IAS 16 Generation assets for Power and Utilities

Generation assets for Power and Utilities

– are often large and complex installations. They are expensive to construct, tend to be exposed to harsh operating conditions and require periodic replacement or repair. This environment leads to specific accounting issues.

1 Fixed assets and components

IFRS has a specific requirement for ‘component’ depreciation, as described in IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment. Each significant part of an item of property, plant and equipment is depreciated separately. Significant parts of an asset that have similar useful lives and patterns of consumption can be grouped together. This requirement can create complications for utility entities, because many assets include components with a shorter useful life than the asset as a whole.

Identifying components of an asset

Generation assets might comprise a significant number of components, many of which will have differing useful lives. The significant components of these types of assets must be separately identified. This can be a complex process, particularly on transition to IFRS, because the detailed record-keeping needed for componentisation might not have been required in order to comply with national generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This can particularly be an issue for older power plants. However, some regulators require detailed asset records, which can be useful for IFRS component identification purposes.

An entity might look to its operating data if the necessary information for components is not readily identified by the accounting records. Some components can be identified by considering the routine shutdown or overhaul schedules for power stations and the associated replacement and maintenance routines. Consideration should also be given to those components that are prone to technological obsolescence, corrosion or wear and tear that is more severe than that of the other portions of the larger asset.

First-time IFRS adopters can benefit from an exemption under IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards. This exemption allows entities to use a value that is not depreciated cost in accordance with IAS 16, and IAS 23 Borrowing Costs as deemed cost on transition to IFRS. It is not necessary to apply the exemption to all assets or to a group of assets.

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IFRS vs US GAAP Employee benefits

IFRS vs US GAAP Employee benefits

The following discussion captures a number of the more significant GAAP differences under both the impairment standards. It is important to note that the discussion is not inclusive of all GAAP differences in this area.

The significant differences and similarities between U.S. GAAP and IFRS related to accounting for investment property are summarized in the following tables.

Standards Reference

US GAAP1

IFRS2

715 Compensation – Retirement benefits

710-10 Compensation- General – Overall

712-10 Compensation – Nonretirement Postemployment Benefits – Overall

IAS 19 Employee Benefits

IFRIC 14 The limit on a defined benefit asset minimum funding requirements and their interaction

Introduction

The guidance under US GAAP and IFRS as it relates to employee benefits contains some significant differences with potentially far-reaching implications.

This narrative deals with employee benefits provided under formal plans and agreements between an entity and its employees, under legislation or through industry arrangements, including those provided under informal practices that give rise to constructive obligations.

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Environmental provision under IAS 37

Environmental provision under IAS 37 – Although there is no formal distinction between environmental and decommissioning provisions under IFRS, in general environmental provisions exclude provisions related to damage incurred in installing an asset (see decommissioning provisions).

In a dynamic economic and regulatory climate, bringing your future into focus can be a challenge. In the area of environmental accounting, this can prove to be an even more challenging proposition, given the inherent complexity of environmental liability reporting.

Moreover, companies should be aware that unexpected expenditures and accounting adjustments—like those arising from environmental obligations—can impact capital budgeting and future earnings. Companies have found that practices vary widely across sectors and both engineering and accounting expertise are critical in assessing environmental … Read more

IAS 37 Provisions – best estimate and timely recognition

Provisions can be distinguished from other liabilities such as trade payables and accruals because there is uncertainty about the timing or amount required

Obligating event

An obligating event is an event that creates a legal or constructive obligation that results in an entity having no realistic alternative to settling that obligation. A legal obligation is an obligation that derives from: a) a contract (through its explicit or implicit terms); b) legislation; or c) other operation of law. A constructive obligation is an obligation that derives from an entity’s actions where: a) by an established pattern of past practice, published policies or a sufficiently specific current statement, the entity has indicated to other parties that it will accept certain responsibilities; and b) as a result, the entity has created a valid expectation on the part of those other parties that it will discharge those responsibilities.