Liability or equity? - A practical guide to the classification of financial instruments under IAS 32
When an entity issues a financial instrument, it must determine its classification either as a liability (debt) or as equity. That determination has an immediate and significant effect on the entity's reported results and financial position. Liability classification affects an entity's gearing ratios and typically results in any payments being treated as interest and charged to earnings.
Preparation of financial statements under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) requires the application of IAS 12 Income Taxes (IAS 12). IAS 12 is not new. However, for many finance executives, the concepts underlying the computation of deferred tax are not intuitive.
IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures (IFRS 7) is not new - it came into effect for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2007. Nonetheless we think this guide is very topical. Experience has shown that IFRS 7 presents challenges, and two years of practical experience enables us to share our insights into the most problematic areas. Moreover, the global financial crisis has put the spotlight on the adequacy of risk and other disclosures concerning financial instruments.
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published IFRS 8 "Operating Segments" to replace IAS 14 "Segment Reporting" for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2009 with earlier application permitted.
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued a revised version of IAS 23 Borrowing Costs in March 2007. The new standard will result in a change in accounting policy for entities that applied the benchmark treatment of expensing borrowing costs under the previous standard. These entities will now need to develop procedures to calculate the amount of borrowing costs to be capitalised.
The guide is intended for Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of businesses that prepare financial statements under IFRS.
For annual periods commencing on or after 1 January 2009, IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements (Revised 2007) applies and makes significant changes to the presentation of the primary financial statements. Furthermore, interim reports for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2009 are affected by IFRS 8 Operating Segments which changes significantly the requirements on segment reporting.