Secrets Revealed: How IFRS 18 is Shaking Up Financial Reporting

Feb 23, 2024by Eduyush Team

IFRS 18: Navigating the Future of Financial Reporting

The landscape of financial reporting is on the brink of a significant transformation with the anticipated introduction of IFRS 18 by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Expected to be published in April 2024, IFRS 18 will set new precedents in presenting and disclosing financial statements, replacing the longstanding IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements. 

This upcoming standard promises to enhance the comparability of financial performance across entities, which will invariably impact how organizations report their financial outcomes.

At a glance

  • Standardizes financial reporting for consistency. Replaces IAS 1
  • Introduces categorized income and expenses.
  • Mandates sub-totals in profit or loss.
  • Refines disclosures and management performance measures.
  • Effective from Jan 1, 2027; requires preparation for enhanced transparency."

What's Driving the Transformation in IFRS 18?

IFRS 18 why the change

The inception of IFRS 18 is driven by the need to address inconsistencies in financial reporting, mainly how entities present and define operating profits and management performance measures. 

These variances have historically made comparing financial performance across different organizations challenging. 

IFRS 18 aims to rectify this by standardizing the classification of income and expenses into distinct categories and introducing mandatory sub-totals in the profit or loss statement. These changes promise to streamline financial reporting and enhance transparency.

Unveiling IFRS 18: The Game-Changing Shift in Classification and Disclosure You Can't Miss

Classification of Income and Expenses

Under IFRS 18, income and expenses will be classified into five distinct categories:

  • Investing
  • Financing
  • Income tax
  • Discontinued operations
  • Operating (a residual category for items not fitting the above classifications)

This new categorization aims to foster consistency across financial statements. However, it's crucial to note that this does not directly align with the categories in the statement of cash flows as mandated by IAS 7.

Mandatory Sub-totals in Profit or Loss

IFRS 18 introduces two mandatory sub-totals in the profit or loss statement: Operating Profit or Loss and Profit or Loss Before Financing and Income Tax. These requirements aim to provide a clearer picture of an entity's financial performance, aligning with the standard's goal of improving comparability.

IFRS 18 introduces two mandatory sub-totals:

  • Operating profit or loss
  • Profit or loss before financing and income tax

These additions are designed to provide more precise insights into an entity's financial performance beyond what current non-IFRS information might offer.

Read and listen to a lecture on the regulatory framework on IFRS

Enhanced Aggregation and Disaggregation

The standard will enforce stricter rules on how items are aggregated or disaggregated in financial statements, ensuring that material items are adequately separated and that the use of generic labels like 'other' is minimized.

Amendments to IAS 7

A notable change under IFRS 18 is its impact on the statement of cash flows. Entities using the indirect method will now start with the Operating Profit subtotal as the basis for reporting cash flows from operating activities. This alignment ensures a consistent approach to reporting cash flows, further enhancing the comparability and understanding of financial statements.

Learn the difference between conceptual framework and accounting standards

Refined Disclosures and Disaggregation under IFRS 18

IFRS 18 removes the requirement to present each material class of similar items separately, focusing instead on the disaggregation of items to produce helpful information. The standard introduces stricter requirements for aggregation and disaggregation, ensuring that financial statements provide a detailed and structured summary of an entity's financial activities. This approach aims to balance the need for detailed information with the overarching goal of clarity and usefulness.

Disadvantages of IFRS

Addressing Management Performance Measures

The proliferation of alternative performance measures has often led to confusion among stakeholders. IFRS 18 seeks to clarify this area by defining management-defined performance measures and setting specific disclosure requirements for these measures. By doing so, IFRS 18 ensures that entities communicate their financial performance more transparently, providing stakeholders with a clearer understanding of the financial metrics that management deems most relevant.

Updated IFRS standards list

Specific Disclosure Requirements

Entities must disclose detailed information about management-defined performance measures, including their calculation, relevance, and a reconciliation to the most directly comparable IFRS-specified subtotal or total. These disclosures must be included in a single note within the financial statements, ensuring stakeholders can access comprehensive information about how management views the entity's financial performance.

Implications and Preparations for the Future

With an effective date projected for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2027, entities can adapt to the new requirements. The transition to IFRS 18 represents an opportunity for entities to refine their financial reporting processes, enhancing financial information's accuracy, comparability, and transparency.

As the implementation date approaches, entities must assess the impact of IFRS 18 on their reporting systems and processes, making necessary adjustments to ensure compliance. The introduction of IFRS 18 marks a significant milestone in the evolution of financial reporting, promising to bring about a new era of transparency and comparability in financial statements globally.

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