Example accounting policies

Example accounting policies

Get the requirements for properly disclosing the accounting policies to provide the users of your financial statements with useful financial data, in the common language prescribed in the world’s most widely used standards for financial reporting, the IFRS Standards. First there is a section providing guidance on what the requirements are, followed by a comprehensive example, easy to tailor to the specific needs of your company.Example accounting policies

Example accounting policies guidance

Whether to disclose an accounting policy

1. In deciding whether a particular accounting policy should be disclosed, management considers whether disclosure would assist users in understanding how transactions, other events and conditions are reflected in the reported financial performance and financial position. Disclosure of particular accounting policies is especially useful to users where those policies are selected from alternatives allowed in IFRS. [IAS 1.119]

2. Some IFRSs specifically require disclosure of particular accounting policies, including choices made by management between different policies they allow. For example, IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment requires disclosure of the measurement bases used for classes of property, plant and equipment and IFRS 3 Business Combinations requires disclosure of the measurement basis used for non-controlling interest acquired during the period.

3. In this guidance, policies are disclosed that are specific to the entity and relevant for an understanding of individual line items in the financial statements, together with the notes for those line items. Other, more general policies are disclosed in the note 25 in the example below. Where permitted by local requirements, entities could consider moving these non-entity-specific policies into an Appendix.

Change in accounting policy – new and revised accounting standards

4. Where an entity has changed any of its accounting policies, either as a result of a new or revised accounting standard or voluntarily, it must explain the change in its notes. Additional disclosures are required where a policy is changed retrospectively, see note 26 for further information. [IAS 8.28]

5. New or revised accounting standards and interpretations only need to be disclosed if they resulted in a change in accounting policy which had an impact in the current year or could impact on future periods. There is no need to disclose pronouncements that did not have any impact on the entity’s accounting policies and amounts recognised in the financial statements. [IAS 8.28]

6. For the purpose of this edition, it is assumed that RePort Co. PLC did not have to make any changes to its accounting policies, as it is not affected by the interest rate benchmark reforms, and the other amendments summarised in Appendix D are only clarifications that did not require any changes. However, this assumption will not necessarily apply to all entities. Where there has been a change in policy, this will need to be explained, see note 26 for further information.

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Contract costs from Contracts with Customers

Contract costs from Contracts with Customers

– IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers (contents page is here) introduced a single and comprehensive framework which sets out how much revenue is to be recognised, and when. The core principle is that a vendor should recognise revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the vendor expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. See a summary of IFRS 15 here. Contract costs from Contracts with Customers

Contract costs are initially recognised as an asset and expensed on a systematic basis that is consistent with the transfer to the customer of the good or service to which those costs relate. Contract costs comprise both incremental costs of obtaining a contract and costs to fulfill a contract. Contract costs from Contracts with Customers

Incremental costs of obtaining a contract

Incremental costs incurred in obtaining a contract are those that would not have been incurred had that individual contract not been obtained. This is restrictive and includes only costs such as a sales commission that is paid only if the contract is obtained, unless the costs can be explicitly recharged to a customer. Contract costs from Contracts with CustomersContract costs from Contracts with Customers

As a practical expedient, incremental costs of obtaining a contract can be recognised as an immediate expense rather than capitalised if the period over which they would otherwise be expensed (or amortized) is one year or less. Contract costs from Contracts with Customers

All other ongoing costs of running the business, including costs that are incurred with the intention of obtaining a contract with a customer, are not incremental and will be expensed unless they fall within the scope of another accounting standard (such as IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment) and are required to be accounted for as an asset.

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Revenue definition

Revenue definition

Revenue is defined in IFRS 15 as: ‘Income arising in the course of an entity’s ordinary activities‘.

IFRS 15 establishes a single and comprehensive framework which sets out how much revenue is to be recognised, and when. The core principle is that a vendor should recognise revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the vendor expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services.

The application of the core principle in IFRS 15 is carried out in five steps:

revenue definition

The five-step model is applied to individual contracts. However, as a practical expedient, IFRS 15 permits an entity to apply the model to a portfolio of contracts (or performance obligations) with similar characteristics if the entity reasonably expects that the effects would not differ materially from applying it to individual contracts.

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Determining a leases discount rate

Determining a leases discount rate

The definition of the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate states that the rate should represent what the lessee ‘would have to pay to borrow over a similar term and with similar security, the funds necessary to obtain an asset of similar value to the right-of-use asset in a similar economic environment.’ In applying the concept of ‘similar security’, a lessee uses the right-of-use asset granted by the lease and not the fair value of the underlying asset.

This is because the rate should represent the amount that would be charged to acquire an asset of similar value for a similar period. For example, in determining the incremental borrowing rate on a 5 year lease of a property, the security for the portion of the asset being leased (i.e. the 5 year portion of its useful life) would be likely to vary significantly from the outright ownership of the property, as outright ownership would confer rights over a period of time that would typically be significantly greater than the 5-year right-of-use asset contained in the lease.

In practice, judgement may be needed to estimate an incremental borrowing rate in the context of a right-of-use asset, especially when the value of the underlying asset differs significantly from the value of the right-of-use asset.

An entity’s weighted-average cost of capital (‘WACC’) is not appropriate to use as a proxy for the incremental borrowing rate because it is not representative of the rate an entity would pay on borrowings. WACC incorporates the cost of equity-based capital, which is unsecured and ranks behind other creditors and will therefore be a higher rate than that paid on borrowings.

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The best 1 in overview – IFRS 9 Impairment requirements

IFRS 9 Impairment requirements

forward-looking information to recognise expected credit losses for all debt-type financial assets

 

Under IFRS 9 Impairment requirements, recognition of impairment no longer depends on a reporting entity first identifying a credit loss event.

IFRS 9 instead uses more forward-looking information to recognise expected credit losses for all debt-type financial assets that are not measured at fair value through profit or loss.

IFRS 9 requires an entity to recognise a loss allowance for expected credit losses on:

IFRS 9 requires an expected loss allowance to be estimated for each of these types of asset or exposure. However, the Standard specifies three different approaches depending on the type of asset or exposure:

IFRS 9 Impairment requirements

* optional application to trade receivables and contract assets with a significant financing component, and to lease receivables

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IFRS 16 Good Important Read – Lease payments

Lease payments – Lessee perspective

or what does a lessee include in its lease liability?

At the commencement date, a lessee measures the lease liability as the present value of lease payments that have not been paid at that date. In a simple lease that includes only fixed lease payments, this can be a simple calculation (IFRS 16.26).

Lease payments

Worked example – Fixed lease payments are included in lease liabilities
Lessee B enters into a five year lease of a photocopier. The lease payments are 10,000 per annum, paid at the end of each year.

Because the annual lease payments are fixed amounts, B includes the present value of the five annual payments in the initial measurement of the lease liability.

Using a discount rate (determined as B’s incremental borrowing rate) of 5%, the lease liability at the commencement date is calculated as follows:

Year

Lease payments

Discounted

1

10,000

9,524

2

10,000

9,070

3

10,000

8,638

4

10,000

8,227

5

10,000

7,835

Lease liability at commencement date

43,294

 

Categories of lease payment

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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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