FRS 102: accounting policy choices

The accounting policy choices you use in FRS 102 could enable you to influence the strength of your balance sheet or simplify your accounting but be careful, because they may also create earnings volatility.

Borrowing costs

These may be capitalised as part of the cost of a qualifying asset or written off as incurred. A qualifying asset takes a substantial period of time to get ready for its intended use or sale and could be property, plant and equipment, investment properties or inventories. The policy must be applied consistently to each class of qualifying asset.

Development costs

These may be written off as incurred or capitalised if certain criteria are met. It must be clearly demonstrated that the criteria have been achieved. The policy must be applied consistently to all expenditure that meets the criteria.

Fixed assets

Each class of property, plant and equipment, heritage asset and intangible asset (other than goodwill and exploration and evaluation assets (EEA)) may be measured at fair value less depreciation and impairment losses. Gains and losses are recognised in a revaluation reserve or, in certain circumstances, profit and loss. Alternatively, these assets can be measured at depreciated cost less impairment losses.

Financial instruments

An entity can choose to apply FRS 102 or the recognition and measurement principles of its international equivalent IAS 39 (as adopted in the EU) or IFRS 9 and the disclosure requirements of FRS 102. Public benefit entities may measure all concessionary loans made or received initially at the amount received/paid or at fair value.

Government grants

Entities may apply the performance model or the accrual model on a class-by-class basis. Under the performance model income is only recognised when any performance conditions are met. With the accrual model, income is recognised on a systematic basis over the periods in which the entity recognises the related costs.

Leased property interests

A property interest held under an operating lease may be classified and accounted for as investment property if the property would otherwise meet the definition of an investment property and the lessee can measure the fair value of the property interest without undue cost or effort on an on-going basis. This option is available on a property-by-property basis.

For more information please get in touch with Danielle Stewart.