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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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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Consignment arrangements under IFRS 15

Consignment arrangements

An entity may deliver goods to another party but retain control of the goods – e.g. it may deliver a product to a dealer or distributor for sale to an end customer. These types of arrangements are called ‘consignment arrangements’, and do not allow the entity to recognize revenue on delivery of the products to the intermediary. [IFRS 15.B77]

IFRS 15 provides indicators that an arrangement is a consignment arrangement as follows. [IFRS 15.B78]

Consignment arrangements

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Repurchase agreements in IFRS 15

Repurchase agreements in IFRS 15

INTRO Repurchase agreements in IFRS 15 – An entity has executed a repurchase agreement if it sells an asset to a customer and promises, or has the option, to repurchase it. If the repurchase agreement meets the definition of a financial instrument, then it is outside the scope of IFRS 15. If not, then the repurchase agreement is in the scope of IFRS 15 and the accounting for it depends on its type – e.g. a forward, call option, or put option – and on the repurchase price.

A forward or a call option

If an entity has an obligation (a forward) or a right (a call option) to repurchase an asset, then a customer does not have control of the asset. This is because the customer is limited in its ability to direct the use of, and obtain the benefits from, the asset despite its physical possession. If the entity expects to repurchase the asset for less than its original sales price, then it accounts for the entire agreement as a lease. [IFRS 15.B66–B67]

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1st and best IFRS Accounting for client money

IFRS Accounting for client money

If an entity holds money on behalf of clients (‘client money’):

  • should the client money be recognised as an asset in the entity’s financial statements?
  • where the client money is recognised as an asset, can it be offset against the corresponding liability to the client on the face of the statement of financial position?

DEFINITION: Client money

“Client money” is used to describe a variety of arrangements in which the reporting entity holds funds on behalf of clients. Client money arrangements are often regulated and more specific definitions of the term are contained in some regulatory pronouncements. The guidance in this alert is not specific to any particular regulatory regime.

Entities may hold money on behalf of clients under many different contractual arrangements, for example:

  • a bank may hold money on deposit in a customer’s bank account;
  • a fund manager or stockbroker may hold money on behalf of a customer as a trustee;
  • an insurance broker may hold premiums paid by policyholders before passing them onto an insurer;
  • a lawyer or accountant may hold money on behalf of a client, often in a separate client bank account where the interest earned is for the client’s benefit.

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Transfer of control for distinct licences

Transfer of control for distinct licencesTransfer of control for distinct licences – IFRS 15 indicates that an entity must determine, at contract inception, whether it will transfer control of a promised good or service over time. If an entity does not satisfy a performance obligation over time, the performance obligation is satisfied at a point in time. A performance obligation is satisfied over time if it meets one of the following criteria: Transfer of control for distinct licences

  • The customer simultaneously receives and consumes the benefits provided by the entity’s performance as the entity performs – by providing hosting services, for example. Transfer of control for distinct licences
  • The entity’s performance creates or enhances an asset that the customer controls as the asset is created
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Restrictions on transferred assets

Restrictions on transferred assets - Stipulations that limit or direct the purposes for which a transferred asset may be used, but do not specify future benefit

Continuing involvement

The continuing involvement applies if the entity has neither transferred nor retained all the risks and rewards and control has not passed to the transferee.

Satisfaction of performance obligations

Satisfaction of performance obligations – An entity recognises revenue only when it satisfies a performance obligation by transferring control of a promised good or service to the customer. Control of an asset refers to the ability of the customer to direct the use of and obtain substantially all of the cash inflows, or the reduction of cash outflows, generated by the goods or services. Control also means the ability to prevent other entities from directing the use of, and receiving the benefit from, a good or service. Satisfaction of performance obligations

The standard indicates that an entity must determine at contract inception whether it will transfer control of a promised good or service over time. If an entity does not … Read more

Revenue recognition at a point in time

Revenue recognition at a point in time is included in IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers (contents page is here), that 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. Revenue recognition at a point in time

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