Docy Child

CONCEPTS AND PERVASIVE PRINCIPLES

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Scope of this section


  1. 1 This section describes the objective of financial statements of small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) and the qualities that make the information in the financial statements of SMEs useful. It also sets out the concepts and basic principles underlying the financial statements of SMEs.

Objective of financial statements of small and medium-sized entities


  1. 2 The objective of financial statements of a small or medium-sized entity is to provide information about the financial position, performance, and cash flows of the entity that is useful for economic decision-making by a broad range of users of the financial statements who are not in a position to demand reports tailored to meet their particular information needs.
  1. 3 Financial statements also show the results of the stewardship of management—the accountability of management for the resources entrusted to it.

Qualitative characteristics of information in financial statements


Understandability

  1. 4 The information provided in financial statements should be presented in a way that makes it comprehensible by users who have a reasonable knowledge of business and economic activities and accounting and a willingness to study the information with reasonable diligence. However, the need for understandability does not allow relevant information to be omitted on the grounds that it may be too difficult for some users to understand.

Relevance

  1. 5 The information provided in financial statements must be relevant to the decision-making needs of users. Information has the quality of relevance when it is capable of influencing the economic decisions of users by helping them evaluate past, present or future events or confirming, or correcting, their past evaluations.

Materiality

  1. 6 Information is material—and therefore has relevance—if its omission or misstatement could influence the economic decisions of users made on the basis of the financial statements. Materiality depends on the size and nature of the omission or misstatement as judged in the surrounding circumstances. However, it is inappropriate to make, or leave uncorrected, immaterial departures from the IFRS for SMEs to achieve a particular presentation of an entity’s financial position, financial performance, or cash flows.

Reliability

  1. 7 The information provided in financial statements must be reliable. Information is reliable when it is free from material error and bias and represents faithfully that which it either purports to represent or could reasonably be expected to represent. Financial statements are not free from bias (ie not neutral) if, by the selection or presentation of information, they are intended to influence the making of a decision or judgement in order to achieve a predetermined result or outcome.

Substance over form.

  1. 8 Transactions and other events and conditions should be accounted for and presented in accordance with their substance and not merely their legal form. This enhances the reliability of financial statements.

Prudence

  1. 9 The uncertainties that inevitably surround many events and circumstances are acknowledged by the disclosure of their nature and extent and by the exercise of prudence in the preparation of the financial statements. Prudence is the inclusion of a degree of caution in the exercise of the judgements needed in making the estimates required under conditions of uncertainty, such that assets or income are not overstated and liabilities or expenses are not understated. However, the exercise of prudence does not allow the deliberate understatement of assets or income or the deliberate overstatement of liabilities or expenses. In short, prudence does not permit bias.

Completeness

  1. 10 To be reliable, the information in financial statements must be complete within the bounds of materiality and cost. An omission can cause information to be false or misleading and thus unreliable and deficient in terms of its relevance.

Comparability

  1. 11 Users must be able to compare the financial statements of an entity over time to identify trends in its financial position and performance. Users must also be able to compare the financial statements of different entities to evaluate their relative financial position, performance and cash flows. Hence, the measurement and display of the financial effects of like transactions and other events and conditions must be carried out in a consistent way throughout an entity and over time for that entity and in a consistent way across entities. In addition, users must be informed of the accounting policies employed in the preparation of the financial statements and of any changes in those policies and the effects of such changes.

Timeliness

  1. 12 To be relevant, financial information must be able to influence the economic decisions of users. Timeliness involves providing the information within the decision time frame. If there is undue delay in the reporting of information it may lose its relevance. Management may need to balance the relative merits of timely reporting and the provision of reliable information. In achieving a balance between relevance and reliability, the overriding consideration is how best to satisfy the needs of users in making economic decisions.

Balance between benefit and cost

  1. 13 The benefits derived from information should exceed the cost of providing it. The evaluation of benefits and costs is substantially a judgmental process. Furthermore, the costs are not necessarily borne by those who enjoy the benefits, and often the benefits of the information are enjoyed by a broad range of external users.
  1. 14 Financial reporting information helps capital providers make better decisions, which results in more efficient functioning of capital markets and a lower cost of capital for the economy as a whole. Individual entities also enjoy benefits, including improved access to capital markets, favorable effect on public relations and perhaps lower costs of capital. The benefits may also include better management decisions because financial information used internally is often based at least partly on information prepared for general purpose financial reporting purposes.

Undue cost or effort

  1. 14A An undue cost or effort exemption is specified for some requirements in this Standard. This exemption shall not be used for other requirements in this Standard.
  1. 14B Considering whether obtaining or determining the information necessary to comply with a requirement would involve undue cost or effort depends on the entity’s specific circumstances and on management’s judgement of the costs and benefits from applying that requirement. This judgement requires consideration of how the economic decisions of those that are expected to use the financial statements could be affected by not having that information. Applying a requirement would involve undue cost or effort by an SME if the incremental cost (for example, valuers’ fees) or additional effort (for example, endeavours by employees) substantially exceed the benefits that those that are expected to use the SME’s financial statements would receive from having the information. An assessment of undue cost or effort by an SME in accordance with this Standard would usually constitute a lower hurdle than an assessment of undue cost or effort by a publicly accountable entity because SMEs are not accountable to public stakeholders.
  1. 14C Assessing whether a requirement would involve undue cost or effort on initial recognition in the financial statements, for example at the date of the transaction, should be based on information about the costs and benefits of the requirement at the time of initial recognition. If the undue cost or effort exemption also applies subsequent to initial recognition, for example to a subsequent measurement of an item, a new assessment of undue cost or effort should be made at that subsequent date, based on information available at that date.
  1. 14D Except for the undue cost or effort exemption in paragraph 19.15, which is covered by the disclosure requirements in paragraph 19.25, whenever an undue cost or effort exemption is used by an entity, the entity shall disclose that fact and the reasons why applying the requirement would involve undue cost or effort.

Financial position


  1. 15 The financial position of an entity is the relationship of its assets, liabilities and equity as of a specific date as presented in the statement of financial position. These are defined as follows:
    1. an asset is a resource controlled by the entity as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the entity;
    2. a liability is a present obligation of the entity arising from past events, the settlement of which is expected to result in an outflow from the entity of resources embodying economic benefits; and
    3. equity is the residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all its liabilities.
  1. 16 Some items that meet the definition of an asset or a liability may not be recognised as assets or liabilities in the statement of financial position because they do not satisfy the criteria for recognition in paragraphs 2.27–2.32. In particular, the expectation that future economic benefits will flow to or from an entity must be sufficiently certain to meet the probability criterion before an asset or liability is recognised.

Assets

  1. 17 The future economic benefit of an asset is its potential to contribute, directly or indirectly, to the flow of cash and cash equivalents to the entity. Those cash flows may come from using the asset or from disposing of it.
  1. 18 Many assets, for example property, plant and equipment, have a physical form. However, physical form is not essential to the existence of an asset. Some assets are intangible.
  1. 19 In determining the existence of an asset, the right of ownership is not essential. Thus, for example, property held on a lease is an asset if the entity controls the benefits that are expected to flow from the property.

Liabilities

  1. 20 An essential characteristic of a liability is that the entity has a present obligation to act or perform in a particular way. The obligation may be either a legal obligation or a constructive obligation. A legal obligation is legally enforceable as a consequence of a binding contract or statutory requirement. A constructive obligation is an obligation that derives from an entity’s actions when:
    1. by an established pattern of past practice, published policies or a sufficiently specific current statement, the entity has indicated to other parties that it will accept certain responsibilities; and
    2. as a result, the entity has created a valid expectation on the part of those other parties that it will discharge those responsibilities.
  1. 21 The settlement of a present obligation usually involves the payment of cash, the transfer of other assets, the provision of services, the replacement of that obligation with another obligation or the conversion of the obligation to equity. An obligation may also be extinguished by other means, such as a creditor waiving or forfeiting its rights.

Equity

  1. 22 Equity is the residual of recognised assets minus recognised liabilities. It may be subclassified in the statement of financial position. For example, in a corporate entity, subclassifications may include funds contributed by shareholders, retained earnings and items of other comprehensive income recognised as a separate component of equity. This Standard does not prescribe how, when or if amounts can be transferred between components of equity.

Performance


  1. 23 Performance is the relationship of the income and expenses of an entity during a reporting period. This Standard permits entities to present performance in a single financial statement (a statement of comprehensive income) or in two financial statements (an income statement and a statement of comprehensive income). Total comprehensive income and profit or loss are frequently used as measures of performance or as the basis for other measures, such as return on investment or earnings per share. Income and expenses are defined as follows:
    1. Increases in economic benefits during the reporting period in the form of inflows or enhancements of assets or decreases of liabilities that result in increases in equity, other than those relating to contributions from owners; and
    2. expenses are decreases in economic benefits during the reporting period in the form of outflows or depletions of assets or incurrences of liabilities that result in decreases in equity, other than those relating to distributions to owners.
  1. 24 The recognition of income and expenses results directly from the recognition and measurement of assets and liabilities. Criteria for the recognition of income and expenses are discussed in paragraphs 2.27–2.32.

Income

  1. 25 The definition of income encompasses both revenue and gains:
    1. revenue is income that arises in the course of the ordinary activities of an entity and is referred to by a variety of names including sales, fees, interest, dividends, royalties and rent.
    2. gains are other items that meet the definition of income but are not revenue. When gains are recognised in the statement of comprehensive income, they are usually displayed separately because knowledge of them is useful for making economic decisions.

Expenses

  1. 26 The definition of expenses encompasses losses as well as those expenses that arise in the course of the ordinary activities of the entity:
    1. expenses that arise in the course of the ordinary activities of the entity include, for example, cost of sales, wages and depreciation. They usually take the form of an outflow or depletion of assets such as cash and cash equivalents, inventory or property, plant and equipment.
    2. losses are other items that meet the definition of expenses and may arise in the course of the ordinary activities of the entity. When losses are recognised in the statement of comprehensive income, they are usually presented separately because knowledge of them is useful for making economic decisions.

Recognition of assets, liabilities, income and expenses


  1. 27 Recognition is the process of incorporating in the financial statements an item that meets the definition of an asset, liability, income or expense and satisfies the following criteria:
    1. it is probable that any future economic benefit associated with the item will flow to or from the entity; and
    2. the item's has a cost or value that can be measured reliably.
  1. 28 The failure to recognise an item that satisfies those criteria is not rectified by disclosure of the accounting policies used or by notes or explanatory material.

The probability of future economic benefit

  1. 29 The concept of probability is used in the first recognition criterion to refer to the degree of uncertainty that the future economic benefits associated with the item will flow to or from the entity. Assessments of the degree of uncertainty attaching to the flow of future economic benefits are made on the basis of the evidence relating to conditions at the end of the reporting period available when the financial statements are prepared. Those assessments are made individually for individually significant items, and for a group for a large population of individually insignificant items.

Reliability of measurement

  1. 30 The second criterion for the recognition of an item is that it possesses a cost or value that can be measured with reliability. In many cases, the cost or value of an item is known. In other cases it must be estimated. The use of reasonable estimates is an essential part of the preparation of financial statements and does not undermine their reliability. When a reasonable estimate cannot be made, the item is not recognised in the financial statements.
  1. 31 An item that fails to meet the recognition criteria may qualify for recognition at a later date as a result of subsequent circumstances or events.
  1. 32 An item that fails to meet the criteria for recognition may nonetheless warrant disclosure in the notes or explanatory material or in supplementary schedules. This is appropriate when knowledge of the item is relevant to the evaluation of the financial position, performance, and changes in financial position of an entity by the users of financial statements.

Measurement of assets, liabilities, income and expenses


  1. 33 Measurement is the process of determining the monetary amounts at which an entity measures assets, liabilities, income and expenses in its financial statements. Measurement involves the selection of a basis of measurement. This Standard IFRS specifies which measurement basis an entity shall use for many types of assets, liabilities, income and expenses.
  1. 34 Two common measurement bases are historical cost and fair value:
    1. For assets, historical cost is the amount of cash or cash equivalents paid or the fair value of the consideration given to acquire the asset at the time of its acquisition. For liabilities, historical cost is the amount of proceeds of cash or cash equivalents received or the fair value of non-cash assets received in exchange for the obligation at the time the obligation is incurred, or in some circumstances (for example, income tax) the amounts of cash or cash equivalents expected to be paid to settle the liability in the normal course of business. Amortised historical cost is the historical cost of an asset or liability plus or minus that portion of its historical cost previously recognised as expense or income.
    2. A fair value is the amount for which an asset could be exchanged, or a liability settled, between knowledgeable, willing parties in an arm’s length transaction. In situations in which fair value measurement is permitted or required, the guidance in paragraphs 11.27–11.32 shall be applied.

Pervasive recognition and measurement principles


  1. 35 The requirements for recognising and measuring assets, liabilities, income and expenses in this Standard are based on pervasive principles that are derived from full IFRS. In the absence of a requirement in this Standard that applies specifically to a transaction or other event or condition, paragraph 10.4 provides guidance for making a judgement and paragraph 10.5 establishes a hierarchy for an entity to follow in deciding on the appropriate accounting policy in the circumstances. The second level of that hierarchy requires an entity to look to the definitions, recognition criteria and measurement concepts for assets, liabilities, income and expenses and the pervasive principles set out in this section.

Accrual basis


  1. 36 An entity shall prepare its financial statements, except for cash flow information, using the accrual basis of accounting. On the accrual basis, items are recognised as assets, liabilities, equity, income or expenses when they satisfy the definitions and recognition criteria for those items.

Recognition in financial statements


Assets

  1. 37 An entity shall recognise an asset in the statement of financial position when it is probable that the future economic benefits will flow to the entity and the asset has a cost or value that can be measured reliably. An asset is not recognised in the statement of financial position when expenditure has been incurred for which it is considered not probable that economic benefits will flow to the entity beyond the current reporting period. Instead such a transaction results in the recognition of an expense in the statement of comprehensive income (or in the income statement, if presented).
  1. 38 An entity shall not recognise a contingent asset as an asset. However, when the flow of future economic benefits to the entity is virtually certain, then the related asset is not a contingent asset, and its recognition is appropriate.

Liabilities

  1. 39 An entity shall recognise a liability in the statement of financial position when:
    1. the entity has an obligation at the end of the reporting period as a result of a past event;
    2. it is probable that the entity will be required to transfer resources embodying economic benefits in settlement; and
    3. the settlement amount can be measured reliably.
  1. 40 A contingent liability is either a possible but uncertain obligation or a present obligation that is not recognised because it fails to meet one or both of the conditions (b) and (c) in paragraph 2.39. An entity shall not recognise a contingent liability as a liability, except for contingent liabilities of an acquiree in a business combination (see Section 19 Business Combinations and Goodwill).

Income

  1. 41 The recognition of income results directly from the recognition and measurement of assets and liabilities. An entity shall recognise income in the statement of comprehensive income (or in the income statement, if presented) when an increase in future economic benefits related to an increase in an asset or a decrease of a liability has arisen that can be measured reliably.

Expenses

  1. 42 The recognition of expenses results directly from the recognition and measurement of assets and liabilities. An entity shall recognise expenses in the statement of comprehensive income (or in the income statement, if presented) when a decrease in future economic benefits related to a decrease in an asset or an increase of a liability has arisen that can be measured reliably.

Total comprehensive income and profit or loss

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