Financial Reporting Update

We are pleased to present the June 2024 edition of our Financial Reporting Update, in this edition we will remind you about the new standards effective for the first time on 30 June 2024, discuss the new consolidated entity disclosure for public companies, provide an update on sustainability disclosures in the financial statements and highlight some contemporary issues and resources available to you.

New standards reminders 

As discussed in our November newsletters, there are no significant changes to accounting standards for 30 June 2024 reporters, however the changes to the accounting policy requirements are an opportunity for entities to streamline their financial statements, remove the clutter and provide more meaningful information to their users.

The new standards with a brief description of the changes are included below:

New consolidated entity disclosures for public companies

For the 30 June 2024 annual reports, public companies in Australia will be required to include a new consolidated entity disclosure statement in their annual financial reports, as mandated by the Corporations Act 2001

This requirement affects all public companies, irrespective of whether they issue consolidated financial statements, and encompasses both listed and unlisted companies. Not-for-Profit (NFP) companies limited by guarantee who are registered with the ACNC will not be required to include this disclosure.

This new disclosure is part of a global effort to enhance tax transparency by making public the tax jurisdictions of each group member. This transparency is intended to provide a clearer understanding of the tax obligations across different jurisdictions and increase scrutiny of multinational corporations’ tax strategies, although it does not extend to disclosing specific tax amounts paid per jurisdiction.

Key points relating to the disclosure:

Required Details: For each controlled entity, the disclosure should include:

  • its name, 
  • structural form (such as company, partnership, or trust), 
  • country of incorporation, 
  • ownership percentage held by the group, and 
  • tax residency, whether Australian or Foreign and if foreign, then the country of tax residency.

Unlike typical notes in financial statements, this disclosure will require information on all entities, including dormant or immaterial ones due to the changes to the director’s declaration.

The directors’ declaration will need to affirm that the consolidated entity disclosure information is “true and correct,” which is a more assertive requirement compared to the “true and fair” declaration for the financial statement which necessitates a higher level of director confidence in the accuracy of the disclosed information.

Standalone entity: where a public company prepares standalone financial statements, i.e. no controlled entities then the Corporations Act changes require that fact to be stated.

Audit Implications: since the disclosures will be included in the financial statements, they will be subject to audit.

Sustainability update

The November 2023 newsletter provided detail regarding the key players for climate-related reporting in financial statements in Australia.

As at the date of writing, the following updates have occurred. 

Entities are encouraged to monitor the progress of the legislation to determine the direct or indirect impact on them or their customers/suppliers. Note that the current proposals require entities to report Scope 3 emissions, which will require information from entities in their value chain.

Contemporary issues

Going concern 

Given the current economic volatility and uncertainties, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in the number of going concern disclosures within financial statements at 30 June 2024.

 In accordance with AASB 101 Presentation of Financial Statements, entities must carefully assess their ability to continue as a going concern and disclose related uncertainties when there is significant doubt about their capacity to operate in the foreseeable future. 

While guidance on this topic in the accounting standards can be sparse, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published educational material in 2021 that offers valuable insights into making these assessments and disclosures.

Entities are encouraged to consider this educational material to better understand the requirements of AASB 101, the table below can be a useful discussion starter with Boards / Audit and Risk Committee and Auditors.

We encourage entities who may be required to disclosure information about going concern to reach out to their Accru advisors as soon as possible.

Revenue disclosures – disaggregation 

We have had an increased number of discussions with our clients regarding revenue disclosures, in particular around disaggregation.

Both AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers and AASB 1058 Income of Not-for-Profit Entities, require entities to disaggregate revenue into categories that depict how the:

  • nature, 
  • amount, 
  • timing, and 
  • uncertainty of revenue and cash flows

 are affected by economic factors. 

This disclosure is designed to give users of financial statements a more detailed understanding of the sources of revenue and the risks associated with them as well as how each stream contributes to the overall business performance.

The standards do not mandate the extent of disaggregation, however, provide a number of examples of disaggregation for an entity to determine which is most relevant for them, including:

  • By Type of Goods or Services: A technology company might report revenue from hardware sales, software licenses, and maintenance services separately. 
  • By Geographic Region: A corporation may disaggregate revenue by region (e.g., Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific) to show where its income is being generated which helps in understanding the exposure to geopolitical risks and economic conditions in different parts of the world.
  • By Type of Customer: A business might segment revenue by customer type, such as retail customers, wholesale customers, or government contracts which illustrates dependencies on particular customer segments.
  • By Contract Duration: Companies with long-term contracts might disaggregate revenue based on the duration of these contracts (short-term vs long-term), highlighting how revenue recognition is impacted over different periods.
  • By Sales Channels: Disaggregation can also be done based on different sales channels, such as online sales, direct sales, or third-party distributors. This helps in assessing the effectiveness and profitability of each channel.

Not-for-profit entities may consider, disaggregation by:

  • Funding Source: NFP may have a number of funding sources, including government grants, fundraising activities, and donations: 
  • By Activity or Program: depending on the activities of the NFP, it may be useful to the users to understand revenue from service delivery, including specific services provided to the community, like educational programs, health services, or support programs compared to revenue from membership fees etc.
Resources to assist with disclosures

Our audit teams are often asked for examples of disclosures for certain transactions, events and conditions and the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) thematic reviews can be a useful resource for a number of topics. 

These review focus on disclosure areas where the FRC believe there is scope for improvements, and they highlight good and bad disclosure examples as well as providing some tips to comply with the accounting standards. 

While the reviews primarily focus on listed companies in the UK, the principles and best practices outlined are broadly applicable to Australian entities as well, given that both regions base their standards on IFRS. Australian entities are encouraged to consult these reviews to inform their disclosure practices and best practices.

If you want any more information on any of the topics discussed in this article or to discuss the application to your specific circumstances, please get in touch with your local Accru representative.

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