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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Capitalisation of expenditure – 1 Complete answer

Capitalisation of expenditure

Capitalisation of expenditure is only possible when one of the following situations occur:

  • Capital expenditure (including equipment repairs and maintenance)
  • Recording lease contracts – Right-of-Use Assets
  • Capitalisation of borrowing costs
  • Capitalisation of cloud computing costs
  • Capitalisation of intangible assets
  • Capitalisation of internally capitalized intangible assets
  • Research & development costs
  • Prepaid expenses

Capital expenditure (including equipment repairs and maintenance)

The cost of an item of property, plant and equipment under IAS 16 Property, plant and equipment shall be recognised as an asset if, and only if:

  • it is probable that future economic benefits associated with the item will flow to the entity; and
  • the cost of the item can be measured reliably. (IAS 16.7)

Investment property

Certain properties which are used on rental are classified as an investment property in which case IAS 40 Investment property will apply. Only tangible items which have a useful life of more than one period are classified as property, plant and equipment as per IAS 16. But refer to the words “more than one period” as more than one accounting period of 12 months.

Also, an entity shall determine a threshold limit commensurate to its size for recognizing a tangible item as property, plant and equipment. For example, a tangible item of insignificant amount although satisfying the definition of property, plant and equipment may be expensed.

Initial recognition of indirect costs

Items of property, plant and equipment may be acquired for safety or environmental reasons. The acquisition of such property plant and equipment, although not directly increasing the future economic benefits of any particular existing item of property, plant and equipment, may be necessary for an entity to obtain the future economic benefits from its other assets.

Such items of property plant and equipment qualify for recognition as assets because they enable an entity to derive future economic benefits from related assets in excess of what could be derived had those items not been acquired.

Subsequent recognition of indirect costs

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Transfer pricing – IAS 12 Best complete read

Transfer pricing
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


Furniture, fittings and equipment

Machinery and vehicles

Assets under construction


At 1 January 2019

Cost or fair value






Accumulated depreciation




Net carrying amount






Movements in 2019

Exchange differences




Revaluation surplus











Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals





Depreciation charge





Closing net carrying amount







At 31 December 2019

Cost or fair value







Accumulated depreciation




Net carrying amount







Movements in 2020

Exchange differences




Revaluation surplus




Acquisition of subsidiary













Assets classified as held for sale and other disposals









Depreciation charge





Impairment loss (ii)





Closing net carrying amount







At 31 December 2020

Cost or fair value







Accumulated depreciation




Net carrying amount







(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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11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

Several IFRS standards provide guidance regarding the scope and application of the fair value option for assets and liabilities. Here they are from 1 to 11…….

1 Investments in associates and joint ventures

Investments held by venture capital organizations and the like are exempt from IAS 28’s requirements only when they are measured at fair value through profit or loss (FVPL) in accordance with IFRS 9. Changes in the fair value (FV) of such investments are recognized in profit or loss in the period of change.

The IASB acknowledged that FV information is often readily available in venture capital organizations and entities in similar industries, even for start-up and non-listed entities, as the methods and basis for fair value measurement are well established. The IASB also confirmed that the reference to well-established practice is to emphasize that the exemption applies generally to those investments for which fair value is readily available.

2 Intangible assets

Subsequent to initial recognition of intangible assets, an entity may adopt either the cost model or the revaluation model as its accounting policy. The policy should be applied to the whole of a class of intangible assets and not merely to individual assets within a class11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13, unless there is no active market for an individual asset.

The revaluation model may only be adopted if the intangible assets are traded in an active market; hence it is not frequently used. Further, the revaluation model may not be applied to intangible assets that have not previously been recognized as assets. For example, over the years an entity might have accumulated for nominal consideration a number of licenses of a kind that are traded on an active market. 11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

The entity may not have recognized an intangible asset as the licenses were individually immaterial when acquired. If market prices for such licenses significantly increased, the value of the licenses held by the entity would substantially increase. In this case, the entity would be prohibited by IAS 38 from applying the revaluation model to the licenses, because they were not previously recognized as an asset.

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IFRS 13 Relief from royalty method

IFRS 13 Relief from royalty method – The ‘Royalty Relief’ (also known as Relief from Royalty) method is based on the notion that a brand holding company owns the brand and licenses it to an operating company.  One method to determine the market value of Intellectual Property assets like patents, trademarks, and copyrights is to use Relief from royalty method (also known as Royalty avoidance approach or Royalty Relief approach). This approach determines the value of Intellectual Property assets by estimating what it would cost the business if it had to purchase the Intellectual Property (IP) it uses from an outsider. Other valuation methods are provide here.

This approach requires the valuator to

  1. project future sales of the products
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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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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

IAS 36 Best brilliant impairment of telecom assets

IAS 36 Best brilliant impairment of telecom assets sets out the procedures that an entity should follow to ensure that it carries its assets at no more than thIAS 36 Best brilliant impairment of telecom assetseir recoverable amount. Recoverable amount is the higher of the amount to be realised through using or selling the asset.

Where the carrying amount exceeds the recoverable amount, the asset is impaired and an impairment loss must be recognised.

The standard details the circumstances when an impairment loss should be reversed, and also sets out required disclosures for impaired assets, impairment losses, reversals of impairment losses as well as key estimates and assumptions used in measuring the recoverable amounts of cash-generating units (CGUs) that contain goodwill or intangible assets with indefinite … Read more

IFRS 3 Measurement period complete explanations

IFRS 3 Definition: Measurement period after the acquisition date during which the acquirer may adjust the provisional amounts recognized for an acquisition