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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Need for accounting measurement the big 1

Need for accounting measurement

Need for accounting measurement provides a summary of the measurement bases in use in Financial Reporting
and the concepts behind these measurement bases.
The measurement bases that will be considered here are

All these bases are forms of accrual accounting – that is, they are intended to measure income as it is earned and costs as they are incurred, as opposed to simply recording cash flows. The last four are all forms of current value measurement.

In forming a judgment on the appropriateness of measurement bases, in literature, the overriding tests has been identified to be their cost-effectiveness and fitness for purpose. However, in the absence of direct evidence on these matters, it is usual to argue in terms of various secondary characteristics that ought to be relevant in assessing the quality of information (see the key indicators in What is useful information?).

The most important of these characteristics are generally considered to be relevance and faithful representation / reliability (older term).

For each basis, an outline is given of how it works and the relevance and faithful representation of the resulting measurements. The question of measurement costs is also considered briefly. In reading the analyses that follow, the following comments should be borne in mind.

Bases of measurement in financial reporting are not carved in stone. Different people have different views on how each basis should work, and meanings evolve as practice changes. Some readers may therefore find that the way a particular basis is described does not match how they understand it.

This does not mean either that their understanding is wrong or that the description in the report is wrong; views on these things simply differ.

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Narrative reporting the right way

Narrative reporting

– whether in the form of an Operating and Financial Review (OFR), Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A), a Business Review or other management commentary – is vital to corporate transparency. Key performance indicators (KPIs), both financial and non-financial, are an important component of the information needed to explain a company’s progress towards its stated goals, for all of these types of narrative reporting.

But despite this fact, KPIs are not well understood. What makes a performance indicator “key”? What type of information should be provided for each indicator? And how can it best be presented to provide effective narrative business reporting?

Setting the stage – two quotes

Although narrative reporting requirements remain fluid, reporting on KPIs is here to stay. I welcome any publication as a valuable contribution to helping companies choose which KPIs to report and what information will provide investors with a real understanding of corporate performance. Using management’s own measures of success really helps deepen investors’ understanding of progress and movement in business. Whether contextual, financial or non-financial, these data points make the trends in the business transparent and help keep management accountable. The illustrations of good practice reporting on KPIs shown here bring alive what is required in a practical and effective way.

KPIs – a critical component

Regulatory environment

The specific requirements for narrative reporting have been a point of debate for several years now. However one certainty remains: the requirement to report financial and non-financial key performance indicators.

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Present obligation as a result of past event

Present obligation as a result of past event – some basics in accrual accounting, some legal presumptions and a lot to understand….

Obligation: A duty or responsibility to act or perform in a certain way. Obligations may be legally enforceable as a consequence of a binding contract or statutory requirement. Obligations also arise, however, from normal business practice, custom and a desire to maintain good business relations or act in an equitable manner.

It is important to distinguish between a present obligation and a future commitment. A management decision to purchase assets in the future does not, in itself, give rise to a present obligation.

Settlement of a present obligation will involve the entity giving up resources embodying economic benefits … Read more


Obligations may be legally enforceable as a consequence of a binding contract or statutory requirement. This is normally the case, for example, with amounts payable for goods and services received. However, obligations do not have to be legally binding.

If, for example, an entity decides as a matter of policy to rectify faults in its products even when these become apparent after the warranty period has expired, the costs that are expected to be incurred in respect of goods already sold are liabilities.

Obligations do not include future commitments.

Some liabilities can be measured only by using a substantial degree of estimation. Some entities describe these liabilities as provisions. In some countries, such provisions are not regarded as liabilities because … Read more

Valuing deferred tax assets – How 2 best account it in IAS 12

Valuing deferred tax assets

Judgement! Judgement! Judgement! Judgement! Judgement! Judgement! Judgement! Judgement! OK?

The telecommunications industry is very dynamic, driven by technological developments and changes in the competitive and regulatory environment. Due to the significant capital expenditure involved in building infrastructure, investment recovery periods tend to be longer than in many other industries. In the past, a number of telecom operators have recorded significant start-up trading losses and losses due to impairment charges on licences or goodwill and other assets resulting from business combinations. Depending on local tax legislation, operators can use these losses to offset future taxable income.

Companies are required to assess the accumulated losses and the recoverability of any related deferred tax assets (deferred tax asset) each Read more

Calculating the value of an acquisition – How 2 complete it best

Calculating the value of an – This is a detailed example of calculating the fair value of an acquisition, using … Read more