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Relationship Between Estimation Of Liabilities And Decision Of The Company Telstra Add in library

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Questions:

1. With reference to the above statement describe what you understand by the term liabilities and how they are measured.    

2. Discuss liabilities and the problems of measurement in the context of the present IASB framework.

3. Select a company from the Australian Securities Exchange website and download the 2014 annual report.  Evaluate the categorisation and treatment of liabilities in the annual report.

4. Comment on the relationship between the measurement of liabilities and decision useful information with examples from your selected annual report.

 

 

Answers:

Executive Summary

The current task will be examining the connection between the business liabilities and duties that are embraced by the business elements. Then again, how liabilities are measured will likewise be clarified. Also, alongside the examination of liabilities, issues identifying with its estimation will be additionally displayed in connection to IASB structure. In this paper an organization will be selected for analyzing the annual report and understanding the treatment of liabilities. Apart from that, the organization will must be listed on Australian Securities Exchange and the latest annual report will be considered for undertaking the research activities. Finally, a remark will be given on the relationship between estimation of liabilities and decision of the company. Additionally, relevant examples will be cited from the Annual report of Telstra.

Introduction

The liabilities is considered as the obligation relating to entity that may develop from the past events or transactions. Liability is termed as the borrowing that a business can take either from person or banks in order to enhance the business process and that can be payable either in short time or long time. Therefore, liabilities are treated as debts or obligations which show the claim of creditor on the assets of business. The banks and suppliers are considered as non-owners that supplies funds to the entities. Therefore, funds given by non-owners are regarded as liabilities. On the other hand, the commitment is regarded as the decision that is made for purchasing or undertaking any venture. The current assignment will be discussing the relation between liabilities and commitments that are undertaken by the business entities (Henry & Holzmann, 2012). On the other hand, a statement has been provided which will be explained in brief manner so that liabilities and commitments can be understood. On the other hand, how liabilities are measured will also be explained. Moreover, along with the discussion of liabilities, problems relating to its measurement will be also presented in relation to IASB framework. Apart from that, a company will be focused upon relating to the website of Australian Securities Exchange in order to understand the liabilities treatment in the annual report. Lastly, a comment will be provided on the basis of relationship among the measurement of liabilities and decision. Moreover, it will be discussed with examples relating to opted annual report.

1. Term Liabilities and its measurement

According to Huian (2012), liabilities are considered as a duty or responsibility to someone other, that is not related with the business. Therefore, liabilities are the funds that are provided by the non-owners to the business and are treated as the debts of the business. On the other hand, McEntire (2012) mentioned that liability or debt funders are not associated with the profits earned by the business. The liabilities can be current liabilities, non-current liabilities and contingent liabilities as per IASB. The key features that are linked with the liabilities are:

  • Current obligation to an outside party
  • Obligation must have been arisen from the past event
  • Outflow of future economic advantage is must

Apart from that, Moerman & van der Laan (2011) stated that liabilities can be recognized in the statement of financial position when there is higher chance that future sacrifice relating to economic benefit will arise. On the other hand, if the liability does not match up with the recognition criteria then it can be mentioned as explanatory notes and it may not be disclosed in financial position statement of the business. Therefore liabilities are regarded as those items that are held by the business. Examples of liabilities can be bank loans, bank overdraft, creditors, etc. The liability of the business can be reduced if the company is successful in earning income or profit. Further, the liabilities can be settled via transfer of economic benefits comprising goods or services, money. Peasnell (2013) opined that business fall in liability in order to finance their operations for surviving in the market.

On the other hand, López-Espinosa et al. (2009) argues that liabilities and commitments are two distinct term. Commitment is taken as decision or intention for sacrificing future economic benefit. For instance, a decision to purchase venture can be treated as commitment. Moreover, the commitment lacks the current obligation element as there is no irrevocable or enforceable agreement. Therefore, it can be assumed that either party involved in the agreement can suffer substantial loss if agreement is cancelled. On the other side, liability provides an indicator that chances of losses can be high. Apart from that Henry & Holzmann (2012) discussed that commitment turns liability when intention relating to sacrifice of future resources transform into current obligation. The relation between commitment and liability can be understood:

Unconditional grant payment:

Level

Offer/Decision made to applicant

Enforceable Agreement

Payment Made

Classification

Commitment

Recording of liability and expense and eliminate commitment

Eliminate Liability


Conditional grant in advance payment

Level

Offer/Decision made to applicant

Enforceable Agreement

Payment Made

Confirmation to conditions have been done

Classification

Commitment

Commitment

Recording of prepaid expense

Reduction of payment and identifies expenses


Baltazar (2012), stated that liabilities are recorded on the right side of the balance sheet of the company. The business takes debt funders in account in order to finance or purchase the assets for the business or may also require finance for expansion purpose. Therefore, in such case, the business can fall into liabilities or debts that need to be paid some point of time otherwise the debt funders can seize the property of business if the debt amount is not cleared. On the other hand, K (2012) proposed that when assets get liquidated then the business pays the debt first. The business can use equity funds that is owners’ equity and the debt funds that are liabilities in order to buy assets.

Apart from that, McEntire (2012) mentioned that liabilities can be measured at fair value. On the other hand, the present value method can be used for measuring liabilities that can help in knowing whether the company is in position to pay liability or not. Moreover, the company can use:

  • The quoted price relating to identical liability when it is traded as asset
  • A quoted price for alike liabilities

Therefore, above techniques can be used in the absence of market relating to liability. Thus, company can be able to measure their liabilities that need to be cleared in due time. Therefore, it can be considered that measuring liabilities clear understanding of accounting so that right liabilities can be known and calculated for paying it to the banks or suppliers. On the other hand, the total liabilities can be measured by adding all the short term liabilities and long term liabilities and also if there is any off balance sheet liabilities (Peasnell, 2013). Thus, business can be able to know how much still the company needs to pay in order to get rid of the liabilities burden.

 

2. Liabilities and issues in Measurement of Liabilities in Context of the Present IASB Framework

According to the IASB framework, liability has been defined as the current obligation for an entity which has been generated from the historical events and the settlement of which is expected to lead an outflow of thee resources associated with economic advantages.  Liabilities are presented in the balance sheet by categorizing into two segments: current and non-current. For example, trade payables, borrowings, tax creditor etc are included into liability section of the statement of financial position. It has been argued that there are some limitations of the IASB framework in measurement of liability. In order to determine the measurement technique for assets and liabilities, IASB standard has used the concept of valuation. However it has not been found to be reliable all the time. IASB framework suggests various methods for measuring assets and liabilities (Accaglobal.com, 2015).

In order to define liability, IASB has considered the economic obligations of the company which can be identified as well as estimated according to the generally accepted accounting principles. However, IASB had not included the fact that certain deferred credits which are not obligations for the organization but must be recognized as well as measured as liability according to GAAP (Baltazar, 2012).

It has been argued that the conceptual framework proposed by IASB focuses on the fair value measurement of the assets and liabilities. In fact, it has been observed that, this framework has not been able to clearly address the estimation beyond the description of the practice. The conceptual framework of IASB has several problems associated with the measurement of liabilities which is found to be ineffective in measuring the non-financial liabilities. It has been observed that the initial estimation of the liabilities which resulted from the transaction or past events which are not responsible for generation of revenue is complicated and it is subject to the significant error regarding measurement. For example, in case of employee benefits liabilities, provisions, derivatives and yet it will not include an item of deferred expenditure of deferred income. Additionally, when a liability is subject to the measurement uncertainty, the potential for error in the measurement will significantly affect the estimated revenue for a specific period (Fasb.org, 2001). It has been observed that the measurement technique will potentially affect the ‘day one’ estimation and the measurement over the period of reporting when the liability is settled. It has been found that the IASB is focusing on the potential of this type of errors in measurement for overstating the ‘day one’ revenue. However, it is not concerned about the overstatement of the subsequent revenue which implies a conservative bias in the measurement technique proposed by IASB. Additionally, IASB significantly ignores the inherent risk associated with the litigation liability and it represents the liability as if the flow of resource in future was certain and it will not reflect the economic burden presented with the aid of litigation liability. Thus, it will not be a reliable representation of liability (McGregor, 2013).

 

3. Categorization Treatment of Liabilities in Annual Report of Telstra

Telstra has adopted AASB 2012-2 in order to offset the financial asset and liabilities. The company has assessed the new disclosure requirements according to the AASB 2012-2 as well as it added the additional disclosures in the financial report (Nobes and Parker, 2012). The treatment of different components of liability is discussed in this section.

Trade and Other Payables

In case of Telstra, trade and other payables including accruals are recorded as the current liability when the company requires paying in future due to purchase of service or assets. Amortized cost is considered in this case (Telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au, 2015).

Provisions

In case of Telstra provisions are recognized when the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The company has an existing legal or constructive obligation for sacrificing the economic benefits in future due to past transactions.
  • The probability of sacrificing economic benefits in future
  • Reliable estimation of the obligation (Telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au, 2015).

Employee benefits

The liabilities relating to employee benefits are held by Telstra regarding salary, wage, annual leave and other benefits at the nominal amount. It is calculated on the basis of expected rate of remuneration on the current date of settlement and it included the associated cost. The present values are calculated by using the government security rates within the due dates and similar to those of Telstra’s liability. The management judgment is applied in estimation of the long service leave provision (Telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au, 2015).

Workers’ Compensation

Telstra is responsible for insuring the liabilities of the workers’ compensation. The company has a provision for this liability and it is estimated at the present value on the basis of the actuarial review of the liabilities. In this situation, review will include the assessment of the actual accidents as well as estimation of the claims which has been incurred but not reported. The Australian government bond rate (10 years) is considered for the estimating the present value along with the risk associated with the liability. It has been observed that there are some controlled entities which are not self insured. However, it pays annual premium to the insurance companies for the workers of Telstra as compensation liability.

Redundancy and Restructuring Costs

From the annual report of Telstra, it has been found that it recognizes a provision for the redundancy cost when a detailed formal plan for the redundancies has been developed. Additionally, it has been observed that a valid expectation has been developed that the redundancy will be undertaken with respect to the employees who will be affected. Telstra has recognized a provision for the restructuring cost when a formal as well as detailed plan s developed and approved (Telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au, 2015). Additionally, when the valid expectation is raised from the people for who the restructuring activities will be carried out.

Borrowings

It has been found that the borrowings are consisted of the non-current liabilities except for those which has maturity period less than 12 months from the date of reporting.  In Telstra, the annual report has demonstrated that the borrowing costs are directly associated with the cost of the production, construction or acquisition of the asset. The other cost associated with borrowings is included in the income statement as expenditure. In Telstra, borrowings are initially recognized on the date of trading and the company makes a provision for that instrument. On the other hand, Telstra derecognize its borrowing when the contractual liabilities are expired or cancelled (Nobes and Parker, 2012). The company has segmented borrowings into two major categories and these two categories are discussed below:

Borrowings in a Designated Hedging Relationship

The offshore borrowings of Telstra which are designated as the hedged item are estimated in terms of cash flow hedges or fair value. The accounting treatment is determined on the basis of the hedging technique. Initially the borrowings will be considered at its fair value if it has adopted fair value hedging technique. The carrying amount of borrowing in Telstra in fair value hedges are adjusted for the movement of fair value which will be attributed to the risk of hedging. It has been found that the Fair value will be estimated on the basis of the valuation methodologies which utilize information from the observable market (Telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au, 2015).

When the borrowings are estimated in terms of cash flow hedges are initially recognized at the fair value plus the cost of transaction which is directly associated with borrowing. It has been found that in Telstra the borrowing is subsequently undertaken at the cost of amortization and it will be converted into the applicable spot rate as on the date of reporting.

Borrowings not in a Designated Hedging Relationship

Domestic loans, Telstra bonds and offshore loans are not included in the borrowings in the designated hedging relationship. In Telstra, all these instruments will be initially recognized in the fair value plus the additional cost of transaction which is directly associated to the issue of the instruments. Additionally these instruments are estimated at the amortized cost. It has been observed that the difference between the final amounts paid for discharging the borrowing and initial amount of the borrowing is recognized in the statement of comprehensive income by utilizing the effective interest method over the entire period of borrowing (Telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au, 2015).

Tax payable and Deferred Tax Liability

Current tax payable and deferred tax liability are the two components of liability in the balance sheet of Telstra. It has been found that the current tax is estimated in the accounting profit after allowing for the non-taxable as well as the non-deductable items which is on the basis of the amount anticipated to be paid to the tax authorities on the basis of the taxable profit for that period (Warren, Reeve and Duchac, 2007). On the other hand, the deferred tax will be estimated at the tax rate which is expected to be applied at the period when the asset will be realized as well as the liability will be settled. Both the deferred tax and the current tax are estimated by utilizing the tax rate which has been enacted on the date of reporting. The deferred tax liabilities will be offset against the deferred tax asset of Telstra (Telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au, 2015).

Contingent Liabilities

Contingent liability relates to the liability of adequate risk which does not qualified to be recognized as a liability or a liability whose presence will be corroborated only by wither the occurrence or non-occurrence  of the future events which are uncertain and cannot be completely controlled by Telstra (Warren, Reeve and Duchac, 2007). Additionally, from the annual report of Telstra, it has been found that the term contingency liability is utilized for the liabilities which fail to satisfy the recognition criteria of recognition. First of all, it is needed to be determined whether the obligation should be considered as a liability of contingent liability.

 

4. Relationship between the Measurement of Liabilities and Decision

The measurement of liabilities has significant impact on the decision making of the company (Reeve, Warren and Duchac, 2007). In case of Telstra, the treatment and measurement of liabilities are discussed in the above section. It has been found that the trade and other payables are recorded at the amortized cost. It has been found that it will influence the purchasing decision of asset and service. The provisions are measured in Telstra in three different terms. In case of employee benefits, Telstra has decided to offer long service leave of 3 months or more in case of the employees who has served the organization for ten years or more. It will be included in the employee benefit provision of the organization. In order to calculate the present values, Telstra has decided to use the rate of government bonds having similar liabilities. Management judgment is applied in estimation of the factors for calculating the permitted long service leave. The weighted average projected remuneration increment and the discount rate is considered for this purpose. In case of measurement of borrowing, fair value technique has been adopted by Telstra. It has been found that the future value is calculated with the aid of discounted future cash flow by utilization of a suitable market based yield curve and fit for the borrowing cost of Telstra (Reeve, Warren and Duchac, 2007).

 

Conclusion

This paper has provided an insight to the liability and its measurement techniques according to the IASB conceptual framework. First of liability is defied and the treatment of liabilities is discussed in the essay. Additionally, this paper has identified the relationship between the measurement of liability and decision of business entity. In order to do this Telstra has been chosen and the treatment of liability is discussed in this paper. The limitations of measurement of liability by application of IASB conceptual framework has been discussed in this paper. It has been found that the estimation of liability has a significant association with the decision of the business entity.

 

References

Baltazar, E. (2012). International GAAP 2012. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons.

Henry, E., & Holzmann, O. (2012). Offsetting of assets and liabilities. J. Corp. Acct. Fin., 23(4), 65-69. doi:10.1002/jcaf.21772

Huian, M. (2012). Accounting for Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities According to IFRS 9. Annals Of The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University - Economics, 59(1). doi:10.2478/v10316-012-0002-0

K, S. (2012). Time Value of Money and Fair Value Accounting. London: Global Professional Publishing Ltd.

Lopez-Espinosa, G., Maddocks, J., & Polo-Garrido, F. (2009). Equity-Liabilities Distinction: The case for Co-operatives. Journal Of International Financial Management & Accounting, 20(3), 274-306. doi:10.1111/j.1467-646x.2009.01033.x

McEntire, D. (2012). Understanding and reducing vulnerability: from the approach of liabilities and capabilities. Disaster Prevention And Management, 21(2), 206-225. doi:10.1108/09653561211220007

Moerman, L., & van der Laan, S. (2011). Accounting for long-tail asbestos liabilities: Metaphor and meaning. Accounting Forum, 35(1), 11-18. doi:10.1016/j.accfor.2011.01.002

Peasnell, K. (2013). Discussion of “Financial reporting for employee stock options: liabilities or equityâ€Â. Rev Account Stud, 18(3), 683-691. doi:10.1007/s11142-013-9236-9

Accaglobal.com, (2015). Conceptual Framework | ACCA Qualification | Students | ACCA Global. [online] Accaglobal.com. Available at: https://www.accaglobal.com/in/en/student/acca-qual-student-journey/qual-resource/acca-qualification/f7/technical-articles/iasb-conceptual-framework-financial-reporting.html [Accessed 28 Jan. 2015].

Baltazar, E. (2012). International GAAP 2012. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons.

Fasb.org, (2001). Understanding the Issues - The Case for Initially Measuring Liabilities at Fair Value. [online] Available at: https://www.fasb.org/cs/ContentServer?c=Document_C&pagename=FASB%2FDocument_C%2FDocumentPage&cid=1218220179006 [Accessed 28 Jan. 2015].

IFRS Foundation, (2014). A Review of the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting. IFRS Foundation.

McGregor, W. (2013). Liabilities – the neglected element: a conceptual analysis of the financial reporting of liabilities. AASB Occasional Paper No. 1. Australian Accounting Standards Board.

Nobes, C. and Parker, R. (2012). Comparative international accounting. Harlow, England: Pearson.

Reeve, J., Warren, C. and Duchac, J. (2007). Principles of accounting. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.

Telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au, (2015). Telstra Annual Report 2014. [online] Available at: https://telstra.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au/Telstra1401/AnnualReport2014/EN/body.aspx?z=2&p=14&v=2&pgl=&uid= [Accessed 28 Jan. 2015].

Telstra2014ar.interactiveinvestorreports.com, (2015). Home - Telstra Annual Report 2014. [online] Available at: https://telstra2014ar.interactiveinvestorreports.com/ [Accessed 28 Jan. 2015].

Warren, C., Reeve, J. and Duchac, J. (2007). Accounting. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.

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