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 Nonfinancial liabilities

IFRS vs US GAAP Nonfinancial liabilities – The guidance in relation to nonfinancial liabilities (e.g., provisions, contingencies, and government grants) includes some fundamental differences with potentially significant implications.

For instance, a difference exists in the interpretation of the term “probable.” IFRS defines probable as “more likely than not,” but US GAAP defines probable as “likely to occur.” Because both frameworks reference probable within the liability recognition criteria, this difference could lead companies to record provisions earlier under IFRS than they otherwise would have under US GAAP. The use of the midpoint of a range when several outcomes are equally likely (rather than the low-point estimate, as used in US GAAP) might also lead to higher expense recognition under IFRS.

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General model in Insurance contracts measurement

The general model of measurement of insurance contracts in IFRS 17 is based on estimates of the fulfilment cash flows and contractual service margin.

Notes to the financial statements

Notes to the financial statements that contain information in addition to the statement of financial position, of financial performance, of changes in equity

Accounting policies

Accounting policies: The specific principles, bases, conventions, rules, and practices applied by an entity in preparing and presenting financial statements.