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IAS 10 and IAS 1: Implications of COVID-19 on Financial Reporting

Company A: Potential Impact of COVID-19 on End of Year Reporting under IAS 10

IAS 10: Events after the Reporting Period addresses two issues: adjusting events, namely, those events that provide evidence of conditions that existed at the end of the reporting period and non-adjusting events: which are those events that are indicative of conditions that arose after the reporting period that need to be reflected in the financial statements. Amounts recognized in the financial statements are adjusted to reflect adjusting events, but only disclosures are required for material non-adjusting events. Management’s judgment is required in determining whether events that took place after the end of the reporting period are adjusting or non-adjusting events. This will be highly dependent on the reporting date and the specific facts and circumstances of each company’s operations. Coronavirus has overwhelmed the world in various ways and at various times. China was the first to announce spread of the virus in November, 2019. UK announced its first case of coronavirus in February, 2020 and Ghana announced its first case in March, 2020. While company A resides in China, company B resides in the UK and C resides in Ghana. Company A’s financial reporting period ends on 31October each year; company B’s financial reporting period ends on 31December, each year and company C’s financial reporting period ends on the 31 of March each year. Management of these companies may need to continually review and update the assessments up to the date the financial statements are issued given the fluid nature of the crisis and the uncertainties involved. 

You are required to discuss in respect of each of the companies, the potential management conclusions of the impact of the coronavirus on end of year reporting, mindful of IAS 10. 

IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements requires management to assess a company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The going concern assessment needs to be performed up to the date on which the financial statements are issued. The assessment relates to at least the first twelve months after the Statement of Financial Position date, or after the date the financial statements will be signed, but the timeframe might need to be extended. Material uncertainties, for example, the coronavirus effects that cast significant doubt on the 

company’s ability to operate under the going concern basis need to be disclosed in the financial statements. It is highly likely that many companies large and small, and particularly in certain sectors, will have issues relating to the coronavirus that need to be considered by management. There will be a wide range of factors to take into account in going concern judgments and financial projections including travel bans, restrictions, government assistance and potential sources of replacement financing, financial health of suppliers and customers and their effect on expected profitability and other key financial performance ratios including information that shows whether there will be sufficient liquidity to continue to meet obligations when they are due. 

You have been hired to advise management of two companies: one is an airline company and the other is in the pharmaceutical industry on how management should assess the existing and anticipated effects of COVID-19 on each of the company’s activities and the appropriateness of the use of the going concern basis. 

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