Disclosure financial assets and liabilities

Disclosure financial assets and liabilities

– provides a narrative providing guidance on users of financial statements’ needs to present financial disclosures in the notes to the financial statements grouped in more logical orders. But there is and never will be a one-size fits all.

Here it has been decided to separately disclose financial assets and liabilities and non-financial assets and liabilities, because of the distinct different nature of these classes of assets and liabilities and the resulting different types of disclosures, risks and tabulations.

Disclosure financial assets and liabilities guidance

Disclosing financial assets and liabilities (financial instruments) in one note

Users of financial reports have indicated that they would like to be able to quickly access all of the information about the entity’s financial assets and liabilities in one location in the financial report. The notes are therefore structured such that financial items and non-financial items are discussed separately. However, this is not a mandatory requirement in the accounting standards.

Accounting policies, estimates and judgements

For readers of Financial Statements it is helpful if information about accounting policies that are specific to the entityDisclosure financial assets and liabilitiesand about significant estimates and judgements is disclosed with the relevant line items, rather than in separate notes. However, this format is also not mandatory. For general commentary regarding the disclosures of accounting policies refer to note 25. Commentary about the disclosure of significant estimates and judgements is provided in note 11.

Scope of accounting standard for disclosure of financial instruments


IFRS 7 does not apply to the following items as they are not financial instruments as defined in paragraph 11 of IAS 32:

  1. prepayments made (right to receive future good or service, not cash or a financial asset)
  2. tax receivables and payables and similar items (statutory rights or obligations, not contractual), or
  3. contract liabilities (obligation to deliver good or service, not cash or financial asset).

While contract assets are also not financial assets, they are explicitly included in the scope of IFRS 7 for the purpose of the credit risk disclosures. Liabilities for sales returns and volume discounts (see note 7(f)) may be considered financial liabilities on the basis that they require payments to the customer. However, they should be excluded from financial liabilities if the arrangement is executory. the Reporting entity Plc determined this to be the case. [IFRS 7.5A]

Classification of preference shares

Preference shares must be analysed carefully to determine if they contain features that cause the instrument not to meet the definition of an equity instrument. If such shares meet the definition of equity, the entity may elect to carry them at FVOCI without recycling to profit or loss if not held for trading.

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Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting is an IFRS.org initiative to focus financial reporting on users. There is a general view that financial reports have become too complex and difficult to read and that financial reporting tends to focus more on compliance than communication. See also narrative reporting as a discussion on alternative ways of reporting.

At the same time, users’ tolerance for sifting through information to find what they need continues to decline.

This has implications for the reputation of companies who fail to keep pace. A global study confirmed this trend, with the majority of analysts stating that the quality of reporting directly influenced their opinion of the quality of management.

To demonstrate what companies could do to make their financial report more relevant, there are several suggestions to ‘streamline’ the financial statements to reflect some of the best practices that have been emerging globally over the past few years. In particular:

  • Information is organized to clearly tell the story of financial performance and make critical information more prominent and easier to find.
  • Additional information is included where it is important for an understanding of the performance of the company. For example, we have included a summary of significant transactions and events as the first note to the financial statements even though this is not a required disclosure.

Improving disclosure effectiveness

Terms such as ’disclosure overload’ and ‘cutting the clutter’, and more precisely ‘disclosure effectiveness’, describe a problem in financial reporting that has become a priority issue for the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB or Board), local standard setters, and regulatory bodies. The growth and complexity of financial statement disclosure is also drawing significant attention from financial statement preparers, and more importantly, the users of financial statements.

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What happened in the reporting period

What happened in the reporting period

There is no requirement to disclose a summary of significant events and transactions that have affected the company’s financial position and performance during the period under review (or simply what happened in the reporting period). However, information such as this could help readers understand the entity’s performance and any changes to the entity’s financial position during the year and make it easier finding the relevant information. However, information such as this could also be provided in the (unaudited) operating and financial review rather than the (audited) notes to the financial statements.

At the time of writing, the biggest impact on the financial statements of entities all around the world is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most entities will be affected by this in one form or another and should discuss the impact prominently in their financial statements. However, as the events are still unfolding, this publication is not providing any illustrative examples or guidance. See how to account for Covid-19 to get an up-to-date discussion.

Going concern disclosures [IAS1.25]
When preparing financial statements, management shall make an assessment of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. Financial statements shall be prepared on a going concern basis unless management either intends to liquidate the entity or to cease trading, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.

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IAS 36 Other impairment issues

IAS 36 Other impairment issues – When looking at the step-by-step IAS 36 impairment approach it comes down to the following broadly organised steps: IAS 36 How Impairment test

  • What?? – Determining the scope and structure of the impairment review, explained here,
  • If and when? – Determining if and when a quantitative impairment test is necessary, explained here,
  • IAS 36 How Impairment test or understanding the mechanics of the impairment test and how to recognise or reverse any impairment loss, if necessary, which is explained here

IAS 36 Other impairment issues discusses other common application issues encountered when applying IAS 36, including those related to:

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Overview IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements

Overview IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial StatementsShort – To establish principles for the presentation and preparation of consolidated financial statements when an entity controls one or more other entities Overview IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements

Longer – IFRS 10 replaces the part of IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements that addresses accounting for subsidiaries on consolidation. What remains in IAS 27 after the implementation of IFRS 10 is the accounting treatment for subsidiaries, jointly controlled entities and associates in their separate financial statements.Contingent consideration Contingent consideration Contingent consideration Contingent consideration Contingent consideration

The aim of IFRS 10 is to establish a single control model that is applied to all entities including special purpose entities. The changes require those dealing with the implementation of IFRS 10 to exercise Read more

Consolidated financial statements

The financial statements of a group in which the assets, liabilities, equity, income, expenses and cash flows of the parent and its subsidiaries are presented as those of a single economic entity. The detailed ‘mechanics’ of the consolidation process vary from one group to another, depending on the group’s structure, history and financial reporting systems. IFRS 10 and much of the literature on consolidation are based on a traditional approach to consolidation under which the financial statements (or, more commonly in practice, group ‘reporting packs’) of group entities are aggregated and then adjusted on each reporting date.

IFRS vs US GAAP Business combinations

IFRS vs US GAAP Business combinations – IFRS and US GAAP are largely converged in this area. The business combinations standards under US GAAP and IFRS are close in principles and language. However, some differences remain between US GAAP and IFRS pertaining to (1) the definition of control, (2) recognition of certain assets and liabilities based on the reliably measurable criterion, (3) accounting for contingencies, and (4) accounting for non-controlling interests. Significant differences also continue to exist in subsequent accounting. Different requirements for impairment testing and accounting for deferred taxes (e.g., the recognition of a valuation allowance) are among the most significant.

New definitions of a business were also issued under both US GAAP and IFRS. While the new … Read more

IFRS 3 Recognising what you acquired in a business combination

IFRS 3 Recognising what you acquired in a business combination or recognizing and measuring the identifiable assets acquired, liabilities assumed, and any non-controlling interest in the acquiree.

IFRS 3 provides the following recognition principle for assets acquired, liabilities assumed, and any non controlling interest in the acquiree:

Excerpt from IFRS 3 10

As of the date, the acquirer shall recognize, separately from goodwill, the identifiable assets acquired, the liabilities assumed, and any non-controlling interest in the acquiree. Recognition of identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed is subject to the conditions specified in IFRS 3 11 and IFRS 3 12.

An acquirer should recognize the identifiable … Read more

What about impairment of goodwill

What about impairment of goodwill – Goodwill must be tested annually for impairment in accordance with IAS 36 10(b). Goodwill must be allocated to one or more CGUs for the purpose of impairment testing because it does not generate independent cash inflows. Goodwill is commonly allocated to groups of CGUs for the purpose of impairment testing.

In accordance with IAS 36 80, goodwill is allocated to the CGUs that are expected to benefit from the synergies of the combination, both existing and acquired CGUs. The group of CGUs to which goodwill is allocated shall represent the lowest level at which the goodwill will be monitored and managed. The group of CGUs cannot be larger than an operating segment as … Read more

Common control business combinations

Common control business combinations – How should an entity account for a business combination involving entities under common control?

This is an important issue because common control combinations occur frequently but are excluded from the scope of IFRS 3 – the IASB’s standard on business combination accounting. The Board plans to publish a Discussion Paper in the first half of 2020.

Here is a common view on how to account for common control combinations. Common control business combinations

Most business combinations are governed by IFRS 3. However, those involving entities under common control are outside the scope of this Standard. There is no other specific guidance on this topic elsewhere in IFRS. Management therefore needs to use judgement to develop … Read more