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 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.
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.
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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:
the lessee applies the right-of-use model and recognises a right-of-use asset and a liability for its obligation to make lease payments; whereas
the lessor continues to recognise the underlying asset and does not recognise a financial asset for its right to receive lease payments.
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.
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]
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]
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]
Amortised cost at subsequent periods: a numerical example Amortised cost and EIR calculations
Example Amortised cost and EIR calculations
The following example illustrates the principles underlying the calculation of the amortised cost and the effective interest rate (EIR) for a fixed-rate financial asset:
On 1 January 2019, entity A purchases a non-amortising, non-callable debt instrument with five years remaining to maturity for its fair value of €995 and incurs transaction costs of €5. The instrument has a nominal value of €1,250 and carries a contractual fixed interest of 4.7% payable annually at the end of each year (4.7% * €1,250 = €59). Its redemption amount is equal to its nominal value plus accrued interest.
The instrument qualifies for a measurement at amortised cost. As explained in the preceding section, its initial carrying amount is the sum of the initial fair value plus transaction costs, i.e. €1,000.
The Effective Interest Rate (EIR) is the rate that exactly discounts the expected cash flows of this financial asset, presented in the table below, to its initial gross carrying amount (i.e. €995 + €5 = €1,000 in this example). In practice, entities will need to establish a timetable of all the expected cash flows of the financial instrument (see the table below) and then use for example an Excel formula to determine this rate. The table below summarises the timing of the expected cash flows of the instrument:
In the present case, using an Excel formula, the EIR amounts to 10%. The following table shows that the sum of the discounted cash flows amounts to zero:
financial guarantee contracts (except those accounted for as insurance contracts).
IFRS 9 requires an expected loss allowance to be estimated for each of these types of asset or exposure. However, the Standard specifies three different approaches depending on the type of asset or exposure:
* optional application to trade receivables and contract assets with a significant financing component, and to lease receivables
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.