addition to the existence of the demand feature, all of the other requirements of IAS 7 need to be met. An interest bearing deposit at a financial institution might result in the amount of cash that would be received being known, and there might be an insignificant risk of changes in value (in particular in the current low interest rate environment), even if there is an early withdrawal penalty.

However, it is also necessary for it to be demonstrated that the investment is being held for the purpose of meeting short-term cash commitments rather than for investment or other purposes (IAS 7.7).

It may be difficult to reconcile this last requirement to the characteristics of the investment, particularly as its maturity (excluding the demand feature) increases.

Short term maturity

Read more

IFRS 7 Complete Maturity analysis disclosure

IFRS 7 Complete Maturity analysis disclosure – IFRS 7 requires certain disclosures to be presented by category of an instrument based on the IFRS 9 recognition and measurement categories of financial instruments.

Certain other disclosures are required by class of financial instrument. For those disclosures an entity must group its financial instruments into classes of similar instruments as appropriate to the nature of the information presented. [IFRS 7 6]

The two main categories of disclosures required by IFRS 7 are:

  1. information about the significance of financial instruments [IFRS 7 7 – 30]
  2. information about the nature and extent of risks arising from financial instruments [IFRS 7 31 – 42]

So IFRS 7 bets … Read more

Financing activities

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

Financial assets example

Financial assets example are a.o. loans and receivables, financial assets at fair value through profit or loss, derivatives designated as hedging instruments

Changes in liquidity and risk of cash equivalents – The 1 Read

Changes in liquidity and risk of cash equivalents – Cash equivalents are short-term, highly liquid investments with a maturity date that was 3 months or less at the time of purchase. The definition of cash equivalents makes reference to them being both highly liquid and subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value. Changes in liquidity and risk

In other words, there is very little risk of collecting the full amount being reported. So if a corporate bond matures within three Changes in liquidity and riskmonths, but the company that issued it may not be able to settle the debt, one would not be able to include that as a cash equivalent.

In general, amounts that initially meet the definition of cash equivalents … Read more

Group cash pooling and company accounts

Group cash pooling and company accounts – Cash pooling arrangements arise where one group entity (which may be the ultimate group parent, or a fellow subsidiary) acts as the treasury function for the rest of the group. Under these arrangements, one entity within a group holds and maintains all cash balances with an external financial institution(s) and advances funds to group entities. Group cash pooling and company accounts

Often, a group treasury function is used in order to make the most efficient use of cash resources within a group, and to enable hedge accounting transactions to be entered into at group-level at the lowest overall cost. Typically, the group entities that act as a treasury function are not financial institutions. … Read more

Financial crises and excessive leverage – How 2 best understand it

Financial crises and excessive leverage – Contrary to popular opinion, stock markets generally continue to reflect companies’ intrinsic value during financial crises. For instance, after the 2007 crisis had started in the credit markets, equity markets too came in for criticism.

In October 2008, a New York Times editorial thundered, “What’s been going on in the stock market hardly fits canonical notions of rationality. In the last month or so, shares in Bank of America plunged to $26, bounced to $37, slid to $30, rebounded to $38, plummeted to $20, sprung above $26 and skidded back to almost $24. Evidently, people don’t have a clue what Bank of America is worth.”

Far from showing that the equity market was broken, … Read more