Liability or equity?

I have submitted a comment letter to the IASB on 2 aspects of its Exposure Draft Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity, available at IFRS – Exposure Draft and comment letters: Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity—Proposed amendments to IAS 32, IFRS 7 and IAS 1 The comment deadline is 26 March 2024. The text… Continue reading Liability or equity?

Own credit risk

The topic of own credit risk generates perhaps more strongly held views than any other accounting topic. For example, in around 2011, the IASB was developing a discussion paper on insurance contracts. Some of us visited one of the largest insurers in the world. They knew almost nothing about the project. But they had heard… Continue reading Own credit risk

Is there such a thing as unrecognised income or expense?

The IASB’s Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting and IFRS Standards discuss both recognised assets and liabilities and unrecognised assets and liabilities. A question that sometimes comes up whether there exists a corresponding notion of unrecognised income and expenses. Unrecognised assets and unrecognised liabilities The Conceptual Framework acknowledges that not all assets and liabilities are not… Continue reading Is there such a thing as unrecognised income or expense?

3 myths about financial accounting

In describing how finance and accounting differ from each other as disciplines, someone recently made the following 3 statements about accounting: I agree that accounting and financing are different (though related) activities. But I disagree with all 3 of these statements about accounting, particularly as they relate to financial accounting. I suspect these statements are… Continue reading 3 myths about financial accounting

IASC’s project on discounting

The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) added to its work plan a project on discounting (or present value) in 1998. IASC was the predecessor of the International Accounting Standards Board (the IASB). When the IASB came into being in 2001 and took over from IASC, the IASB decided not to continue with the project. In… Continue reading IASC’s project on discounting

Why it’s hard to measure deferred tax on investments in subsidiaries

IAS 12 Income Taxes prohibits recognition of most of those deferred tax liabilities (and deferred tax assets) resulting from investments in subsidiaries. This post examines why that prohibition exists. In summary, when that prohibition applies, the parent has a deferred tax liability (or deferred tax asset). The parent must disclose the underlying ‘temporary difference’. But… Continue reading Why it’s hard to measure deferred tax on investments in subsidiaries

Saying how likely something is: way forward

IFRS standards use too many different terms to say how likely it is that an event will occur. And different people using IFRS Standards interpret those terms in different ways. Those clear messages appeared in a research report issued in 2016 by the Korea Accounting Standards Board (KASB) and Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB). I… Continue reading Saying how likely something is: way forward

Putting the wrong kinds of numbers in P&L won’t help save the planet

Many companies will need to spend a lot of money reshaping their businesses to help save the planet. Some environmental campaigners say that companies should book all that spending as liabilities today. They argue that booking that spending today would make investors focus on that information and that investors would then put pressure on companies… Continue reading Putting the wrong kinds of numbers in P&L won’t help save the planet

Equity is not a residual

People often describe equity as a residual. That description is not fully accurate and may mislead people. There are probably three reasons why some people use that description: the definition of equity includes the word residual. the total amount of reported equity is measured as a residual. the pre-2018 version of the IASB’s Conceptual Framework… Continue reading Equity is not a residual

Measurements based on future cash flows

Paragraph 6.93 of the Conceptual Framework contains a brief high-level discussion of three different central estimates of a set of estimated future cash flows: the expected value (statistical mean) the maximum amount that is more likely than not to occur (similar to statistical median) the most likely outcome (statistical mode) Papers considered by the International… Continue reading Measurements based on future cash flows