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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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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Capitalisation of expenditure – 1 Complete answer

Capitalisation of expenditure

Capitalisation of expenditure is only possible when one of the following situations occur:

  • Capital expenditure (including equipment repairs and maintenance)
  • Recording lease contracts – Right-of-Use Assets
  • Capitalisation of borrowing costs
  • Capitalisation of cloud computing costs
  • Capitalisation of intangible assets
  • Capitalisation of internally capitalized intangible assets
  • Research & development costs
  • Prepaid expenses

Capital expenditure (including equipment repairs and maintenance)

The cost of an item of property, plant and equipment under IAS 16 Property, plant and equipment shall be recognised as an asset if, and only if:

  • it is probable that future economic benefits associated with the item will flow to the entity; and
  • the cost of the item can be measured reliably. (IAS 16.7)

Investment property

Certain properties which are used on rental are classified as an investment property in which case IAS 40 Investment property will apply. Only tangible items which have a useful life of more than one period are classified as property, plant and equipment as per IAS 16. But refer to the words “more than one period” as more than one accounting period of 12 months.

Also, an entity shall determine a threshold limit commensurate to its size for recognizing a tangible item as property, plant and equipment. For example, a tangible item of insignificant amount although satisfying the definition of property, plant and equipment may be expensed.

Initial recognition of indirect costs

Items of property, plant and equipment may be acquired for safety or environmental reasons. The acquisition of such property plant and equipment, although not directly increasing the future economic benefits of any particular existing item of property, plant and equipment, may be necessary for an entity to obtain the future economic benefits from its other assets.

Such items of property plant and equipment qualify for recognition as assets because they enable an entity to derive future economic benefits from related assets in excess of what could be derived had those items not been acquired.

Subsequent recognition of indirect costs

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Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities example

Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities example

The guidance for this disclosure example is provided here.

8 Non-financial assets and liabilities

This note provides information about the group’s non-financial assets and liabilities, including:

  • specific information about each type of non-financial asset and non-financial liability
    • property, plant and equipment (note 8(a))
    • leases (note 8(b))
    • investment properties (note 8(c))
    • intangible assets (note 8(d))
    • deferred tax balances (note 8(e))
    • inventories (note 8(f))
    • other assets, including assets classified as held for sale (note 8(g))
    • employee benefit obligations (note 8(h))
    • provisions (note 8(i))
  • accounting policies
  • information about determining the fair value of the assets and liabilities, including judgements and estimation uncertainty involved (note 8(j)).

8(a) Property, plant and equipment

Amounts in CU’000

Freehold land

Buildings

Furniture, fittings and equipment

Machinery and vehicles

Assets under construction

Total

At 1 January 2019

Cost or fair value

11,350

28,050

27,510

70,860

137,770

Accumulated depreciation

-7,600

-37,025

-44,625

Net carrying amount

11,350

28,050

19,910

33,835

93,145

Movements in 2019

Exchange differences

-43

-150

-193

Revaluation surplus

2,700

3,140

5,840

Additions

2,874

1,490

2,940

4,198

3,100

14,602

Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals

-424

-525

-2,215

3,164

Depreciation charge

-1,540

-2,030

-4,580

8,150

Closing net carrying amount

16,500

31,140

20,252

31,088

3,100

102,080

At 31 December 2019

Cost or fair value

16,500

31,140

29,882

72,693

3,100

153,315

Accumulated depreciation

-9,630

-41,605

-51,235

Net carrying amount

16,500

31,140

20,252

31,088

3,100

102,080

Movements in 2020

Exchange differences

-230

-570

-800

Revaluation surplus

3,320

3,923

7,243

Acquisition of subsidiary

800

3,400

1,890

5,720

11,810

Additions

2,500

2,682

5,313

11,972

3,450

25,917

Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals

-550

-5,985

-1,680

-8,215

Transfers

950

2,150

-3,100

Depreciation charge

-1,750

-2,340

-4,380

-8,470

Impairment loss (ii)

-465

-30

-180

-675

Closing net carrying amount

22,570

38,930

19,820

44,120

3,450

128,890

At 31 December 2020

Cost or fair value

22,570

38,930

31,790

90,285

3,450

187,025

Accumulated depreciation

-11,970

-46,165

-58,135

Net carrying amount

22,570

38,930

19,820

44,120

3,450

128,890

(i) Non-current assets pledged as security

Refer to note 24 for information on non-current assets pledged as security by the group.

(ii) Impairment loss and compensation

The impairment loss relates to assets that were damaged by a fire – refer to note 4(b) for details. The whole amount was recognised as administrative expense in profit or loss, as there was no amount included in the asset revaluation surplus relating to the relevant assets. [IAS 36.130(a)]

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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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Sale and leaseback accounting under IFRS 15

Sale and leaseback accounting

A sale and lease back transaction is a popular way for entities to secure long-term financing from substantial property, plant and equipment assets such as land and buildings. IFRS 16 made significant changes to sale and lease back accounting in comparison with IAS 17. A sale and leaseback transaction is one where an entity (the Read more

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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