‘Reserves’: things we don’t know how to account for?

The word ‘reserve’ has sometimes been used to describe two items on opposite sides of the balance sheet. The first item is oil or gas reserves, which are assets. The second item is insurance ‘reserves’, which are liabilities. Coincidentally, accounting standard setters have found both items hard to deal with. I think the label ‘reserve’… Continue reading ‘Reserves’: things we don’t know how to account for?

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?

Myths about Deferred tax

There are many myths about what deferred tax is. As a result, many companies do not understand what information about deferred tax can tell investors. Thus, companies typically present that information in a technical way that investors find difficult to understand. Consequently, most investors dismiss that information as an uninteresting technicality and they ignore it.… Continue reading Myths about Deferred tax

The ‘cash component of revenue’: a dangerous myth?

Some academics and investors often talk about ‘the cash component of revenue’. I understand why they use this shorthand label, but it risks causing misunderstanding. In this post, I examine the following: what is the ‘cash component of revenue’? an accounting identity linking revenue and cash receipts judgement in measuring trade receivables the ‘cash component… Continue reading The ‘cash component of revenue’: a dangerous myth?

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

I can’t get excited about goodwill

Many people have strong views about whether the International Accounting Standards Board (Board) should reintroduce amortisation of goodwill. But I can’t get excited about that as a topic for standard setting now, for two reasons: I think the arguments for amortisation (with impairment) and the arguments for impairment-only are quite finely balanced. I’m not sure… Continue reading I can’t get excited about goodwill