Employee benefits accounting policies

Employee benefits accounting policies

This is a separated part of the example accounting policies, it is separated because of the size of this note and the specific nature of employee benefits.

Example accounting policies – Introduction

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. Here is a section providing guidance on what the requirements are, below a comprehensive example is provided, easy to tailor to the specific needs of your company.

Employee benefits Guidance

Presentation and measurement of annual leave obligations

RePort Plc has presented its obligation for accrued annual leave within current employee benefit obligations. However, it may be equally appropriate to present these amounts either as provisions (if the timing and/or amount of the future payments is uncertain, such that they satisfy the definition of ‘provision’ in IAS 37) or as other payables.

For measurement purposes, we have assumed that RePort Plc has both annual leave obligations that are classified as Employee benefits accounting policiesshort-term benefits and those that are classified as other long-term benefits under the principles in IAS 19. The appropriate treatment will depend on the individual facts and circumstances and the employment regulations in the respective countries.(IAS19(8),(BC16)-(BC21))

To be classified and measured as short-term benefits, the obligations must be expected to be settled wholly within 12 months after the end of the annual reporting period in which the employee has rendered the related services. The IASB has clarified that this must be assessed for the annual leave obligation as a whole and not on an employee-by-employee basis.

Share-based payments – expense recognition and grant date

Share-based payment expenses should be recognised over the period during which the employees provide the relevant services. This period may commence prior to the grant date. In this situation, the entity estimates the grant date fair value of the equity instruments for the purposes of recognising the services received during the period between service commencement date and grant date.(IFRS2(IG4))

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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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Fair value employee share options in IFRS 2

Fair value employee share options

Share options give the holder the right to buy the underlying shares at a set price, called the ‘exercise price’, over or at the end of an agreed period. If the share price exceeds the option’s exercise price when the option is exercised, then the holder of the option profits by the amount of the excess of the share price over the exercise price. Benefit is derived from the right under the option to buy a share for less than its value.

The holder’s cost is the exercise price, whereas the value is the share price. It is not necessary for the holder to sell the share for this profit to exist. Sale only results in realisation of the profit. Because an option holder’s profit increases as the underlying share price increases, share options are used to incentivise employees to contribute to an increase in the price of the underlying shares.

Employee options are typically call options, which give holders the right but not the obligation to buy shares. However, other types of options are also traded in markets. For example, put options give holders the right to sell the underlying shares at an agreed price for a set period.

Given that holders of put options profit when share prices fall below the exercise price, such options are not viewed as aligning the interests of employees and shareholders. All references in this section to ‘share options’ are to employee call options.

Share options granted by entities often cannot be valued with reference to market prices. Many entities, even those whose shares are quoted publicly, do not have options traded on their shares. Options that trade on recognised exchanges such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange are created by market participants and are not issued by entities directly.

Even when there are exchange-traded options on an entity’s shares for which prices are available, the terms and conditions of these options are generally different from the terms and conditions of options issued by entities in share-based payments and, as a result, the prices of such traded options cannot be used directly to value share options issued in a share-based payment.

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Excellent Study IFRS 9 Eligible Hedged items

IFRS 9 Eligible Hedged items

the insured items of business risk exposures

Although the popular definition of hedging is an investment taken out to limit the risk of another investment, insurance is an example of a real-world hedge.

Every entity is exposed to business risks from its daily operations. Many of those risks have an impact on the cash flows or the value of assets and liabilities, and therefore, ultimately affect profit or loss. In order to manage these risk exposures, companies often enter into derivative contracts (or, less commonly, other financial instruments) to hedge them. Hedging can, therefore, be seen as a risk management activity in order to change an entity’s risk profile.

The idea of hedge accounting is to reduce (insure) this mismatch by changing either the measurement or (in the case of certain firm commitments) FRS 9 Eligible Hedged itemsrecognition of the hedged exposure, or the accounting for the hedging instrument.

The definition of a Hedged item

A hedged item is an asset, liability, firm commitment, highly probable forecast transaction or net investment in a foreign operation that

  1. exposes the entity to risk of changes in fair value or future cash flows and
  2. is designated as being hedged

The hedge item can be:

Only assets, liabilities, firm commitments and forecast transactions with an external party qualify for hedge accounting. As an exception, a hedge of the foreign currency risk of an intragroup monetary item qualifies for hedge accounting if that foreign currency risk affects consolidated profit or loss. In addition, the foreign currency risk of a highly probable forecast intragroup transaction would also qualify as a hedged item if that transaction affects consolidated profit or loss. These requirements are unchanged from IAS 39.

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Cash flow forecasting

A Basic Guide to Cash Flow Forecasting

Nobody wants their business to fail. Although it’s impossible to predict the future with 100% accuracy, a cash flow forecast is a tool that will help you prepare for different possible scenarios in the future.

In a nutshell, cash flow forecasting involves estimating how much cash will be coming in and out of your business within a certain period and gives you a clearer picture of your business’ financial health

What is Cash Flow Forecasting?

Cash flow forecasting is the process of estimating how much cash you’ll have and ensuring you have a sufficient amount to meet your obligations. By focusing on the revenue you expect to generate and the expenses you need to pay, cash flow forecasting can help you better manage your working capital and plan for various positive or difficult scenarios.

A cash flow forecast is composed of three key elements: beginning cash balance, cash inflows (e.g., cash sales, receivables collections), and cash outflows (e.g., expenses for utilities, rent, loan payments, payroll).

Building Out Cash Flow Scenario Models

It’s always good to create best case, worst-case and moderate financial scenarios. Through cash flow forecasting, you’ll Cash flow forecastingbe able to see the impact of these three scenarios and implement the suitable course of action. You can use the models to predict what needs to happen especially during difficult and uncertain times.

In situations where variables shift quickly such as during a recession, it is highly recommended to review and update your cash flow forecasts regularly on a monthly or even weekly basis. By monitoring your cash flow forecast closely, you’ll be able to identify warning signs such as declining revenue or increasing expenses.

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Lessee accounting under IFRS 16

Lessee accounting under IFRS 16

The key objective of IFRS 16 is to ensure that lessees recognise assets and liabilities for their major leases.

1. Lessee accounting model

A lessee applies a single lease accounting model under which it recognises all leases on-balance sheet, unless it elects to apply the recognition exemptions (see recognition exemptions for lessees in the link). A lessee recognises a right-of-use asset representing its right to use the underlying asset and a lease liability representing its obligation to make payments. [IFRS 16.22]

[IFRS 16.47, IFRS 16.49]

IFRS 16 Balance sheet Profit or loss

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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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Reform of interest rate benchmarks

Reform of interest rate benchmarks

Certain interest rate benchmarks including LIBOR, EURIBOR and EONIA are being or have recently been reformed.

What are interest rate benchmarks?

Interest rate benchmark are used to determine

  1. the amount of interest payable for a wide range of financial products such as derivatives, bonds, loans, structured products and mortgages, and
  2. the valuation of financial products.

The most common examples of interest rate benchmarks used in financial contracts across the world are the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and for the Euro, the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) and Euro Overnight Index Average (EONIA).

Why are these benchmarks being reformed?

As benchmark rates are fundamental to so many financial contracts, they need to be robust, reliable and fit for purpose. Each of these interest rate benchmarks subject to reform were based on the rates at which banks lend to each other in the interbank market.

Financial regulatory authorities have expressed their concern that because interbank lending transactions have significantly decreased in recent years, the Reform of interest rate benchmarksbenchmark rates may no longer be representative or reliable.

This concern has resulted in recommendations made by the Financial Stability Board towards the global financial industry to reform the major interest rate benchmarks and to develop a set of alternative rates that are more representative of the current financial environment.

IFRS Reporting disclosure amendments

The amendments made to IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement and IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures provide certain reliefs in relation to interest rate benchmark reform. The reliefs relate to hedge accounting and have the effect that the reforms should not generally cause hedge accounting to terminate. However, any hedge ineffectiveness should continue to be recorded in the income statement. Given the pervasive nature of hedges involving interbank offered rates (IBOR)-based contracts, the reliefs will affect companies in all industries.

Entities relying on the relief must disclose:

  1. the significant interest rate benchmarks to which the entity’s hedging relationships are exposed
  2. the extent of the risk exposure that the entity manages that is directly affected by the interest rate benchmark reform
  3. how the entity is managing the process of transition to alternative benchmark rates
  4. a description of significant assumptions or judgements that the entity made in applying the reliefs, and
  5. the nominal amount of the hedging instruments in those hedging relationships. [IFRS 7.24H]

Information about how the entity is managing the transition process will provide users with an indication of the extent to which management is prepared for the transition. For example, this could include explanations about differences in fallback provisions between the hedged item and the hedging instruments.

The amendments are not clear whether the disclosure of the extent of the risk exposure that the entity manages could be provided on a qualitative rather than quantitative basis. However, numerical disclosures may be more useful for users.

Accounting policies relating to hedge accounting will need to be updated to reflect the reliefs. Fair value disclosures may also be impacted due to transfers between levels in the fair value hierarchy as markets become more / less liquid.

Entities should consider whether further disclosure of the impending replacement of IBOR should be provided in other parts of the annual report, for example in management’s discussion and analysis.

This Example Disclosure Related party transactions shows the disclosures an entity would have to add if it has a loan with an interest rate based on 3-month GPB LIBOR and a cash flow hedge in the form of a floating-to-fixed rate interest rate swap that is referenced to LIBOR. The disclosures assume that the entity has adopted the hedge accounting requirements of IFRS 9.

While primarily illustrating the disclosures required by the amendments made to IFRS 7 and other hedge accounting disclosures affected by IBOR reform, extractsReform of interest rate benchmarks of other disclosures from the main body of the publication have been included, to provide some context for the additional disclosures.

New or revised disclosures are highlighted with shading. This appendix does not illustrate disclosures that may be required if the terms of the loan and the swap have moved to new benchmark rates.

12 Financial risk management (extracts)

12(a) Derivatives (extracts)

(iv) Hedge effectiveness (extracts)

Hedge ineffectiveness for interest rate swaps is assessed using the same principles as for hedges of foreign currency purchases. It may occur due to:

  • the credit value/debit value adjustment on the interest rate swaps which is not matched by the loan
  • differences in critical terms between the interest rate swaps and loans, and
  • the effects of the forthcoming reforms to GBP LIBOR, because these might take effect at a different time and have a different impact on the hedged item (the floating-rate debt) and the hedging instrument (the interest rate swap used to hedge the debt). Further details of these reforms are set out below. [IFRS 7.22B(c), IFRS 7.23D]

Ineffectiveness of CUXX,XXX has been recognised in relation to the interest rate swaps in other gains or losses in profit or loss for 2020 (2019 CUXX,XXX). The significant increase in ineffectiveness in the current year was caused by the expectation that the interest rate swap and the hedged debt will move from GBP LIBOR to SONIA at different dates. [IFRS 7.24C(b)(ii)]

12(b) Market riskReform of interest rate benchmarks

[IFRS 7.33]

(ii) Cash flow and fair value interest rate risk

[IFRS 7.21C]

The group’s main interest rate risk arises from long-term borrowings with variable rates, which expose the group to cash flow interest rate risk. Group policy is to maintain at least 50% of its borrowings at fixed rate, using floating-to-fixed interest rate swaps to achieve this when necessary.

Generally, the group enters into long-term borrowings at floating rates and swaps them into fixed rates that are lower than those available if the group borrowed at fixed rates directly. During 2020 and 2019, the group’s borrowings at variable rate were mainly denominated in Oneland currency units and US dollars. Except for the GBP LIBOR floating rate debt noted below, other variable interest rates were not referenced to interbank offered rates (IBORs) that will be affected by the IBOR reforms. [IFRS7.22A(a),(b), IFRS7.33(a),(b)]

Included in the variable rate borrowings is a 10-year floating-rate debt of CU10,000,000 (2019 CU10,000,000) whose interest rate is based on 3 month GBP LIBOR. To hedge the variability of in cash flows of this loan, the group has entered into a 10-year interest rate swap with key terms (principal amount, payment dates, repricing dates, currency) that match those of the debt on which it pays a fixed rate and receives a variable rate. [IFRS 7.24H(a)]

The group’s borrowings and receivables are carried at amortised cost. The borrowings are periodically contractually repriced (see below) and to that extent are also exposed to the risk of future changes in market interest rates.

The exposure of the group’s borrowings to interest rate changes and the contractual re-pricing dates of the borrowings at the end of the reporting period are as follows: [IFRS 7.22A(c), IFRS 7.34(a), IFRS 7.24H(b)]

Amounts in CU’000


%of total


% of total

Variable rate borrowings – GBP LIBOR





Variable rate borrowings – non-IBOR





Fixed rate borrowings – repricing or maturity dates:

– Less than one year





– 1 – 5 years





– Over 5 years










An analysis by maturities is provided in note 12(d) below. The percentage of total loans shows the proportion of loans that are currently at variable rates in relation to the total amount of borrowings.

Instruments used by the group

Swaps currently in place cover approximately 37% (2019 – 37%) of the variable loan principal outstanding. The fixed interest rates of the swaps range between 7.8% and 8.3% (2019 – 9.0% and 9.6%), and the variable rates of the loans are between 0.5% and 1.0% above the 90 day bank bill rate or LIBOR which, at the end of the reporting period, were 8.2% and x.x% respectively (2019 – 9.4% and x.x%). [IFRS 7.22B(a), IFRS 7.23B]

The swap contracts require settlement of net interest receivable or payable every 90 days. The settlement dates coincide with the dates on which interest is payable on the underlying debt. [IFRS 7.22B(a)]

Effects of hedge accounting on the financial position and performance

The effects of the interest rate swaps on the group’s financial position and performance are as follows:

Amounts in CU’000



Interest rate swaps

Carrying amount (current and non-current asset)

[IFRS 7.24A(a)(b)]



Notional amount – LIBOR based swaps [IFRS 7.24H(b),(e)]



Maturity date [IFRS 7.23B(a)]



Hedge ratio [IFRS 7.22B(c)]

1 : 1

1 : 1

Change in fair value of outstanding hedging instruments since 1 January [IFRS 7.24A(c)]



Change in value of hedged item used to determine hedge effectiveness [IFRS 7.24B(b)(i)]



Weighted average hedged rate for the year [IFRS 7.23B(b)]



Notional amount – non-LIBOR based swaps [IFRS 7.24H(b),(e)]



Maturity date [IFRS 7.23B(a)]



Hedge ratio [IFRS 7.22B(c)]

1 : 1

1 : 1

Change in fair value of outstanding hedging instruments since 1 January [IFRS 7.24A(c)]



Change in value of hedged item used to determine hedge effectiveness [IFRS 7.24B(b)(i)]



Weighted average hedged rate for the year [IFRS 7.23B(b)]



xx) Significant judgements

Interest rate benchmark reform

Following the financial crisis, the reform and replacement of benchmark interest rates such as GBP LIBOR and other interbank offered rates (‘IBORs’) has become a priority for global regulators. There is currently uncertainty around the timing and precise nature of these changes. [IFRS 7.24H(b)]

To transition existing contracts and agreements that reference GBP LIBOR to SONIA, adjustments for term differences and credit differences might need to be applied to SONIA, to enable the two benchmark rates to be economically equivalent on transition.

Group treasury is managing the group’s GBP LIBOR transition plan. The greatest change will be amendments to the contractual terms of the GBP LIBOR-referenced floating-rate debt and the associated swap and the corresponding update of the hedge designation. However, the changed reference rate may also affect other systems, processes, risk and valuation models, as well as having tax and accounting implications. [IFRS 7.24H(c)]

Relief applied

The group has applied the following reliefs that were introduced by the amendments made to IFRS 9 Financial Instruments in September 2019:

  • When considering the ‘highly probable’ requirement, the group has assumed that the GBP LIBOR interest rate on which the group’s hedged debt is based does not change as a result of IBOR reform.
  • In assessing whether the hedge is expected to be highly effective on a forward-looking basis the group has assumed that the GBP LIBOR interest rate on which the cash flows of the hedged debt and the interest rate swap that hedges it are based is not altered by LIBOR reform.
  • The group has not recycled the cash flow hedge reserve relating to the period after the reforms are expected to take effect.
Assumptions made

In calculating the change in fair value attributable to the hedged risk of floating-rate debt, the group has made the following assumptions that reflect its current expectations:

  • The floating-rate debt will move to SONIA during 2022 and the spread will be similar to the spread included in the interest rate swap used as the hedging instrument.
  • No other changes to the terms of the floating-rate debt are anticipated.
  • The group has incorporated the uncertainty over when the floating-rate debt will move to SONIA, the resulting adjustment to the spread, and the other aspects of the reform that have not yet been finalised by adding an additional spread to the discount rate used in the calculation. [IFRS 7.24H(d)]

Reform of interest rate benchmarks

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Reform of interest rate benchmarks

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