FRS 102 – potential transition pitfalls of new Irish GAAP – Part 2

FRS 102 – potential transition pitfalls of new Irish GAAP – Part 2

In this second article on transition, we consider some practical tips for applying the requirements of Section 35 (the transition section) of FRS 102.

The Financial Reporting Council issued a report called the Annual Review of Corporate Reporting 2015/2016 on 21 October 2016 encouraging smaller entities to ‘start their planning as soon as possible in order to ensure they are prepared for a smooth transition’.

The FRC stated that ‘small entities will also be applying FRS102 for the first time from 1 January 2016, which may pose some challenges for preparers, but should improve reporting in certain areas, as well as offering opportunities to reconsider the necessary disclosures.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that some of the larger private companies applying FRS 102 from 1 January 2015 could have started their planning for transition earlier; any entities yet to transition to new standards should start their planning as soon as possible to ensure they are prepared for a smooth transition.’

Here are some of the issues that may need close attention during the transition phase:

Dormant companies – make any changes before transition date

If any changes are planned that will affect the balances in dormant companies’ financial statements, it may be beneficial to make the changes before the date of transition. This should ensure that the company can take advantage of the exemption from restating its accounting policies.

Establish fair values at the appropriate time

Although it will often be possible to obtain fair values later, it will involve more effort and research than if the valuations are done as close as possible to the date to be reflected in the valuation.

Early identification of financial instruments

Make sure that contracts and agreements are reviewed to identify all financial instruments within your business at the earliest possible stage, including contracts such as derivatives that may not have previously been recognised on the balance sheet.

Some accounting options will be available only when the necessary steps have been taken by the transition date. Fair values are used extensively in the measurement of certain financial instruments (e.g. investment properties) and this information is gathered more easily at the time of transition than afterwards.

Keep contract terms basic wherever possible

Make sure all staff with responsibilities for negotiating contracts on behalf of the organisation, from sales and trade purchases to financing arrangements, are aware of the potential pitfalls associated with any unusual contract terms. It may be helpful to draw up a list of issues that need consideration or ensure prior approval before contracts are completed.

Modification of loan arrangements

When bank loans have been renegotiated under substantially different terms prior to the transition date, but there has not been a process of derecognizing the old liability and recognising a new one, the entity may apply the exemption in Section 35 to retain this treatment on transition.

However, this exemption does not apply if these renegotiations take place after the transition date, that is after 1 January 2015 for a calendar-year company. In such instances the comparative balance sheet will need restated.

Amortisation of intangible assets

When intangibles have previously been tested for impairment and not amortised, a remaining useful life will need to be established at the transition date. When the total estimated useful life of the intangible is estimated to be more than five years, reliable back-up evidence will be required to support the estimated total useful life and the remaining useful life at transition. This would often be available in the form of cash flow projections.

Translation of goodwill and fair value adjustments at closing rate

FRS 102 requires goodwill and fair value adjustments to be translated at the closing rate. This may differ from the current treatment as current Irish GAAP does not specify the rate to be used and therefore many entities have translated goodwill and fair value adjustments at the rate ruling at acquisition.


More on Parts of FRS 102 That Are Not Yet Applicable in the RoI

More on Parts of FRS 102 That Are Not Yet Applicable in the RoI

More on Parts of FRS 102 That Are Not Yet Applicable in the RoI

Following on last week’s blog piece about Section 1A Small Entities FRS 102, which as you know, does not yet apply in the Republic of Ireland (RoI).  There was an error in the blog which stated that charities that were formed as companies limited by guarantee were precluded from using the FRSSE (Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities). However, with the enactment of the Companies Act 2014, companies limited by guarantee may qualify as ‘small’ and may therefore use the FRSSE. Apologies for any confusion.

Meanwhile we would like to draw your attention to another matter in FRS 102. There are now twenty exemptions (where there were previously 18) in Section 35, which many companies will be trawling through, as they transition to FRS 102 for the first time.

Two additional exemptions in Section 35, namely 35.10 (u) ‘Small entities – fair value measurement of financial instruments’ and                 35.10 (v) ‘Small entities – financing transactions involving related parties’ . These exemptions were included in the September 2015 version of FRS 102, specifically for ‘small’ entities.

The exemptions give some relief from the amortised cost rule on, for example, directors’ loans, but companies in the Republic of Ireland cannot avail of them just yet, because the relevant company legislation underpinning these rules has not been enacted. Hopefully this will follow soon after the forthcoming election.

The mechanics of these exemptions is that they relate to comparative information only. Companies will have to account for the transactions in accordance with FRS 102 for the first reporting period that they are allowed adopt FRS 102 and make an adjustment to opening reserves at the beginning of the first reporting period (as opposed to the date of transition).

For more on FRS 102 see the following:

1. Updated Transition Checklist (February 2016 version), for more information please click here.

To assist you with the transition work – retails for €100+VAT and accompanied by free:

  • Template letter to clients

  • List of Main Differences between old GAAP and FRS 102

2. FRS 102 Training Course

To learn the latest developments in accounting and the related company law, come along to our FRS 102 Accounting Update on Tuesday 1 March 2016 at the Camden Court Hotel, Dublin 2. Places are limited and are filling steadily.

For booking details please click here.

3. FRS 102 Transition Service

Please ask us about our bespoke FRS 102 Transition Service where we will examine client accounts before/after transition and give you a tailored report explaining the issues arising and whether the transition has been successful or not. To enquire just send an e-mail to


Our next blog on Investment Properties and FRS 102 will follow next week.