IAS 10, Events after the balance sheet date
| by Neil D Stein
01 Aug 1999
The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) issued a revised IAS 10, Events After the Balance Sheet Date, in May 1999. The original IAS 10 dealt with contingencies as well as events after the balance sheet date. IAS 37, Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets, replaced the sections of IAS 10 covering contingencies. IAS 10 (Revised) now updates the remainder of the original IAS 10. The date of issue of IAS 10 (Revised) means that it is examinable in papers 1, 6, 10 and 13 (International) from December 1999.
Events after the balance sheet explained
Events after the balance sheet date and before financial statements are issued can have important effects on the financial statements. For example, the bankruptcy of a major customer would normally be evidence that the trade receivable should be written off or an allowance made as at the balance sheet date.
There is another type of event after the balance sheet date one that does not affect the position at the balance sheet date, but which still needs disclosure in some way to prevent users being misled. An example of such an event might be a material fall in the market value of investments.
Events after the balance sheet date are divided into two types, corresponding to the two examples just given. The definition in IAS 10 is:
Two types of events can be identified:
(a) those that provide evidence of conditions that existed at the balance sheet date (adjusting events after the balance sheet date); and
(b) those that are indicative of conditions that arose after the balance sheet date (nonadjusting events after the balance sheet date).
Material adjusting events require changes to the financial statements.
Examples of such events given in IAS 10 (Revised) are:
(a) the resolution of a court case, as the result of which a provision has to be recognised instead of the disclosure by note of a contingent liability;
(b) evidence of impairment of assets:
(i) bankruptcy of a major customer;
(ii) sale of inventories at prices
Nonadjusting events do not, by definition, require an adjustment to the financial statements, but if they are of such importance that non-disclosure would affect the ability of users of the financial statements to make proper evaluations and decisions, the enterprise should disclose by note:
the nature of the event;
an estimate of its financial effect, or a statement that such an estimate cannot be made.
Examples of such events given in IAS 10 (Revised) are: (Items (a) to (e) only are relevant for paper 1).
(a) decline in market value of investments;
(b) announcement of a plan to discontinue part of the enterprise;
(c) major purchases and sales of assets;
(d) expropriation of assets by government;
(e) destruction of a major asset by fire etc;
(f) a major business combination after the balance sheet date;
(g) sale of a major subsidiary;
(h) major dealings in the company's ordinary shares;
(i) abnormally large changes in asset prices or foreign exchange rates;
(j) changes in tax rates with a significant effect on current and deferred tax assets;
(k) entering into significant commitments or contingent liabilities;
(l) commencing major litigation arising solely out of events after the balance sheet date.
Further provisions of IAS 10 (Revised)
(a) Authorisation for issue of financial statements
An enterprise should disclose the date when the financial statements were authorised for issue and who gave that authorisation. If the owners or others have the power to amend the financial statements after issue, that fact should be disclosed.
If the management decides after the balance sheet date that it is necessary to liquidate the enterprise, the financial statements should not be prepared on a going concern basis.
(There was a provision in `old' IAS 10 that the financial statements should be adjusted if events after the balance sheet date showed that a part of the enterprise was no longer a going concern. This requirement is withdrawn in `new' IAS 10 on the grounds that under IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements, the going concern assumption applies to an enterprise as a whole.)
The big change in `new' IAS 10 is that proposed dividends may no longer be recognised as liabilities if, as will normally be the case, they are proposed or declared after the balance sheet date.
IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements, requires the disclosure of proposed dividends and IAS 10 states that this disclosure may be given in one of two ways:
(a) by note;
(b) on the face of the balance sheet as a separate component of equity.
For examination purposes the disclosure by note will be simpler, unless the question specifies the use of the other method.
The requirements of IAS 10 (Revised)
are broadly the same as the previous version with the important exception of those for
proposed dividends, which are now to be treated as in the USA. (Under the original IAS
10, there was an option to recognise them as liabilities, which has now gone).
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