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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Transfer pricing – IAS 12 Best complete read

Transfer pricing
 for
transactions between related parties

A transfer price is the price charged between related parties (e.g., a parent company and its controlled foreign corporation) in an inter-company transaction. Although inter-company transactions are eliminated when consolidating the financial results of controlled foreign corporations and their domestic parents, for preparation of individual tax returns each entity (or a tax consolidation unit of more than one entity in the group in one and the same tax jurisdiction) prepares stand-alone (or a tax consolidation unit) tax returns.

See also:

IAS 24 Related parties narrative IFRS 15 Revenue narrative IAS 12 Income tax narrative

Transfer prices directly affect the allocation of group-wide taxable income across national tax jurisdictions. Hence, a group’s transfer-pricing policies can directly affect its after-tax income to the extent that tax rates differ across national jurisdictions.

Arm’s length transaction principle

Most OECD countries rely upon the OECD TP Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations, that were originally released in 1995 and subsequently updated in 2017 (OECD TP Guidelines). The OECD TP Guidelines reaffirmed the OECD’s commitment to the arm’s length transaction principle.

In fact, the arm’s length transaction principle is considered “the closest approximation of the workings of the open market in cases where goods and services are transferred between associated enterprises.” The arm’s length principle implies that transfer prices between related parties should be set as though the entities were operating at arm’s length (i.e. were independent enterprises).

The application of the arm’s length transaction principle is generally based on a comparison of all the relevant conditions in a controlled transaction with the conditions in an uncontrolled transaction (i.e. a transaction between independent enterprises).

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Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities example

Disclosure non-financial assets and liabilities example

The guidance for this disclosure example is provided here.

8 Non-financial assets and liabilities

This note provides information about the group’s non-financial assets and liabilities, including:

  • specific information about each type of non-financial asset and non-financial liability
    • property, plant and equipment (note 8(a))
    • leases (note 8(b))
    • investment properties (note 8(c))
    • intangible assets (note 8(d))
    • deferred tax balances (note 8(e))
    • inventories (note 8(f))
    • other assets, including assets classified as held for sale (note 8(g))
    • employee benefit obligations (note 8(h))
    • provisions (note 8(i))
  • accounting policies
  • information about determining the fair value of the assets and liabilities, including judgements and estimation uncertainty involved (note 8(j)).

8(a) Property, plant and equipment

Amounts in CU’000

Freehold land

Buildings

Furniture, fittings and equipment

Machinery and vehicles

Assets under construction

Total

At 1 January 2019

Cost or fair value

11,350

28,050

27,510

70,860

137,770

Accumulated depreciation

-7,600

-37,025

-44,625

Net carrying amount

11,350

28,050

19,910

33,835

93,145

Movements in 2019

Exchange differences

-43

-150

-193

Revaluation surplus

2,700

3,140

5,840

Additions

2,874

1,490

2,940

4,198

3,100

14,602

Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals

-424

-525

-2,215

3,164

Depreciation charge

-1,540

-2,030

-4,580

8,150

Closing net carrying amount

16,500

31,140

20,252

31,088

3,100

102,080

At 31 December 2019

Cost or fair value

16,500

31,140

29,882

72,693

3,100

153,315

Accumulated depreciation

-9,630

-41,605

-51,235

Net carrying amount

16,500

31,140

20,252

31,088

3,100

102,080

Movements in 2020

Exchange differences

-230

-570

-800

Revaluation surplus

3,320

3,923

7,243

Acquisition of subsidiary

800

3,400

1,890

5,720

11,810

Additions

2,500

2,682

5,313

11,972

3,450

25,917

Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals

-550

-5,985

-1,680

-8,215

Transfers

950

2,150

-3,100

Depreciation charge

-1,750

-2,340

-4,380

-8,470

Impairment loss (ii)

-465

-30

-180

-675

Closing net carrying amount

22,570

38,930

19,820

44,120

3,450

128,890

At 31 December 2020

Cost or fair value

22,570

38,930

31,790

90,285

3,450

187,025

Accumulated depreciation

-11,970

-46,165

-58,135

Net carrying amount

22,570

38,930

19,820

44,120

3,450

128,890

(i) Non-current assets pledged as security

Refer to note 24 for information on non-current assets pledged as security by the group.

(ii) Impairment loss and compensation

The impairment loss relates to assets that were damaged by a fire – refer to note 4(b) for details. The whole amount was recognised as administrative expense in profit or loss, as there was no amount included in the asset revaluation surplus relating to the relevant assets. [IAS 36.130(a)]

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Initial Coin Offering

Initial Coin Offering

An Initial Coin Offering (‘ICO’) is a form of fundraising that harnesses the power of cryptographic assets and blockchain-based trading. Similar to a crowdfunding campaign, an ICO allocates (issues or promises to issue) digital token(s) instead of shares to the parties that provided contributions for the development of the digital token. These ICO tokens typically do not represent an ownership interest in the entity, but they often provide access to a platform (if and when developed) and can often be traded on a crypto exchange. The population of ICO tokens in an ICO is generally set at a fixed amount.

It should be noted that ICOs might be subject to local securities law, and significant regulatory considerations might apply.

Each ICO is bespoke and will have unique terms and conditions. It is critical for issuers to review the whitepaper (A whitepaper is a concept paper authored by the developers of a platform, to set out an idea and overall value proposition to prospective investors. The whitepaper commonly outlines the development roadmap and key milestones that the development team expects to meet) or underlying documents accompanying the ICO token issuance, and to understand what exactly is being offered to investors/subscribers. In situations where rights and obligations arising from a whitepaper or their legal enforceability are unclear, legal advice might be needed, to determine the relevant terms.

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M and A

M and A or Mergers and Acquisitions

in IFRS language Business Combinations.

1 Identifying a business combination

IFRS 3 refers to a ‘business combination’ rather than more commonly used phrases such as takeover, acquisition or merger because the objective is to encompass all the transactions in which an acquirer obtains control over an acquiree no matter how the transaction is structured. A business combination is defined as a transaction or other event in which an acquirer (an investor entity) obtains control of one or more businesses.

An entity’s purchase of a controlling interest in another unrelated operating entity will usually be a business combination (see Simple case – Straightforward business combination below). However, a business combination (M and A) may be structured, and an entity may obtain control of that structure, in a variety of ways.

Examples of business combinations structurings

Examples of ways an entity may obtain control

A business becomes the subsidiary of an acquirer

The entity transfers cash, cash equivalents or other assets(including net assets that constitute a business)

Net assets of one or more businesses are legally merged with an acquirer

The entity incurs liabilities

One combining entity transfers its net assets, or its owners transfer their equity interests, to another combining entity or its owners

The entity issues shares

The entity transfers more than one type of consideration, or

Two or more entities transfer their net assets, or the owners of those entities transfer their equity interests to a newly created entity, which in exchange issues shares, or

The entity does not transfer consideration and obtains control for example by contract alone Some examples of this:

  • ‘dual listed companies’ or ‘stapled entity structures’
  • acquiree repurchases a sufficient number of its own shares for an existing shareholder to obtain control
  • a condition in the shareholder agreement that prevents the majority shareholder exercising control of the entity has expired, or
  • a call option over a controlling interest that becomes exercisable.

A group of former owners of one of the combining entities obtains control of the combined entity, i.e. former owners, as a group, retain control of the entity they previously owned.

Therefore, identifying a business combination transaction requires the determination of whether:

  • what is acquired constitutes a ‘business’ as defined in IFRS3, and
  • control has been obtained.

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Disclosure Corporate Income Tax

Disclosure Corporate Income Tax

– provides guidance on the disclosure requirements under IFRS for IAS 12 income tax and provides a comprehensive example of a potential disclosures for these income taxes/corporate income tax.

Disclosure corporate income tax – Guidance

Relationship between tax expense and accounting profit

Entities can explain the relationship between tax expense (income) and accounting profit by disclosing reconciliations between: [IAS 12.81(c), IAS 12.85]

  1. tax expense and the product of accounting profit multiplied by the applicable tax rate, or
  2. the average effective tax rate and the applicable tax rate.

The applicable tax rate can either be the domestic rate of tax in the country in which the entity is domiciled, or it can be determined by aggregating separate reconciliations prepared using the domestic rate in each individual jurisdiction. Entities should choose the method that provides the most meaningful information to users.

Where an entity uses option (a) above and reconciles tax expense to the tax that is calculated by multiplying accounting profit with the applicable tax rate, the standard does not specify whether the reconciliation should be done for total tax expense, or only for tax expense attributable to continuing operations. While RePorting Co. Plc is reconciling total tax expense, it is equally acceptable to use profit from continuing operations as a starting point.

Initial recognition exemption – subsequent amortisation

The amount shown in the reconciliation of prima facie income tax payable to income tax expense as ‘amortisation of intangibles’ represents the amortisation of a temporary difference that arose on the initial recognition of the asset and for which no deferred tax liability has been recognised in accordance with IAS 12.15(b). The initial recognition exemption only applies to transactions that are not a business combination and do not affect either accounting profit or taxable profit.

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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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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

IFRS 10 Special control approach

IFRS 10 Special control approach

– determines which entities are consolidated in a parent’s financial statements and therefore affects a group’s reported results, cash flows and financial position – and the activities that are ‘on’ and ‘off’ the group’s balance sheet. Under IFRS, this control assessment is accounted for in accordance with IFRS 10 ‘Consolidated financial statements’.

Some of the challenges of applying the IFRS 10 Special control approach include:

  • identifying the investee’s returns, which in turn involves identifying its assets and liabilities. This may appear straightforward but complications arise when the legal ownership of assets diverges from the accounting depiction (for example, in financial asset transfers that ‘fail’ de-recognition, and in finance leases). In general, the assessment of the investee’s assets and returns should be consistent with the accounting depiction in accordance with IFRS
  • it may not always be clear whether contracts and other arrangements between an investor and an investee
    • create rights or exposure to a variable return from the investee’s performance for the investor; or
    • transfer risk or variability from the investor to the investee IFRS 10 Special control approach
  • the relevant activities of an SPE may not be obvious, especially when its activities have been narrowly specified in its purpose and design IFRS 10 Special control approach
  • the rights to direct those activities might also be difficult to identify, because for example, they arise only in particular circumstances or from contracts that are outside the legal boundary of the SPE (but closely related to its activities).

IFRS 10 Special control approach sets out requirements for how to apply the control principle in less straight forward circumstances, which are detailed below:  IFRS 10 Special control approach

  • when voting rights or similar rights give an investor power, including situations where the investor holds less than a majority of voting rights and in circumstances involving potential voting rights
  • when an investee is designed so that voting rights are not the dominant factor in deciding who controls the investee, such as when any voting rights relate to administrative tasks only and the relevant activities are directed by means of contractual arrangements IFRS 10 Special control approach
  • involving agency relationships IFRS 10 Special control approach
  • when the investor has control only over specified assets of an investee
  • franchises. IFRS 10 Special control approach

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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