Does future tense help keep goodwill alive?

When a verb refers to the future, some languages require explicit marking of that fact. A recent paper presents evidence that companies in countries using those languages are slow in reporting goodwill as impaired. The paper suggests that this is because speakers of those languages perceive the future as more distant than speakers of other… Continue reading Does future tense help keep goodwill alive?

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

Assumptions are not just a throw-away

The term ‘assumption’ figures prominently in some accounting standards, but can give the wrong impression. Where accounting standards refer to ‘assumptions’ The term appears in contexts where a preparer needs to make an accounting estimate. IAS defines accounting estimates as ‘monetary amounts in financial statements that are subject to measurement uncertainty’. Some IFRS standards use… Continue reading Assumptions are not just a throw-away

Government grants: is the answer really so easy?

When the IASB first took over from its predecessor (IASC), many Board members believed that the IASB should replace IAS 20 Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance. They considered that developing a replacement would be easy. The general feeling seemed that: This post deals with the following: Overview of IAS 20 The following are… Continue reading Government grants: is the answer really so easy?

Does it matter that companies don’t consolidate pension funds?

Some people wonder why companies present pension liabilities net of the related plan assets. They suggest that instead companies should consolidate their pension plans. People making that suggestion think it would lead to companies presenting pension liabilities (gross) separately from the plan assets. This post explains why introducing a requirement to consolidate pension plans would… Continue reading Does it matter that companies don’t consolidate pension funds?

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

What does diluted EPS measure?

IAS 33 Earnings per Share requires listed companies to disclose not only basic earnings per share (EPS) but also diluted EPS. It seems that there is not widespread: This post explores the objective of the approach, the reason why the IASB’s predecessor (IASC: International Accounting Standards Committee) selected it and implications for any possible changes… Continue reading What does diluted EPS measure?

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

First-time adoption of IFRS Standards: too many new exemptions?

The IASB issued IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards in 2003. Under IFRS 1, entities switching to IFRS Standards must apply those standards in full, with some limited transitional modifications. The Basis for Conclusions on IFRS 1 describes the decision-making framework the IASB used in deciding what transitional modifications to include in… Continue reading First-time adoption of IFRS Standards: too many new exemptions?