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.

Read more

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.

Read more

IAS 36 How Impairment test

IAS 36 How Impairment test is all about this – 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 in this section…

The objective of IAS 36 Impairment of assets is to outline the procedures that an entity applies to ensure that its assets’ carrying values are not … Read more

Take 1 stop for best read – Measurement uncertainty

Measurement uncertainty - Uncertainty that arises when the result of applying a measurement basis is imprecise and can be determined only with a range.

Leveraged buyout IFRS 3 best reporting

Leveraged buyout IFRS 3 best reporting – In corporate finance, a leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction where a company is acquired using debt as the main source of consideration. These transactions typically occur when a private equity (PE) firm borrows as much as they can from a variety of lenders (up to 70 or 80 percent of the purchase price) and funds the balance with their own equity. Leveraged buyout IFRS 3 best reporting

1 The process and business reason

The use of leverage (debt) enhances expected returns to the private equity firm. By putting in as little of their own money as possible, PE firms can achieve a large return on equity (ROE) and internal rate of return … Read more

Defined Benefit Pension Plans

In traditional defined benefit pension plans, workers accrue a promise of a regular monthly payment from the date of their retirement until their death, or, in some cases, until the death Defined Benefit Pension Plansof their spouse. The promised life annuity (deferred) is commonly based on a formula linked to an employee’s wages or salary and years of tenure at the sponsoring firm. Defined Benefit Pension Plans

In a typical DB plan the member earns a unit of pension, usually expressed as a percentage of nominal earnings, for each year of credited service/participation. The DB pension may be indexed to inflation but in a number of countries such as the U.S. and Canada, this is uncommon in private sector pensions. Defined Benefit Pension Read more

Service or insurance contract?

Service or insurance contract – Some contracts meet the definition of an insurance contract but their primary purpose is to provide services for a fixed fee. An entity issuing such contracts may choose to apply IFRS 15 to them if, and only if all of the following conditions are met:Service or insurance contract

Identification of Fixed fee contracts for services:

All of the following three conditions apply to a fixed fee contract for services:

Non-risk-specific price

Setting the price for an individual customer does not reflect the entity’s assessment of the risk specific to that customer

YES

Compensation by service not cash

Cash payments are not made to customers

YES

Use, not cost, drives Insurance risk

The risk transferred by the contract arises

Read more

What is a correct discount rate in pension calculations?

What is a correct discount rate in pension calculations – Some background information on the discussion on pension plans and discount rates. Choosing the correct discount rate in calculation pension liabilities is not an easy task and a task that brings public responsibility.

Interest rates in the European area are close to zero because the ECB holds its benchmark refinancing rate at zero since March 2016, see table below:

What is a correct discount rate in pension calculations

Low-interest rates play a critical role in calculating pension plan obligations. Specifically, the interest rates on high-quality corporate bonds are used to determine the plan’s expected risk-free return in the future – a metric known as the “discount rate”. If the discount rate decreases, a pension plan needs more assets today Read more

Best 1 need to know – What kind of pension plans are there?

What kind of pension plans are thereWhat kind of pension plans are there – There are two basic types of pension plans: defined-contribution plans and defined-benefit plans. The plans differ in how benefits to retired employees (formal: pension recipients) are determined/calculated, and who bears the ultimate risk associated with the number of future benefits to be paid to retired employees.

For accounting purposes, defined-benefit plans can be further broken down into sole-sponsored, jointly sponsored and multi-employer plans. These sub-types dictate how a sponsor accounts for the plans, and differ in the number and types of entities sponsoring the plan as well as how risk is shared between them.

Hot topics

For financial reporting purposes, there is only one concern, pensions and their reporting are to complex!… Read more