Definition of provision – IAS 37 Complete easy read

Definition of provision

The definition of provision is key to IAS 37. A provision is a liability of uncertain timing or amount, meaning that there is some question over either how much will be paid or when this will be paid. In the past, these uncertainties may have been exploited by companies trying to ‘smooth profits’ in order to achieve the results they believe that their various stakeholder may want.

As part of the attempt of IASB to further restrict this type of earnings management within IFRSs, IASB adopted an update of IAS 37 in April 2001 originating from September 1998. IAS 37 was further updated for Onerous contracts – Costs of fulfilling a contract in May 2020.

IAS 37: ‘Onerous Contracts – Cost of Fulfilling a Contract’

lAS 37 defines an onerous contract as one in which the unavoidable costs of meeting the entity’s obligations exceed the economic benefits to be received under that contract. Unavoidable costs are the lower of the net cost of exiting the contract and the costs to fulfil the contract. The amendment clarifies the meaning of ‘costs to fulfil a contract’.

The amendment explains that the direct cost of fulfilling a contract comprises:

The amendment also clarifies that, before a separate provision for an onerous contract is established, an entity recognises any impairment loss that has occurred on assets used in fulfilling the contract, rather than on assets dedicated to that contract.

The amendment could result in the recognition of more onerous contract provisions, because previously some entities only included incremental costs in the costs to fulfil a contract.

The key definition of provision

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What Is Fintech reporting IFRS 15

What Is Fintech or Financial Technology And Its Benefits?

New and fast-growing technologies like Financial Technology or Fintech have the potential benefits to collect and process data in real-time. This transforms how all businesses are working, how products and services are creating in the new economy, and how customers are engaging in this process. Every professional and commercial industry is affecting due by this change in workflows and business processes. The financial and economic sector is no exception.

Financial Technology or Fintech?

Fintech, short for Financial Technology, is a growing field and is now an economic revolution by the tech-savvy. It is the development of new technology to transform traditional institutions such as banks and insurance companies by uplift how they handle their finances and economic services. The process is not only digitizing money but also monetizing data to fit into the digitized world.

FinTech solutions have huge potential benefits for all businesses, especially new and existing small businesses. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential for economic maturity and employment. However, others may find it difficult to get the financing they need to survive and thrive.

Example

Automated drafting of portfolio management commentaries – Analytics & Reporting (October 2018, Societe Generale Securities Services)

Addventa Fintech exclusive partnership for automated drafting of portfolio management commentaries based on artificial intelligence solutions.

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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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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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Introduction IFRS 17 Insurance contracts

Introduction IFRS 17 Insurance contracts – More than 20 years in development, IFRS 17 represents a complete overhaul of accounting for insurance contracts. The new standard applies a current value approach to measuring insurance contracts and recognises profit as insurers provide services and are released from risk. Introduction IFRS 17 Insurance contracts

The profit or loss earned from underwriting activities are reported separately from financing activities. Detailed note disclosures explain how items like new business issued, experience in the year, cash receipts and payments, and changes in assumptions affected the performance and the carrying amount of insurance contracts. Introduction IFRS 17 Insurance contracts

IFRS 17 establishes principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of insurance contracts issued, reinsurance contracts Read more

Loss-making or onerous construction contracts

Loss-making or onerous construction contracts

These are just two names for the same thing, an onerous contract is an accounting term that refers to a contract that will cost a company more to fulfill than what the company will receive in return. Loss-making or onerous construction contracts

IAS 37 defines an onerous contract as “a contract in which the unavoidable costs of meeting the obligations under the contract exceed the economic benefits expected to be received under it.” Loss-making or onerous construction contracts

The term “unavoidable costs” also has a specific meaning for accounting purposes. The IASB explains it as “the lower of the cost of fulfilling the contract and any compensation or penalties arising from failure to … Read more

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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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.