Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999)

Standard of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice

GRAP 1 : Presentation of Financial Statements

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INTRODUCTION

 

Standards of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice

 

The Accounting Standards Board (Board) is required in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, Act No. 1 of 1999, as amended (PFMA), to determine generally recognised accounting practice referred to as Standards of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice (GRAP).

 

The Board must determine GRAP for:

a)departments (national and provincial);
b)public entities;
c)constitutional institutions;
d)municipalities and boards, commissions, companies, corporations, funds or other entities under the ownership control of a municipality; and
e)Parliament and the provincial legislatures.

 

The above are collectively referred to as "entities" in Standards of GRAP.

 

The Board has approved the application of Statements of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP), as codified by the Accounting Practices Board and issued by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, to be GRAP for:

a)government business enterprises (as defined in the PFMA);
b)trading entities (as defined in the PFMA);
c)any other entity, other than a municipality, whose ordinary shares, potential ordinary shares or debt are publicly tradable on the capital markets; and
d)entities under the ownership control of any of these entities.

 

The Board believes that Statements of GAAP are relevant and applicable to financial statements prepared by all such entities, including those under their ownership control.

 

Financial statements should be described as complying with Standards of GRAP only if they comply with all the requirements of each applicable Standard of GRAP and any related interpretation that may be issued in the future.

 

Any limitation of the applicability of specific Standards is made clear in those Standards.

 

The Standard of GRAP on Presentation of Financial Statements is set out in paragraphs .01 -.147. All paragraphs in this Standard have equal authority. The authority of appendices is dealt with in the preamble to each appendix. This Standard should be read in the context of its objective, the Preface to Standards of GRAP and the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements.

 

Reference may be made here to a Standard of GRAP that has not been issued at the time of issue of this Standard, This is done to avoid having to change the Standards already issued when a later Standard is subsequently issued. Paragraph .12 of the Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors provides a basis for selecting and applying accounting policies in the absence of explicit guidance.

 

0bjective

.01The objective of this Standard is to prescribe the basis for presentation of general purpose financial statements, to ensure comparability both with the entity’s financial statements of previous periods and with the financial statements of other entities. To achieve this objective, this Standard sets out overall considerations for the presentation of financial statements, guidelines for their structure and minimum requirements for their content. The recognition, measurement and disclosure of specific transactions, other events and conditions are dealt with in other Standards of GRAP.

 

Scope

.02This Standard shall be applied to all general purpose financial statements prepared and presented under the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with Standards of GRAP.

 

.03General purpose financial statements are those intended to meet the needs of users who are not in a position to demand reports tailored to meet their particular information needs. Users of general purpose financial statements include taxpayers and ratepayers, members of the legislature, creditors, suppliers, the media, and employees. General purpose financial statements include those that are presented separately or within another public document such as an annual report. This Standard does not apply to the structure and content of condensed interim financial information.

 

.04This Standard applies equally to all entities and whether or not they need to prepare consolidated financial statements or separate financial statements, as defined in the Standard of GRAP on Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements.

 

.05Entities that do not have equity and whose share capital is not equity may need to adapt the presentation in the financial statements.

 

Definitions

.06The following terms are used in this Standard of GRAP with the meanings specified:

 

Accounting policies are the specific principles, bases, conventions, rules and practices applied by an entity in preparing and presenting financial statements.

 

Accrual basis means a basis of accounting under which transactions and other events are recognised when they occur (and not only when cash or its equivalent is received or paid). Therefore, the transactions and events are recorded in the accounting records and recognised in the financial statements of the periods to which they relate. The elements recognised under accrual accounting are assets, liabilities, net assets, revenue and expenses.

 

Assets are resources controlled by an entity as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits or service potential are expected to flow to the entity.

 

Associate is an entity, including an unincorporated entity such as a partnership, over which the investor has significant influence and that is neither a controlled entity nor a joint venture.

 

Borrowing costs are interest and other expenses incurred by an entity in connection with the borrowing of funds.

 

Cash comprises cash on hand and demand deposits.

 

Cash equivalents are short-term, highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and which are subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value.

 

Cash flows are inflows and outflows of cash and cash equivalents.

 

Consolidated financial statements are the financial statements of an economic entity presented as those of a single entity.

 

Contributions from owners means future economic benefits or service potential that have been contributed to the entity by parties external to the entity, which establish their financial interest in the net assets of the entity, provided that the contributions:

a)do not result in liabilities of the entity, and
b)meet both of the following tests;
i)They convey entitlement both to distributions of future economic benefits or service potential by the entity during its life, such distributions being at the discretion of the owners or their representatives, and to distributions of any excess of assets over liabilities in the event of the entity being wound up.
ii)They can be sold, exchanged, transferred or redeemed.

 

Control is the power to govern the financial and operating policies of another entity so as to benefit from its activities.

 

Controlled entity is an entity, including an unincorporated entity such as a partnership that is under the control of another entity (known as the controlling entity).

 

Controlling entity is an entity that has one or more controlled entities.

 

Distributions to owners means future economic benefits or service potential distributed by the entity to all or some of its owners, either as a return on investment or as a return of investment.

 

Economic entity means a group of entities comprising a controlling entity and one or more controlled entities.

 

Equity method is a method of accounting whereby the investment is initially recognised at cost and adjusted thereafter for the post-acquisition change in the investor’s share of net assets of the investee. The surplus or deficit of the investor includes the investor’s share of the surplus or deficit of the investee.

 

Exchange difference is the difference resulting from translating a given number of units of one currency into another currency at different exchange rates.

 

Expenses are decreases in economic benefits or service potential during the reporting period in the form of outt7ows or consumption of assets or incurrences of liabilities that result in decreases in net assets, other than those relating to distributions to owners.

 

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.

 

A financial asset is any asset that is:

a)cash;
b)an equity instrument of another entity;
c)a contractual right:
i)to receive cash or another financial asset from another entity; or
ii)to exchange financial assets or liabilities with another entity under conditions that are potentially favourable to the entity; or
d)a contract that will or may be settled in the entity’s own equity instruments and is:
i)a non-derivative for which the entity is or may be obliged to receive a variable number of the entity’s own equity instruments; or
ii)a derivative that will or may be settled other than by the exchange of a fixed amount of cash or another financial asset for a fixed number of the entity’s own equity instruments. For this purpose the entity’s own equity instruments do not include instruments that are themselves contracts for the future receipt or delivery of the entity’s own equity instruments.

 

Foreign operation is an entity that is a controlled entity, associate, joint venture or branch of a reporting-entity, the activities of which are based or conducted in a country or currency other than those of the reporting entity.

 

Government business enterprise means an entity that, in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act, Act No. 1 of 1999, as amended:

a)is a juristic person under the ownership control of the national/provincial executive;
b)has been assigned the financial and operational authority to carry on a business activity;
c)as its principal business, provides goods or services in accordance with ordinary business principles; and
d)is financed fully or substantially from sources other than:
i)the National or Provincial Revenue Fund; or
ii)by way of a tax, levy or other statutory money.

 

Impracticable. Applying a requirement is impracticable when the entity cannot apply it after making every reasonable effort to do so. For a particular prior period, it is impracticable to apply a change in an accounting policy retrospectively or to make a retrospective restatement to correct an error if:

a)the effects of the retrospective application or retrospective restatement are not determinable;
b)the retrospective application or retrospective restatement requires assumptions about what management’s intent would have been in that period; or
c)the retrospective application or retrospective restatement requires significant estimates of amounts and it is impossible to distinguish objectively information about those estimated that:
i)provides evidence of circumstances that existed on the date(s) as at which those amounts are to be recognized, measured or disclosed; and
ii)would have been available when the financial statements for that prior period were authorised for issue from other information.

 

Joint venture is a binding arrangement whereby two or more parties are committed to undertake an activity which is subject to joint control.

 

Liabilities are present obligations 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 or service potential.

 

Management comprises those persons responsible for the governance of the entity in accordance with legislation, including the accounting officers, however described in legislation.

 

Material omissions or misstatements of items are material if they could, individually or collectively, influence the decisions or assessments of users made on the basis of the financial statements. Materiality depends on the nature or size of the omission or misstatement judged in the surrounding circumstances. The size or nature of the information item, or a combination of both, could be the determining factor.

 

Minority interest is that portion of the surplus or deficit and of net assets of a controlled entity attributable to interests that are not owned, directly or indirectly through controlled entities, by the controlling entity.

 

Net assets are the residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all its liabilities.

 

Notes contain information in addition to that presented in the statement of financial position, statement of financial performance, statement of changes in net assets and cash flow statement. Notes provide narrative descriptions or disaggregations of items disclosed in those statements and information about items that do not qualify for recognition in those statements.

 

Presentation currency is the currency in which the financial statements are presented.

 

Prior period errors are omissions from, and misstatements in, the entity’s financial statements for one or more prior periods arising from a failure to use, or misuse of, reliable information that:

a)was available when financial statements for those periods were authorised for issue; and
b)could reasonably be expected to have been obtained and taken into account in the preparation and presentation of those financial statements.

Such errors include the effects of mathematical mistakes, mistakes in applying accounting policies, oversights or misinterpretations of facts, and fraud.

 

Qualifying asset is an asset that necessarily takes a substantial period of time to get ready for its intended use or sale.

 

Reporting date means the date of the last day of the reporting period to which the financial statements relate.

 

Revenue is the gross inflow of economic benefits or service potential during the reporting period when those inflows result in an increase in net assets, other than increases relating to contributions from owners.

 

Separate financial statements are those presented by a controlling entity, an investor in an associate or a venturer in a jointly controlled entity, in which the investments are accounted for on the basis of the direct equity interest rather than on the basis of the reported results and net assets of the investees.

 

Purpose of financial statements

 

.07Financial statements are a structured representation of the financial position and financial performance of an entity. The objective of general purpose financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of an entity that is useful to a wide range of users in making economic decisions. Financial statements also show the results of management's stewardship of the resources entrusted to it. To meet this objective, financial statements provide information about an entity's:
a)assets;
b)liabilities;
c)net assets;
d)revenue and expenses, including gains and losses;
e)other changes in net assets; and
f)cashflows.

 

This information, along with other information in the notes, assists users of financial statements in predicting the entity's future cash flows and, in particular, their timing and certainty.

 

Components of financiaI statements

 

.08A complete set of financial statements comprises:
a)a statement of financial position;
b)a statement of financial performance;
c)a statement of changes in net assets;
d)a cash flow statement; and
e)notes, comprising a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes.

 

.09The components listed in paragraph .08 are referred to by a variety of names. The statement of financial position may also be referred to as a balance sheet or statement of assets and liabilities. The statement of financial performance may also be referred to as a statement of revenues and expenses, an income statement, an operating statement, or a profit and toss statement. The statement of changes in net assets may also be referred to as a statement of changes in equity or a statement of net worth. The notes to the financial statements may include items referred to as "schedules", "annexures" or "appendices".

 

.10The financial statements provide users with information about an entity's resources and obligations at the reporting date and the flow of resources between reporting dates. This information is useful for users making assessments of an entity’s ability to continue to provide goods and services at a given level, and the level of resources that may need to be provided to the entity in the future so that it can continue to meet its service delivery obligations.

 

.11Entities are typically subject to budgetary limits in the form of appropriations or budget authorisations (or equivalent), which is given effect through authorising legislation, appropriation or similar. General purpose financial reporting by entities shall provide information on whether resources were obtained and used in accordance with the legally adopted budget.

 

.12Where the financial statements and the budget are on the same basis of accounting, a comparison with the budgeted amounts for the reporting period shall be included in the financial statements.

 

.13Reporting against budgets may be presented in various different ways, including the use of a columnar format for the financial statements, with separate columns for budgeted amounts and actual amounts. A column showing any variances from the budget or appropriation may also be presented.

 

.14Where the financial statements and the budget are not on the same basis of accounting, a reconciliation between the statement of financial performance and the budget shall be included in the financial statements.

 

.15Reporting against budgets may also include a statement by the individual(s) responsible for the preparation of the financial statements that the budgeted amounts have not been exceeded. If any budgeted amounts or appropriations have been exceeded, or expenses incurred without appropriation or other form of authority, then details may be disclosed by way of note to the relevant item in the financial statements.

 

.16Entities are encouraged to present additional information to assist users in assessing the performance of the entity, and its stewardship of assets, as well as making and evaluating decisions about the allocation of resources. This additional information may include details about the entity’s outputs and outcomes in the form of performance indicators, statements of service performance, programme reviews and other reports by management about the entity‘s achievements over the reporting period.

 

.17Entities are also encouraged to disclose information about compliance with legislative, regulatory or other externally imposed regulations. When information about compliance is not included in the financial statements, it may be useful for a note to refer to any documents that include that information. Knowledge of non-compliance is likely to be relevant for accountability purposes and may affect a user’s assessment of the entity’s performance and direction of future operations. It may also influence decisions about resources to be allocated to the entity in the future.

 

Overall considerations

 

Fair presentation and compliance with Standards of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice

 

.18Financial statements shall present fairly the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of an entity. Fair presentation requires the faithful representation of the effects of transactions, other events and conditions in accordance with the definitions and recognition criteria for assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses set out in the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements. The application of Standards of GRAP with additional disclosures when necessary, is presumed to result in financial statements that achieve a fair presentation.

 

.19An entity whose financial statements comply with Standards of GRAP shall make an explicit and unreserved statement of such compliance in the notes. Financial statements shall not be described as complying with Standards of GRAP unless they comply with all the requirements of each applicable Standard of GRAP.

 

.20In virtually all circumstances, a fair presentation is achieved by compliance in all material respects with applicable Standards of GRAP. A fair presentation also requires an entity:
a)to select and apply accounting policies in accordance with the requirements of the Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors, which sets out the hierarchy of authoritative guidance that management considers in the absence of a Standard that specifically applies to an item;
b)to present information, including accounting policies, in a manner which provides relevant, reliable, comparable and understandable information; and
c)to provide additional disclosures when compliance with the specific requirements in Standards of GRAP are insufficient to enable users to understand the impact of particular transactions, other events and conditions on the entity’s financial position and financial performance.

 

.21Inappropriate accounting treatments are not rectified either by disclosure of the accounting policies used, or by notes or explanatory material.

 

.22In the extremely rare circumstances when management concludes that compliance with a requirement in a Standard of GRAP would be so misleading that it would conflict with the objective of financial statements in the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements, the entity shall depart from that requirement in the manner set out in paragraph .23 if the regulatory framework requires such a departure.

 

.23When an entity departs from a requirement of a Standard of GRAP under paragraph .22, it shall disclose:
a)that management has concluded that the financial statements present fairly the entity’s financial position, financial performance and cash flows;
b)that it has complied with applicable Standards of GRAP, except that it has departed from a particular requirement to achieve a fair presentation;
c)the title of the Standard of GRAP from which the entity has departed, the nature of the departure, including the treatment that the Standard of GRAP would require, the reason why that treatment would be so misleading in the circumstances that it would conflict with the objective of financial statements in the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements, and the treatment adopted; and
d)for each period presented, the financial impact of the departure on each item in the financial statements that would have been reported in complying with the requirement.

 

.24When an entity has departed from a requirement of a Standard of GRAP in a prior period, and that departure affects the amounts recognised in the financial statements for the current period, it shall make the disclosures set out in paragraph .23(c) and (d).

 

.25Paragraph .24 applies, for example, when an entity departed in a prior period from a requirement in a Standard of GRAP for the measurement of assets or liabilities and that departure affects the measurement of changes in assets and liabilities recognised in the current period’s financial statements.

 

.26For the purpose of paragraphs .22 - .25, an item of information would conflict with the objective of financial statements when it does not represent faithfully the transactions, other events and conditions that it either purports to represent or could reasonably be expected to represent and, consequently, it would be likely to influence decisions made by users of financial statements. When assessing whether complying with a specific requirement in a Standard of GRAP would be so misleading that it would conflict with the objective of financial statements in the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements, management considers:
a)why the objective of financial statements is not achieved in the particular circumstances; and
b)how the entity’s circumstances differ from those of other entities that comply with the requirement. If other entities in similar circumstances comply with the requirement, there is a rebuttable presumption that the entity’s compliance with the requirement would not be so misleading that it would conflict with the objective of financial statements in the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements.

 

Going concern

 

.27When preparing financial statements an assessment of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern shall be made. This assessment shall be made by management. Financial statements shall be prepared on a going concern basis unless there is an intention to liquidate the entity or to cease operating, or if there is no realistic alternative but to do so. When management is aware, in making its assessment, of material uncertainties related to events or conditions which may cast significant doubt upon the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern, those uncertainties shall be disclosed. When the financial statements are not prepared on a going concern basis, that fact shall be disclosed, together with the basis on which the financial statements are prepared and the reason why the entity is not regarded as a going concern.

 

.28Financial statements are normally prepared on the assumption that the entity is a going concern and will continue in operation and meet its statutory obligations for the foreseeable future. In assessing whether the going concern assumption is appropriate, those responsible for the preparation of the financial statements take into account all available information about the future, which is at least, but is not limited to, twelve months from the reporting date.

 

.29The degree of consideration depends on the facts in each case, and assessments of the going concern assumption are not predicated on the solvency test usually applied to business enterprises. There may be circumstances where the usual going concern tests of liquidity and solvency appear unfavourable, but other factors suggest that the entity is nonetheless a going concern. For example:
a)in assessing whether an entity is a going concern, the power to levy rates or taxes may enable some entities to be considered as a going concem even though they may operate for extended periods with negative net assets; and
b)for an individual entity, an assessment of its statement of financial position at the reporting date may suggest that the going concern assumption is not appropriate. However, there may be multi-year funding agreements, or other arrangements, in place that will ensure the continued operation of the entity.

 

.30The determination of whether the going concern assumption is appropriate is primarily relevant for individual entities rather than for a government as a whole. For individual entities, in assessing whether the going concern basis is appropriate, management may need to consider a wide range of factors surrounding current and expected performance, expected short and medium term economic environment in which the entity operates, potential and announced restructurings of organisational units, estimates of revenue or the likelihood of continued government funding, and potential sources of replacement financing before it is appropriate to conclude that the going concern assumption is appropriate.

 

Accrual basis of accounting

 

.31An entity shall prepare its financial statements, except for cash flow information, using the accrual basis of accounting.

 

.32When the accrual basis of accounting is used, items are recognised as assets, liabilities, net assets, revenue and expenses (the elements of financial statements) when they satisfy the definitions and recognition criteria for those elements in the Framework.

 

Consistency of presentation

 

.33The presentation and classification of items in the financial statements shall be retained from one period to the next unless:
a)it is apparent, following a significant change in the nature of the entity’s operations or a review of its financial statements, that another presentation or classification would be more appropriate having regard to the criteria for the selection and application of accounting policies in the Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors; or
b)a Standard of GRAP requires a change in presentation.

 

.34A significant acquisition or disposal, or a review of the presentation of the financial statements, might suggest that the financial statements need to be presented differently. For example, an entity may dispose of a savings bank that represents one of its most significant controlled entities and the remaining economic entity conducts mainly administrative and policy advice services. In this case, the presentation of the financial statements based on the principal activities of the economic entity as a financial institution is unlikely to be relevant for the new economic entity.

 

.35An entity changes the presentation of its financial statements only if the changed presentation provides information that is reliable and is more relevant to users of the financial statements and the revised structure is likely to continue, so that comparability is not impaired. When making such changes in presentation, an entity reclassifies its comparative information in accordance with paragraphs .49 and .50.

 

Materiality and aggregation

 

.36Each material class of similar items shall be presented separately in the financial statements. Items of dissimilar nature or function shall be presented separately unless they are immaterial.

 

.37Financial statements result from processing large numbers of transactions or other events that are aggregated into classes according to their nature or function. The final stage in the process of aggregation and classification is the presentation of condensed and classified data which form line items on the face of the statement of financial position, statement of financial performance, statement of changes in net assets and cash flow statement, or in the notes. If a line item is not individually material, it is aggregated with other items either on the face of those statements or in the notes. An item that is not sufficiently material to warrant separate presentation on the face of those statements may nevertheless be sufficiently material for it to be presented separately in the notes.

 

.38Applying the concept of materiality means that a specific disclosure requirement in a Standard of GRAP need not be satisfied if the information is not material.

 

.39Assessing whether an omission or misstatement could influence decisions of users, and so be material, requires consideration of the characteristics of those users. The Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements states that users are assumed to have a reasonable knowledge of government, its activities, accounting and a willingness to study the information with reasonable diligence. Therefore, the assessment needs to take into account how users with such attributes could reasonably be expected to be influenced in making and evaluating decisions.

 

.40In this context, information is material if its non-disclosure could influence the decision making and evaluations of users about the allocation and stewardship of resources, and the performance of the entity, made on the basis of the financial statements. Materiality depends on the size and nature of the item judged in the particular circumstances of its omission. In deciding whether an item or an aggregate of items is material, the size and nature of the item are evaluated together. Depending on the circumstances, either the size or nature of the item could be the determining factor. For example, individual revenues or receipts with the same nature and function are aggregated even if the individual amounts are large. However, large items which differ in nature or function are presented separately.

 

.41The principle of materiality provides that the specific disclosure requirements of Standards of GRAP need not be met if the resulting information is not material.

 

Offsetting

 

.42Assets and liabilities, revenue and expenses, shall not be offset unless required or permitted by a Standard of GRAP.

 

.43It is important that assets and liabilities, and revenue and expenses, are reported separately. Offsetting in the statement of financial performance or the statement of financial position, except when offsetting reflects the substance of the transaction or other event, detracts from the ability of users both to understand the transactions, other events and conditions that have occurred and to assess the entity’s future cash flows. Measuring assets net of valuation allowances, for example, obsolescence allowances-on inventories and doubtful debts allowances on receivables, is not offsetting.

 

.44Revenue relating to exchange transactions is measured at the fair value of consideration received or receivable, taking into account the amount of any trade discounts and volume rebates allowed by the entity. An entity undertakes, in the course of its ordinary activities, other transactions that do not generate revenue but are incidental to the main revenue generating activities. The results of such transactions are presented, when this presentation reflects the substance of the transaction or other event, by netting any revenue with related expenses arising on the same transaction. For example:
a)gains and losses on the disposal of non-current assets, including investments and operating assets, are reported by deducting from the proceeds on disposal the carrying amount of the asset and related selling expenses; and
b)expenses relating to a provision that is recognised in accordance with the Standard of GRAP on Provisions, Contingent Liabilities aid Contingent Assets and reimbursed under a contractual arrangement with a third party (for example, a supplier’s warranty agreement) may be netted against the related reimbursement.

 

.45In addition, gains and losses arising from a group of similar transactions are reported on a net basis, for example, foreign exchange gains and losses and gains and losses arising on financial instruments held for trading. Such gains and losses are, however, reported separately if they are material.

 

.46The offsetting of cash flows is dealt with in the Standard of GRAP on Cash Flow Statements.

 

Comparative information

 

.47Except when a Standard of GRAP permits or requires otherwise, comparative information shall be disclosed in respect of the previous period for all amounts reported in the financial statements. Comparative information shall be included for narrative and descriptive information when it is relevant to an understanding of the current period’s financial statements.

 

.48In some cases, narrative information provided in the financial statements for the previous period(s) continues to be relevant in the current period. For example, details of a legal dispute, the outcome of which was uncertain at the last reporting date and is yet to be resolved, are disclosed in the current period. Users benefit from information that the uncertainty existed at the last reporting date, and about the steps that have been taken during the period to resolve the uncertainty.

 

.49When the presentation or classification of items in the financial statements is amended, comparative amounts shall be reclassified, unless the reclassification is impracticable. When comparative amounts are reclassified, an entity shall disclose:
a)The nature of the reclassification;
b)The amount of each item or class of item that is reclassified; and
c)The reason for the reclassification.

 

.50When it is impracticable to reclassify comparative amounts, an entity shall disclose:
a)the reason for not reclassifying the amounts; and
b)the nature of the adjustments that would have been made if the amounts had been reclassified.

 

.51Enhancing the inter-period comparability of information assists users in making and evaluating decisions, especially by allowing the assessment of trends in financial information for predictive purposes. In some circumstances it is impracticable to reclassify comparative information for a particular prior period to achieve comparability with the current period. For example, data may not have been collected in the previous period(s) in a way that allows reclassification, and it may not be practicable to recreate the information. In such circumstances, the nature of the adjustments to comparative amounts that would have been made is disclosed.

 

.52The Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors deals with the adjustments to comparative information required when an entity changes an accounting policy or corrects an error.

 

Structure and content

 

Introduction

 

.53This Standard requires particular disclosures on the face of the statement of financial position, statement of financial performance and statement of changes in net assets and requires disclosure of other line items either on the face of those statements or in the notes. The Standard of GRAP on Cash Flow Statements sets out requirements for the presentation of a cash flow statement.

 

.54This Standard sometimes uses the term ‘disclosure’ in a broad sense, encompassing items presented on the face of the statement of financial position, statement of financial performance and cash flow statement as well as in the notes. Disclosures are also required by other Standards of GRAP. Unless specified to the contrary elsewhere in this Standard of GRAP or in another Standard of GRAP, such disclosures are made either on the face of the statement of financial position, statement of financial performance and cash flow statement (whichever is relevant), or in the notes.

 

Identification of financial statements

 

.55The financial statements shall be identified clearly and distinguished from other information in the same published document.

 

.56.Standards of GRAP apply only to financial statements, and not to other information presented in an annual report or other document. Therefore, it is important that users are able to distinguish information that is prepared using Standards of GRAP from other information that may be useful to users but is not the subject of those requirements.

 

.57Each component of the financial statements shall be identified clearly. In addition, the following information shall be displayed prominently, and repeated when it is necessary for a proper understanding of the information presented:
a)the name of the reporting entity or other means of identification and any change in that information from the preceding reporting date;
b)whether the financial statements cover the individual entity or the economic entity;
c)the reporting date or the period covered by the financial statements, whichever is appropriate to the component of the financial statements;
d)the presentation currency, as defined in the Standard of GRAP on The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates; and
e)the level of rounding used in presenting amounts in the financial statements.

 

.58The requirements in paragraph 57 are normally met by presenting page headings and abbreviated column headings on each page of the financial statements. Judgement is required in determining the best way of presenting such information. For example, when the financial statements are presented electronically, separate pages are not always used; the above items are then presented frequently enough to ensure a proper understanding of the information included in the financial statements.

 

.59Financial statements are often made more understandable by presenting information in thousands or millions of rands. This is acceptable as long as the level of rounding in presentation is disclosed and material information is not omitted.

 

Reporting period

 

.60Financial statements shall be presented at least annually. When an entity's reporting date changes and the annual financial statements are presented for a period longer or shorter than one year, an entity shall disclose, in addition to the period covered by the financial statements:
a)the reason for using a longer or shorter period; and
b)the fact that comparative amounts for certain statements such as the statement of financial performance, changes in net assets, cash flows and related notes are not entirely comparable.

 

.61Normally, financial statements are consistently prepared covering a one-year period. However, for practical reasons some entities prefer to report, for example, for a 52-week period. This Standard does not preclude this practice, because the resulting financial statements are unlikely to be materially different to those that would be presented for one year.

 

Statement of financial position

 

The current/non-current distinction

 

.62An entity shall present current and non-current assets, and current and non-current liabilities, as separate classifications on the face of its statement of its financial position in accordance with paragraphs .68 - .79 except when a presentation based on liquidity provides information that is reliable and more relevant. When that exception applies, all assets and liabilities shall be presented broadly in order of their liquidity.

 

.63Whichever method of presentation is adopted, for each asset and liability line item that combines amounts expected to be recovered or settled within (a) no more than twelve months after the reporting date; and (b) more than twelve months after the reporting date, an entity shall disclose the amount expected to be recovered or settled after more than twelve months.

 

.64When an entity supplies goods or services within a clearly identifiable operating cycle, separate classification of current and non-current assets and liabilities on the face of the statement of financial position provides useful information by distinguishing the net assets that are continuously circulating as working capital from those used in the entity‘s long-term operations. It also highlights assets that are expected to be realised within the current operating cycle, and liabilities that are due for settlement within the same period.

 

.65For some entities, such as financial institutions, a presentation of assets and liabilities in increasing or decreasing order of liquidity provides information that is reliable and is more relevant than a current/non-current presentation because the entity does not supply goods or services within a clearly identifiable operating cycle.

 

.66In applying paragraph .62, an entity is permitted to present some of its assets and liabilities using a current/non-current classification and others in order of liquidity when this provides information that is reliable and more relevant. The need for a mixed basis of presentation might arise when an entity has diverse operations.

 

.67Information about the expected dates of realisation of assets and liabilities is useful in assessing the liquidity and solvency of an entity. The Standard of GRAP on Financial Instruments: Disclosure and Presentation requires disclosure of the maturity dates of financial assets and financial liabilities. Financial assets include trade and other receivables and financial liabilities include trade and other payables. Information on the expected date of recovery and settlement of non-monetary assets and liabilities such as inventories and provisions is also useful, whether or not assets and liabilities are classified as current and non-current. For example, an entity discloses the amount of inventories that is expected to be recovered more than twelve months after the reporting date.

 

Current assets

 

.68An asset shall be classified as current when it satisfies any of the following criteria:
a)it is expected to be realised in, or is held for sale or consumption in, the entity’s normal operating cycle;
b)it is held primarily for the purpose of being traded;
c)it is expected to be realised within twelve months after the reporting date; or
d)it is cash or a cash equivalent asset (as defined in the Standard of GRAP on Cash Flow Statements) unless it is restricted from being exchanged or used to settle a liability for at least twelve months after the reporting date.

All other assets shall be classified as non-current.

 

.69This Standard uses the term "non-current assets" to include tangible, intangible, and financial assets of a long-term nature. It does not prohibit the use of alternative descriptions as long as the meaning is clear.

 

.70The operating cycle of an entity is the time taken to convert inputs or resources into outputs. For instance, governments transfer resources to entities so that they can convert those resources into goods and services, or outputs, to meet the government’s desired social, political and economic outcomes. When the entity’s normal operating cycle is not clearly identifiable, its duration is assumed to be twelve months. Current assets include assets (such as taxes receivable, user charges receivable, fines and regulatory fees receivable, inventories and accrued investment revenue) that are either realised, consumed or sold, as part of the normal operating cycle even when they are not expected to be realised within twelve months of the reporting date. Current assets also include assets primarily held for the purpose of being traded (guidance on the classification of financial assets within this category could be found in the Standard of GRAP on financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement) and the current portion of non-current financial assets.

 

Current liabilities

 

.71A liability shall be classified as current when it satisfies any of the following criteria:
a)it is expected to be settled in the entity’s normal operating cycle;
b)it is held primarily for the purpose of being traded;
c)it is due to be settled within twelve months after the reporting date; or
d)the entity does not have an unconditional right to defer settlement ob the liability for at least twelve months after the reporting date.

All other liabilities shall be classified as non-current.

 

.72Some current liabilities, such as government transfers payable and accruals for employee and other operating costs, are part of the working capital used in the normal operating cycle of the entity. Such operating items are classified as current liabilities even if they are due to be settled more than twelve months after the reporting date. The same normal operating cycle applies to the classification of an entity’s assets and liabilities. When the entity’s normal operating cycle is not clearly identifiable, its duration is assumed to be twelve months.

 

.73Other current liabilities are not settled as part of the normal operating cycle, but are due for settlement within twelve months after the reporting date or held primarily for the purpose of being traded. Examples are financial liabilities classified as held for trading (guidance on the classification of financial liabilities could be found in the Standard of GRAP on Financial Instruments: Presentation and Disclosure), bank overdrafts, and the current portion of non-current financial liabilities, dividends payable, income taxes and other non-trade payables. Financial liabilities that provide financing on a long-term basis (i.e. are not part of the working capital used in the entity’s normal operating cycle), and are not due for settlement within twelve months after the reporting date, are non-current liabilities subject to paragraphs .76 and .77.

 

.74An entity classifies its financial liabilities as current when they are due to be settled within twelve months after the reporting date, even if:
a)the original term was for a period of longer than twelve months; and
b)an agreement to re-finance, or to reschedule payments, on a long-term basis is completed after the reporting date and before the financial statements are authorised for issue.

 

.75If an entity expects, and has the discretion, to refinance or roll over an obligation for at least twelve months after the reporting date under an existing loan facility, it classifies the obligation as non-current even if it would otherwise be due within a shorter period. However, when refinancing or rolling over the obligation is not at the discretion of the entity (for example there is no agreement to refinance), the potential to refinance is not considered and the obligation is classified as current.

 

.76When an entity breaches an undertaking or covenant under a long-term loan agreement on or before the reporting date with the effect that the liability becomes payable on demand, the liability is classified as current, even if the lender has agreed, after the reporting date and before the authorisation of the financial statements, not to demand payment as a consequence of the breach. The liability is classified as current because, at the reporting date, the entity does not have an unconditional right to defer its settlement for at least twelve months after that date.

 

.77However, the liability is classified as non-current if the lender agreed by the reporting date to provide a period of grace ending at least twelve months after the reporting date, within which the entity can rectify a breach and during which the lender cannot demand immediate repayment.

 

.78In respect of loans classified as current liabilities, if the following events occur between the reporting date and the date the financial statements are authorised for issue, those events qualify for disclosure as non-adjusting events in accordance with the Standard of GRAP on Events after the Reporting Date:
a)refinancing on a long-term basis;
b)rectification of a breach of a long-term loan agreement; and
c)the receipt from the lender of a period of grace to rectify a breach of a long-term loan agreement ending at least twelve months after the reporting date.

 

Information to be presented on the face of the statement of financial position

 

.79As a minimum, the face of the statement of financial position shall include line items that present the following amounts:
a)Property, plant and equipment;
b)Investment property;
c)Intangible assets;
d)Financial assets (excluding amounts shown under (e), (g), (h) and (i));
e)Investments accounted for using the equity method;
f)Inventories;
g)Other receivables from non-exchange transactions, including taxes and transfers;
h)Trade and other receivables from exchange transactions;
i)Cash and cash equivalents;
j)Taxes and transfers payable;
k)Trade and other payables from exchange transactions;
l)Provisions;
m)Financial liabilities (excluding amounts shown under (i), (k) and (I));
n)Minority interest, presented within net assets; and
o)Net assets.

 

.80Additional line items, headings and sub-totals shall be presented on the face of the statement of financial position when such presentation is relevant to an understanding of the entity’s financial position.

 

.81This Standard does not prescribe the order or format in which items are to be presented. Paragraph .79 simply provides a list of items that are sufficiently different in nature or function to warrant separate presentation on the face of the statement of financial position. In addition:
a)line items are included when the size, nature or function of an item or aggregation of similar items is such that separate presentation is relevant to an understanding of the entity’s financial position; and
b)the descriptions used and the ordering of items or aggregation of similar items may be amended according to the nature of the entity and its transactions, to provide information that is relevant to an understanding of the entity’s financial position.

 

.82The judgement on whether additional items are separately presented is based on an assessment of:
a)the nature and liquidity of assets;
b)the function of assets within the entity; and
c)the amounts, nature and timing of liabilities.

 

.83The use of different measurement bases for different classes of assets suggests that their nature or function differs and therefore that they should be presented as separate line items. For example, different classes of property, plant and equipment can be carried at cost or amounts in accordance with the Standard of GRAP on Property, Plant and Equipment.

 

Information to be presented either on the face of the statement of financial position or in the notes.

 

.84An entity shall disclose, either on the face of the statement of financial position or in -the notes to the statement of financial position, further sub-classifications of the line items presented, classified in a manner appropriate to the entity’s operations.

 

.85The detail provided in sub-classifications depends on the requirements of Standards of GRAP and on the size, nature and function of the amounts involved. The factors set out in Paragraph .82 also are used to decide the basis of sub-classification. The disclosures vary for each item, for example:
a)items of property, plant and equipment are disaggregated into classes in accordance with the Standard of GRAP on Property, Plant and Equipment;
b)receivables are disaggregated into amounts receivable from user charges, taxes and other non-exchange revenues, other members of the economic entity, receivables from related parties, prepayments and other amounts;
c)inventories are sub-classified in accordance with the Standard of GRAP on Inventories, into classifications such as merchandise, production supplies, materials, work in Progress and finished goods;
d)taxes and transfers payable are disaggregated into tax refunds payable, transfers payable, and amounts payable to other members of the economic entity;
e)provisions are disaggregated into provisions for employee benefit costs and any other items; and
f)components of net assets are analysed and disaggregated into contributed capital, accumulated surpluses and deficits and any reserves.

 

.86When an entity has no share capital, it shall separately disclose the following, either on the face of the statement of financial position or in the notes:
a)net assets, showing separately:
i)contributed capital, being the cumulative total at the reporting date of contributions from owners, less distributions to owners;
ii)accumulated surpluses or deficits;
iii)reserves, including a description of the nature and purpose of each reserve within net assets; and
iv)minority interests; and
b)the amount of a distribution (other than the return of capital) declared after the reporting date but before the financial statements were authorised for issue.

 

.87Many entities will not have share capital but the entity will be controlled exclusively by another entity. The nature of the government's interest in the net assets of the entity is likely to be a combination of contributed capital and the aggregate of the entity's accumulated surpluses or deficits and reserves - that reflect the net assets attributable to the entity's operations.

 

.88In some cases, there may be a minority interest in the net assets of the entity. For example, at whole-of-government level, the economic entity may include a government business enterprise that has been partly privatised. Accordingly, there may be private shareholders who have a financial interest in the net assets of the entity.

 

.89When an entity has share capital, in addition to the disclosures in paragraph .86, it shall disclose the following, either on the face of the statement of financial position or in the notes:
a)for each class of share capital:
i)the number of shares authorised;
ii)the number of shares issued and fully paid, and issued but not fully paid;
iii)par value per share, or that the shares have no par value;
iv)a reconciliation of the number of shares outstanding at the beginning and at the end of the year;
v)the rights, preferences, and restrictions attaching to that class, including restrictions on the distribution of dividends and the repayment of capital;
vi)shares in the entity held by the entity or by its controlled entities or associates; and
vii)shares reserved for issue under options and contracts for the sale of shares, including the terms and amounts; and
b)a description of the nature and purpose of each reserve within net assets.

 

Statement of financial performance

 

Surplus or deficit for the period

 

.90All items of revenue and expense recognised in a period shall be included in the surplus or deficit unless a Standard of GRAP requires or permits otherwise.

 

.91Normally, all items of revenue and expense recognised in a period are included in surplus or deficit. This includes the effects of changes in accounting estimates. However, circumstances may exist when particular items may be excluded from surplus or deficit for the current period. The Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors deals with two such circumstances: the correction of prior period errors and the effect of changes in accounting policies.

 

.92Other Standards of GRAP deal with items which may meet the Framework definitions of revenue or expense but which are usually excluded from surplus or deficit. Examples include a revaluation surpluses (see the Standard of GRAP on Property, Plant and Equipment), particular gains and losses arising on translating financial statements of a foreign operation (see the Standard of GRAP on The Effects of Changes in foreign Exchange Rates), and gains or losses on remeasuring available-for-sale financial assets (see the Standard of GRAP on Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement).

 

Information to be presented on the face of the statement of financial performance

 

.93As a minimum, the face of the statement of financial performance shall include line items that present the following amounts for the period:
a)revenue;
b)finance costs;
c)share of the surplus or deficit of associates and joint ventures accounted for using the equity method; and
d)surplus or deficit for the period.

 

.94The following items shall be disclosed on the face of the statement of financial performance as allocations of surplus or deficit for the period:
a)surplus or deficit attributable to minority interest; and
b)surplus or deficit attributable to net asset holders of the controlling entity.

 

.95Additional line items, headings and sub-totals shall be presented on the face of the statement of financial performance when such presentation is relevant to an understanding of the entity’s financial performance.

 

.96Because the effects of an entity’s various activities, transactions, and other events differ in terms of their impact on its ability to meet its service delivery obligations, disclosing the components of financial performance assists in an understanding of the financial Performance achieved and in making projections of future results. Additional line items are included on the face of the statement of financial performance, and the descriptions used and the ordering of items are amended when this is necessary to explain the elements of performance. Factors to be considered include materiality and the nature and function of the components of revenue and expenses. Revenue and expense items are offset unless the criteria in paragraph .42 are met.

 

.97An entity shall not present any items of revenue and expense as extraordinary items, either on the face of the statement of financial performance or in the notes.

 

Information to be presented either on the face of the statement of financial performance or in the notes.

 

.98When items of revenue and expense are material, their nature and amount shall be disclosed separately.

 

.99Circumstances that would give rise to the separate disclosure of items of revenue and expense include:
a)the write-downs of inventories to net realisable value or property, plant and equipment to recoverable amount, as well as the reversals of such write-downs;
b)restructurings of the activities of an entity and the reversals of any provisions for the costs of restructuring;
c)disposals of items of property, plant and equipment;
d)disposals of investments;
e)discontinuing operations;
f)litigation settlements; and
g)other reversals of provisions.

 

.100An entity shall present a sub-classification of total revenue, classified in a manner appropriate to the entity's operations.

 

.101An entity shall present an analysis of expenses using a classification based on either the nature of expenses or their function within the entity, whichever provides information that is reliable and more relevant.

 

.102Entities are encouraged to present the analysis in paragraph .101 on the face of the statement of financial performance.

 

.103Expense items are sub-classified to highlight the costs and cost recoveries of particular programmes, activities or other relevant segments of the reporting entity. This information may be provided in one of two ways.

 

.104The first form of analysis is the nature of expense method. Expenses are aggregated in the statement of financial performance according to their nature, (for example depreciation, purchases of materials, transport costs, employee benefits and advertising costs), and are not reallocated among various functions within the entity. This method may be simple to apply because no allocations of expenses between functional classifications are necessary.

An example of a classification using the nature of expense method is as follows:

 

Revenue

 

X

Employee benefit costs

X

 

Depreciation and amortisation expense

X

 

Other expenses

X

 

Total expenses

 

(X)

Surplus

 

X

 

.105The second form of analysis is the function of expense method, and classifies expenses according to the programme or purpose for which they were made. This presentation often provides more relevant information to users than the classification of expenses by nature, but allocating costs to functions may require arbitrary allocations and involves considerable judgement. An example of a classification using the function of expense method is as follows:

Total revenue

X

Expenses:

 

Health expenses

(X)

Education expenses

(X)

Other expenses

(X)

Surplus/(deficit)

X

 

.106The expenses associated with the main functions undertaken by the entity are shown separately. In this example, the entity has functions relating to the provision of health and education services. The entity would present expense line items for each of these functions.

 

.107Entities classifying expenses by function shall disclose additional information on the nature of expenses, including depreciation and amortisation expense, and employee benefits expense.

 

.108The choice between the function of1 expense method and the nature of expense method depends on historical and regulatory factors and the nature of the organisation. Both methods provide an indication of those costs that might vary, directly and indirectly, with the outputs of the entity. Because each method of presentation has its merits for different types of entities, this Standard requires management to select the most relevant and reliable presentation. However, because information on the nature of expenses is useful in predicting future cash flows, additional disclosure is required when the function of expense classification is used.

 

.109When an entity provides a dividend to its owners and has share capital, it shall disclose, either on the face of the statement of financial performance or in the statement of changes in net assets or in the notes, the amount of dividends, recognised as distribution to owners during the period, and the related amount per share.

 

Statement of changes in net assets

 

.110An entity shall present a statement of changes in net assets, showing on the face of the statement:
a)the surplus or deficit for the period;
b)each item of revenue and expense that, as required by other Standards of GRAP, is recognised directly in net assets, and the total of these items;
c)total revenue and expense for the period (calculated as the sum of (a) and (b)), showing separately the total amounts attributable to net assets holders of the controlling entity and to minority interest; and
d)for each component of net assets, the effects of changes in accounting policies and the correction of prior period errors recognised in accordance with the Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors.

 

.111An entity shall also present, either on the face of the statement of changes in net assets or in the notes;
a)the amounts of transactions with owners acting in their capacity as owners, showing separately distributions to owners;
b)the balance of accumulated surpluses or deficits at the beginning of the period and at the reporting date, and the changes during the period; and
c)to the extent that components of net assets are separately disclosed, a reconciliation between the carrying amount of each component of net assets and each reserve at the beginning and the end of the period, separately disclosing each change.

 

.112Changes in an entity’s net assets between two reporting dates reflect the increase or decrease in its net assets during the period.

 

.113The overall change in net assets represents the total net surplus/deficit for the period, other revenues and expenses recognised directly as changes in net assets, together with any contributions by, and distributions to, owners in their capacity as owners.

 

.114Contributions by, and distributions to, owners include transfers between two entities within an economic entity (for example, a transfer from a government, acting in its capacity as owner, to a government department). Contributions by owners, in their capacity as owners, to controlled entities are recognised as a direct adjustment to net assets only where they explicitly give rise to residual interests in the entity in the form of rights to net assets.

 

.115This Standard requires all items of revenue and expense recognised in a period to be included in surplus or deficit for the period unless another Standard of GRAP requires otherwise. Other Standards of GRAP require some items (such as revaluation surpluses and deficits, particular foreign exchange differences) to be recognised directly as changes in net assets. Because it is important to consider all items of revenue and expenses in assessing changes in an entity’s financial position between two reporting dates, this Standard requires a statement of changes in net assets that highlights an entity’s total revenue and expenses, including those that are recognised directly in net assets.

 

.116The Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors requires retrospective adjustments to effect changes in accounting policies, to the extent practicable, except when the transitional provisions in another Standard of GRAP require otherwise. The Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors also requires that restatements to correct prior period errors are made retrospectively, to the extent practicable. Retrospective adjustments and retrospective restatements are made to the balance of accumulated surpluses or deficits, except when a Standard of GRAP requires retrospective adjustment of another component of net assets. Paragraph .110(d) requires disclosure in the statement of changes in net assets of the total adjustment to each component of net assets resulting, separately, from changes in accounting policies and from corrections of prior period errors. These adjustments are disclosed for each prior period and the beginning of the period.

 

.117The requirements in paragraphs .110 and .111 may be met in a number of ways, for example, a columnar format that reconciles the opening and closing balances of each element within net assets. An alternative is to present only the items set out in paragraph .110 in the statement of changes in net assets. Under this approach, the items described in paragraph .111 are shown in the notes.

 

Cash flow statement

 

.118.118        Cash flow information provides users of financial statements with a basis to assess the ability of the entity to generate cash and cash equivalents and the needs of the entity to utilise those cash flows. The Standard of GRAP on Cash Flow Statements sets out requirements for the presentation of the cash flow statement and related disclosures.

 

Notes

 

Structure

 

.119The notes shall:
a)present information about the basis of preparation of the financial statements and the specific accounting policies used in accordance with paragraphs .124-.131;
b)disclose the information required by Standards of GRAP that is not presented on the face of the statement .of financial position, statement of financial performance, statement of changes in net assets or cash flow statement; and
c)provide additional information that is not presented on the face of the statement of financial position, statement of financial performance, statement of changes in net assets or cash flow statement, but is relevant to an understanding of any of them.

 

.120Notes shall be presented in a systematic manner. Each item on the face of the statement of financial position, statement of financial performance, statement of changes in net assets and cash flow statement shall be cross-referenced to any related information in the notes.

 

.121Notes are normally presented in the following order, which assists users in understanding the financial statements and comparing them with financial statements of other entities:
a)a statement of compliance with Standards of GRAP (see paragraph .19);
b)a summary of significant accounting policies applied (see paragraph .124);
c)supporting information for items presented on the face of the statement of financial position, statement of financial performance, statement of changes in net assets or cash flow statement in the order in which each line item and each financial statement is presented; and
d)other disclosures, including:
i)contingent liabilities (see the Standard of GRAP on Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets) and unrecognised contractual commitments;

and

ii)non-financial disclosures, e.g. the entity’s financial risk management objectives and policies (see the Standard of GRAP on Financial Instruments: Disclosure and Presentation).

 

.122In some circumstances, it may be necessary or desirable to vary the ordering of specific items within the notes. For example, information on changes in fair value recognised in Surplus or deficit may be combined with information on maturities of financial instruments although the former disclosures relate to the statement of financial performance and the latter relate to the statement of financial position. Nevertheless, a systematic structure for the notes is retained as far as practicable.

 

.123Notes provide information about the basis of preparation of the financial statements and specific accounting policies may be presented as a separate component of the financial statements.

 

Disclosure of accounting policies

 

.124An entity shall disclose in the summary of significant accounting policies:
a)the measurement basis (or bases) used in preparing the financial statements;

and

b)the other accounting policies that are relevant to an understanding of the financial statements.

 

.125It is important for users to be informed of the measurement basis (or bases) used in the financial statements (for example, historical cost, current cost, realisable value, fair value or recoverable amount) because the basis on which the financial statements are prepared significantly affects their analysis. When more than one measurement basis is used in the financial statements, for example when particular classes of assets are revalued, it is sufficient to provide an indication of the categories of assets and liabilities to which each measurement basis is applied.

 

.126In deciding whether a particular accounting policy should be disclosed, management considers whether disclosure would assist users in understanding how transactions, other events and conditions are reflected in the reported financial performance and financial position. Disclosure of particular accounting policies is essentially useful to users when those policies are selected from alternatives allowed in the Standards of GRAP. An example is disclosure of whether a venturer recognises its interest in a jointly controlled entity using proportionate consolidation or the equity method (see the Standard of GRAP on Interests in Joint Ventures). Some Standards of GRAP specifically require disclosure of particular accounting policies, including choices made by management between different policies they allow. For example, the Standard of GRAP on Property, Plant and Equipment requires disclosure of the measurement bases used for classes of property, plant and equipment. The Standard of GRAP on Borrowing Costs requires disclosure of whether borrowing costs are recognised immediately as an expense or capitalised as part of the cost of qualifying assets.

 

.127Each entity considers the nature of its operations and the policies that the users of its financial statements would expect to be disclosed for that type of entity. For example, entities would be expected to disclose an accounting policy for recognition of taxes, donations and other forms of non-exchange revenue. When an entity has significant foreign operations or transactions in foreign; currencies, disclosure of accounting policies for the recognition of foreign exchange gains and losses would be expected. When business combinations have occurred, the policies used for measuring goodwill and minority interest are disclosed.

 

.128An accounting policy may be significant because of the nature of the entity’s operations even if amounts for current and prior periods are not material. It is also appropriate to disclose each significant accounting policy that is not specifically required by the Standards of GRAP, but is selected and applied in accordance with the Standard of GRAP on Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors.

 

.129An entity shall disclose, in the summary of significant accounting policies or other notes, the judgements, apart from those involving estimations (see paragraph .132), management has made in the process of applying the entity’s accounting policies that have the most significant effect on the amounts of items recognised in the financial statements.

 

.130In the process of applying the entity’s accounting policies, management makes various judgements, apart from those involving estimations, that can significantly affect the amounts of items recognised in the financial statements. For example, management makes judgements in determining:
a)whether financial assets are held-to-maturity investments;
b)when substantially all the significant risks and rewards of ownership of financial assets and lease assets are transferred to other entities;
c)whether, in substance, particular sales of goods are financing arrangements and therefore do not give rise to revenue; and
d)whether the substance of the relationship between the entity and a special purpose entity indicates that the special purpose entity is controlled by the entity.

 

.131.Some of the disclosures made in accordance with paragraph .129 are required by other Standards of GRAP. For example, the Standard of GRAP on Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements requires an entity to disclose the reasons why the entity’s ownership interest does not constitute control, in respect of an investee that is not a controlled entity, even though more than half of its voting or potential voting power is owned directly or indirectly through controlled entities. The Standard of GRAP on Investment Property requires disclosure of the criteria developed by the entity to distinguish investment property from owner-occupied property and from property held for sale in the ordinary course of business, when classification of the property is difficult.

 

Key sources of estimation uncertainty

 

.132.An entity shall disclose in the notes information about the key assumptions concerning the future, and other key sources of estimation uncertainty at the reporting date, that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next financial year. In respect of those assets and liabilities, the notes shall include details of:
a)their nature; and
b)their carrying amount as at the reporting date.

 

.133Determining the carrying amounts of some assets and liabilities requires estimation of the effects of uncertain future events on those assets and liabilities at the reporting date. For example, in the absence of recently observed market prices used to measure the following assets and liabilities, future-oriented estimates are necessary to measure the recoverable amount of classes of property, plant and equipment, the effect of technological obsolescence on inventories, provisions subject to the future outcome of litigation in progress, and long-term employee benefit liabilities such as superannuation obligations. These estimates involve assumptions about such items as the risk adjustment to cash flows or discount rates used, future changes in salaries and future changes in prices affecting other costs.

 

.134        The key assumptions and other sources of estimation uncertainty disclosed in accordance with paragraph .132 relate to the estimates that require management's most difficult, subjective or complex judgements. As the number of variables and assumptions affecting the possible future resolution of the uncertainties increases, those judgements become more subjective and complex, and the potential for a consequential material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities normally increases accordingly.

 

.135The disclosures in paragraph .132 are not required for assets and liabilities with a significant risk that their carrying amounts might change materially within the next financial year if, at the reporting date, they are measured at fair value based on recently observed market prices (their fair values might change materially within the next financial year but these changes would not arise from assumptions or other sources of estimation uncertainty at the reporting date).

 

.136.The disclosures in paragraph .132 are presented in a manner that helps users of financial statements to understand the judgements management makes about the future and about other key sources of estimation uncertainty. The nature and extent of the information provided vary according to the nature of the assumption and other circumstances. Examples of the types of disclosures made are:
a)the nature of the assumption or other estimation uncertainty;
b)the sensitivity of carrying amounts to the methods, assumptions and estimates underlying their calculation, including the reasons for the sensitivity;
c)the expected resolution of an uncertainty and the range of reasonably possible outcomes within the next financial year in respect of the carrying amounts of the assets and liabilities affected; and
d)an explanation of changes made to past assumptions concerning those assets and liabilities, if the uncertainty remains unresolved.

It is not necessary to disclose budget information or forecasts in making the disclosures in paragraph .132.

 

.137When it is impracticable to disclose the extent of the possible effects of a key assumption or another key source of estimation uncertainty at the reporting date, the entity discloses that it is reasonably possible, based on existing knowledge, that outcomes within the next financial year that are different from assumptions could require a material adjustment to the carrying amount of the asset or liability affected. In all cases, the entity discloses the nature and carrying amount of the specific asset or liability (or class of assets or liabilities) affected by the assumption.

 

.138The disclosures in paragraph .129 of particular judgements management made in the process of applying the entity's accounting policies do not relate to the disclosures of key sources of estimation uncertainty in paragraph .132.

 

.139The disclosure of some of the key assumptions that would otherwise be required in accordance with paragraph .132 is required by other Standards of GRAP. For example, the Standard of GRAP on Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets requires disclosure, in specified circumstances, of major assumptions concerning future events affecting classes of provisions. The Standard of GRAP on Financial Instruments: Disclosure and Presentation requires disclosure of significant assumptions applied in estimating fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities that are carried at fair value. The Standard of GRAP on Property, Plant and Equipment requires disclosure of significant assumptions applied in estimating fair values of revalued items of property, plant and equipment.

 

Other disclosures

 

.140An entity shall disclose in the notes:
a)the amount of dividends that were proposed or declared after the reporting date but before the financial statements were authorised for issue; and
b)the amount of any cumulative preference dividends not recognised.

 

.141An entity shall disclose the following, if not disclosed elsewhere in information published with the financial statements:
a)the domicile and legal form of the entity, and the jurisdiction within which it operates;
b)a description of the nature of the entity's operations and principal activities;
c)a reference to the relevant legislation governing the entity's operations; and
d)the name of the controlling entity and the ultimate controlling entity of the economic entity (where applicable).

 

Transitional provisions

 

.142All provisions of this Standard should be applied from the date of first adoption of this Standard, except in relation to items that have not been recognised as a result of transitional provisions under-another Standard of GRAP. The disclosure provisions of this Standard would not be required to apply to such items until the transitional provision in the other Standard of GRAP expires. Comparative information is not required in respect of financial statements to which this Standard is first applied.

 

.143Notwithstanding the existence of transitional provisions under another Standard of GRAP, entities that are in the process of adopting the accrual basis of accounting for financial reporting purposes are encouraged to comply in full with the provisions of that other Standard as soon as possible.

 

Reserves

 

.144All balances in reserves and trust fund accounts that are not represented by cash, for example the loss of rental reserves, capital reserves, Mayor's Flood Relief Fund, Sport Development Fund, etc., on the date of transition should be transferred to the opening balance of the accumulated surplus/(deficit) account in the statement of changes in net assets. There is no legislative requirement to maintain such separate fund accounts.

 

Deferred charge assets

 

.145This transitional provision requires the derecognition of capitalised expenditure incurred in raising loans on the capital market that do not meet the definition and recognition criteria of assets, for example, the capitalisation of loan-raising charges and loan discounts that are deferred over the loan period in the financial statements of some municipalities. Any such derecognition shall be recognised by adjusting the opening balance of accumulated surplus/(deficit).

 

Exemptions

 

.146Exemption from compliance with disclosure requirements when the relevant Standard of GRAP is applied for the first time will be considered by the Minister of Finance on a case-by-case basis.

 

Effective date

 

.147This Standard of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice becomes effective for annual financial statements covering periods beginning on or after a date to be determined by the Minister of Finance in a regulation to be published in accordance with section 97(1)(b) of the Public Finance Management Act, Act No. 1 of 1999, as amended.