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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Definition of provision – IAS 37 Complete easy read

Definition of provision

The definition of provision is key to IAS 37. A provision is a liability of uncertain timing or amount, meaning that there is some question over either how much will be paid or when this will be paid. In the past, these uncertainties may have been exploited by companies trying to ‘smooth profits’ in order to achieve the results they believe that their various stakeholder may want.

As part of the attempt of IASB to further restrict this type of earnings management within IFRSs, IASB adopted an update of IAS 37 in April 2001 originating from September 1998. IAS 37 was further updated for Onerous contracts – Costs of fulfilling a contract in May 2020.

IAS 37: ‘Onerous Contracts – Cost of Fulfilling a Contract’

lAS 37 defines an onerous contract as one in which the unavoidable costs of meeting the entity’s obligations exceed the economic benefits to be received under that contract. Unavoidable costs are the lower of the net cost of exiting the contract and the costs to fulfil the contract. The amendment clarifies the meaning of ‘costs to fulfil a contract’.

The amendment explains that the direct cost of fulfilling a contract comprises:

  • the incremental costs of fulfilling that contract (for example, direct labour and materials); and
  • an allocation of other costs that relate directly to fulfilling contracts (for example, an allocation ofthe depreciation charge for an item of PP&E used to fulfil the contract).

The amendment also clarifies that, before a separate provision for an onerous contract is established, an entity recognises any impairment loss that has occurred on assets used in fulfilling the contract, rather than on assets dedicated to that contract.

The amendment could result in the recognition of more onerous contract provisions, because previously some entities only included incremental costs in the costs to fulfil a contract.

The key definition of provision

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Measurement of remaining coverage

Measurement of remaining coverage – An entity measures the liability for remaining coverage on initial recognition of a group of insurance contracts eligible for the premium allocation approach (PAA) that are not onerous, as follows (IFRS 17 55]:

  • The premium, if any, received at initial recognition
    Minus Measurement of remaining coverage
  • Any insurance cash flows at that
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What is initial public offering

What is initial public offering

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) comprises of a privately owned business that wants access the public capital market through the sale of securities (shares in the before IPO privately owned business). Thereby, the business can raise monies more readily than by the retention of profits in order to also grow through acquiring other businesses. Other possible motivations for an IPO include the prestige of ownership of a public company or the desire of major shareholders to exit the company.

Back-door listings

Another way that entities may list is through a reverse restructure with an existing non-operating listed entity that has few assets or liabilities (i.e. a shell company) or a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) are publicly traded companies formed for the sole purpose of raising capital through an IPO and using the IPO proceeds to acquire one or more unspecified businesses in the future.

The management team that forms the SPAC (the “sponsor”) forms the entity and funds the offering expenses in exchange for founder shares. There are various tax considerations and complexities that can have significant implications both during the SPAC formation process and down the road.

Under these circumstances where a private entity is ‘acquired’ by the listed entity, this is commonly referred to as aWhat is initial public offering back-door listing. Since the listed non-operating entity is not a business, the transaction is not a business combination. Normally such transactions are accounted for similar to reverse acquisitions.

However, because the accounting acquiree is not a business the transaction is considered a share-based payment. That is, the private entity is deemed to have issued shares to obtain control of the listed entity and to the extent their fair value exceeds the fair value of the listed entity’s identifiable net assets an expense will arise.

Disclosure of key judgements

Determining the appropriate accounting treatment of a reverse restructure with an existing non-operating listed entity that has few assets or liabilities (i.e. a shell company) or a SPAC often involves judgements. Therefore entities need to ensure that they comply with the disclosure requirements of IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements (‘IAS 1’), specifically paragraph 122.

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Disclosures Principles of consolidation and equity accounting for IAS 1

Disclosures Principles of consolidation and equity accounting

This is a separated part of the example accounting policies, it is separated because of the size of this note and the specific nature of principles of consolidation and equity accounting.

Example accounting policies – Introduction

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 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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Disclosure Financial risk management

Disclosure Financial risk management

Disclosure financial risk management provides the guidance on the need for disclosure of the management policies, procedures and measurement practices in place at the operations within the reporting entity’s group of companies and an actual example of disclosures for financial risk management.

Disclosure Financial risk management guidance

Classes of financial instruments

Where IFRS 7 requires disclosures by class of financial instrument, the entity shall group its financial instruments into classes that are appropriate to the nature of the information disclosed and that take into account the characteristics of those financial instruments. The classes are determined by the entity and are therefore distinct from the categories of financial instruments specified in IFRS 9. Disclosure Financial risk management

As a minimum, the entity should distinguish between financial instruments measured at amortised cost and those measured at fair value, and treat as separate class any financial instruments outside the scope of IFRS 9. The entity shall provide sufficient information to permit reconciliation to the line items presented in the balance sheet. Guidance on classes of financial instruments and the level of required disclosures is provided in Appendix B to IFRS 7. [IFRS 7.6, IFRS 7.B1-B3]

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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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IFRS 7 Financial instruments Disclosures High level summary

Scope IFRS 7 Financial instruments Disclosures High level summary

IFRS 7 applies to all recognised and unrecognised financial instruments (including contracts to buy or sell non-financial assets) except:

  • Interests in subsidiaries, associates or joint ventures, where IAS 27/28 or IFRS 10/11 permit accounting in accordance with IAS 39/IFRS 9
  • Assets and liabilities resulting from IAS 19
  • Insurance contracts in accordance with IFRS 4 (excluding embedded derivatives in these contracts if IAS 39/IFRS 9 require separate accounting)
  • Financial instruments, contracts and obligations under IFRS 2, except contracts within the scope of IAS 39/IFRS 9
  • Puttable instruments (IAS 32.16A-D).

Disclosure requirements: Significance of financial instruments in terms of the financial position and performance

Statement of financial position

Statement of

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IFRS 5 Non-current assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations

 

IFRS 5 Non-current assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations

at a glance – here it is the ultimate summary:

IFRS 5

Source: https://www.bdo.global/en-gb/services/audit-assurance/ifrs/ifrs-at-a-glance

Definitions
Cash-generating unit – The smallest identifiable group of assets that generates cash inflows that are largely independent of the cash inflows from other assets or groups of assets. Discontinued operation – A component of an entity that either has been disposed of or is classified as held for sale and either:
  • Represents a separate major line of business or geographical area
  • Is part of a single co-ordinated plan to dispose of a separate major line of business or geographical area of operations
  • Is a subsidiary acquired exclusively with a view to resale.
SCOPE
  • Applies to all
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IAS 36 Other impairment issues

IAS 36 Other impairment issues – 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 here

IAS 36 Other impairment issues discusses other common application issues encountered when applying IAS 36, including those related to:

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