ifrs conceptual framework

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Outline of the conceptual framework for IFRS International Financial Reporting Standards

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Conceptual framework

Primary pronouncements

US GAAP SFAC No. 5, Recognition and Measurement in Financial Statements of Business Enterprises SFAC No. 6, Elements of Financial Statements SFAC No. 7, Using Cash Flow Information and Present Value in Accounting Measure SFAC No. 8, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, Chapters 1 (Objective) and 3 (Qualitative Characteristics)

IFRS IASB, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting (September 2010) IAS 8, Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors

Supersedes SFAC No. 1 and No. 2Conceptual framework Page 2

Academic Resource Center

Purpose of the concept statements

The FASB has stated that, The concept statements are intended to set forth objectives and fundamental concepts that will be the basis for development of financial accounting and reporting guidelines. The objectives identify the goals and purposes of financial reporting. The fundamentals are the underlying concepts of financial accounting, concepts that guide the selection of transactions and other events and conditions to be accounted for; their recognition and measurement; and the means of summarizing and communicating them to intended parties.1 The FASB has also stated that, The Conceptual Framework is a coherent system of interrelated objectives and fundamental concepts that prescribe the nature, function, and limits of financial accounting and reporting and that is expected to lead to consistent guidance.2

1SFAC 2Ibid,

No. 8, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, introduction, paragraph 2. introduction, paragraph 3.Conceptual framework Page 3

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The Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting

The objective of general purpose financial reporting is to provide financial information about the reporting entity that is useful to existing and potential investors, lenders, and creditors (primary users) in making decisions about providing resources to the entity. Those decisions involve buying, selling or holding equity and debt instruments, and providing or settling loans and other forms of credit. Why did the Boards choose to identify the existing and potential investors, lenders and other creditors as the primary set of users for general purpose financial statements? (BC1.9 through BC1.16) Management is specifically excluded from the primary user group. In general, why would these users be excluded? (BC1.19) Why did the Boards not establish a financial stability objective? (BC1.20 through BC1.23)Conceptual framework Page 4

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Comparison of SFAC No. 1 replaced by SFAC No. 8, Chapter 1Similarities There is continued focus on the importance of cash flows for users of financial statements. Information should be provided for economic resources, claims on resources and changes in resources and claims. There is acknowledgment that there are limitations of general purpose financial statements. Accrual accounting is emphasized. Differences SFAC No. 8 is much shorter and more succinct. There is a reduced number of identified users in SFAC No. 8, which is focused on primary users. Terminology differences include more general terms with respect to financial information required.

Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

Page 5

Qualitative Characteristics of Useful Financial Information

The qualitative characteristics of useful financial information identify the types of information that are likely to be most useful to the existing and potential investors, lenders, and other creditors for making decisions about the reporting entity on the basis of information in its financial reports. What are considered the qualitative (fundamental or enhancing) characteristics for useful financial information? a. Relevance and reliability b. Relevance and faithful representation c. Material accuracy, timeliness and faithful disclosures d. Substance over form, prudence (conservatism) and verifiability

Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

Page 6

The Concept of Prudence: dead or alive? How

did the 1989 IFRS Framework define prudence? What are the problems of excessive prudence (conservatism)? Why was the concept of prudence removed in the existing conceptual framework? Give at least two examples of how IFRS reflect the concept of prudence.

Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

Page 7

Overview of Chapter 3, Qualitative Characteristics of Useful Financial InformationQualitative characteristics of useful financial information Pervasive constraint: Costs

Fundamental characteristics: Costs Costs Relevance and faithful representation

Pervasive constraint: CostsConceptual framework Academic Resource Center Page 8

Applying the fundamental qualitative characteristics

Usually, the most efficient and effective process for applying the fundamental qualitative characteristics and the cost constraint is as follows: Identify an economic phenomenon that has the potential to be useful to users. Identify the type of information about the phenomenon that would be most relevant if it is available and be faithfully represented. Determine whether that information is available and can be faithfully represented. If so, the process of satisfying the fundamental qualitative characteristics ends at that point. If not, then the process is repeated with the next most relevant type of information.

Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

Page 9

Comparison of SFAC No. 2 replaced by SFAC No. 8, Chapter 3The qualitative characteristics from SFAC No. 2 and SFAC No. 8, Chapter 3, are essentially the same but are categorized differently: Under SFAC No. 2, there were user-specific qualities, primary decisionspecific qualities, primary qualities and secondary and interactive qualities. Under SFAC No. 8, Chapter 3, there are fundamental qualitative characteristics and enhancing qualitative characteristics

Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

Page 10

Underlying assumption: going concern

Concept (Framework 4.1)

Financial statements are normally prepared on the assumption that an entity is a going concern and will continue in operation for the foreseeable future.

Rule (IAS 1 paragraph 25)

An entity shall prepare financial statements on a going concern basis unless management either intends to liquidate the entity or to cease trading, or has no realistic alternative but to do so. According to practicing auditors, consideration of a company's ability to continue as a going concern is particularly challenging in the current environment.

Judgment

Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

Page 11

Assessing going concernIn assessing whether the going concern assumption is appropriate, management takes into account all available information about the future The degree of consideration depends on the facts in each case Management may need to consider a wide range of factors relating to current and expected profitability, debt repayment schedules and potential sources of replacement financing before it can satisfy itself that the going concern basis is appropriate.

Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

Page 12

Going concern: judgment

IAASB Staff Audit Practice Alert (January 2009) Audit Considerations in Respect of Going Concern in the Current Economic Environment

In times like the present, making this assessment may become increasingly difficult, as the landscape in which entities are operating is rapidly changing, in particular as it relates to availability of credit and the impact on forecasts and budgets as the recession bites and the cost of borrowing rises. IAS 1 and ISA 570 acknowledge that entities with a history of profitable operations and ready access to financial resources may not need a detailed analysis to support the going concern assumptions. However, the effect of the credit crisis and economic downturn is likely to be that such an approach will no longer be appropriate for many entities. Austrian Airlines Bradford and BingleyConceptual framework Page 13

Real World Example (handouts to be given in class)

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Elements of financial statementsFASB Assets Liabilities Equity Investments by owners Distributions by owners Comprehensive income Revenues Expenses Gains Losses IASB Assets Liabilities Equity Performance Income revenues and gains Expenses expenses and losses Capital maintenance adjustments

Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

Page 14

FASB and IASB comparisonElements of financial statements

FASB Similar elements identified, but different definitions for assets, liabilities and probable. Uses the asset and liability view to measure income (net increase in assets and liabilities equals net income). Three elements of changes in assets and liabilities: investments by owners, distributions to owners and comprehensive income (revenues, expenses, gains and losses).Conceptual framework Academic Resource Center

IASB Similar elements identified, but different definitions for assets, liabilities and probable. Similar Two elements of changes in assets and liabilities: income and expenses.

Page 15

FASB and IASB comparisonDefinition of an asset

FASB Probable future economic benefits obtained or controlled by a particular entity as a result of past transactions or events.

IASB A resource controlled by an entity as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the entity.

The Boards working definition An asset of an entity is a present economic resource

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