IAS 16 Generation assets for Power and Utilities

Generation assets for Power and Utilities

– are often large and complex installations. They are expensive to construct, tend to be exposed to harsh operating conditions and require periodic replacement or repair. This environment leads to specific accounting issues.

1 Fixed assets and components

IFRS has a specific requirement for ‘component’ depreciation, as described in IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment. Each significant part of an item of property, plant and equipment is depreciated separately. Significant parts of an asset that have similar useful lives and patterns of consumption can be grouped together. This requirement can create complications for utility entities, because many assets include components with a shorter useful life than the asset as a whole.

Identifying components of an asset

Generation assets might comprise a significant number of components, many of which will have differing useful lives. The significant components of these types of assets must be separately identified. This can be a complex process, particularly on transition to IFRS, because the detailed record-keeping needed for componentisation might not have been required in order to comply with national generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This can particularly be an issue for older power plants. However, some regulators require detailed asset records, which can be useful for IFRS component identification purposes.

An entity might look to its operating data if the necessary information for components is not readily identified by the accounting records. Some components can be identified by considering the routine shutdown or overhaul schedules for power stations and the associated replacement and maintenance routines. Consideration should also be given to those components that are prone to technological obsolescence, corrosion or wear and tear that is more severe than that of the other portions of the larger asset.

First-time IFRS adopters can benefit from an exemption under IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards. This exemption allows entities to use a value that is not depreciated cost in accordance with IAS 16, and IAS 23 Borrowing Costs as deemed cost on transition to IFRS. It is not necessary to apply the exemption to all assets or to a group of assets.

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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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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

The step-by-step IAS 36 impairment of assets approach

When looking at the step-by-step IAS 36 impairment of assets approach it comes down to the following broadly organised steps: Assets in scope IAS 36

  • What?? – Determining the scope and structure of the impairment review,
  • If and when? – Determining if and when a quantitative impairment test is necessary, jump to this part here
  • How? – Understanding the mechanics of the impairment test and how to recognise or reverse any impairment loss, if necessary, jump to this part here.

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 stated above their recoverable amounts (the amounts to be recovered through use or … Read more

Cash-generating unit (CGU)

A cash-generating unit is the smallest identifiable group assets that generates cash inflows that are largely independent of the cash inflows from other assets.

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

3 powerful capital maintenance concepts

3 powerful capital maintenance concepts – There are three (or two a matter of definition) concepts of capital: a financial concept of capital (nominal maintenance and purchasing power maintenance) and a physical concept of capital. Under the financial concept, capital is defined as the net assets or equity of the enterprise, while under the physical concept, capital is defined as the productive capacity of the enterprise expressed in some physical units of measurement, as for example units of output per day.

The selection of the appropriate concept of capital by an enterprise should be based on the needs of the users of its financial statements. So, the financial concept of capital should be and mostly is used by the financial … Read more

Diagnosed for importance decommissioning liability IFRS

Diagnosed for importance decommissioning liability IFRS

Impact of a decommissioning liability

– IAS 36 – Impact of a decommissioning liability in determining the recoverable amount of a Cash generating unit.

At a glance

Most liabilities are ignored when calculating recoverable amounts in impairment testing. However certain liabilities, such as decommissioning and restoration liabilities, cannot be separated from the related assets. This presents challenges when applying both the ‘fair value less costs of disposal’ approach and the ‘value in use’ approach.

The IFRS Interpretations Diagnosed for importance decommissioning liability IFRSCommittee (IC) considered how to apply the current guidance to a value in use calculation. The IC declined to take the issue on to the agenda as the guidance on value in use is clear, therefore … Read more

Impairment of intangible assets

Possible impairment of intangible assets has to be assessed on a periodical basis. Intangible assets are tested for impairment when there is indication that they might be impaired. Indicators of impairment include legal restrictions, business restructuring, development of new technology, economic changes, etc. Impairment of intangible assets

Impairment test for intangible assets is the same as that for a tangible fixed asset:

  1. comparing the carrying amount of the asset, and Impairment of intangible assets
  2. the higher of fair value (less cost to sell) and value in use. Impairment of intangible assets

If b) is lower than a) that difference is recognized as impairment. Impairment of intangible assets

Impairment test for goodwill is a little more complex. The goodwill is first … Read more