April 2016 Guidance On The Going Concern Basis Of . PDF

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Cover.qxd14/04/201615:14Page 1GuidanceAccounting and ReportingFinancial Reporting CouncilApril 2016Guidance on the Going ConcernBasis of Accounting and Reportingon Solvency and Liquidity RisksGuidance for directors of companiesthat do not apply The UK CorporateGovernance CodeFurther copies, 13.00 (post-free) can be obtained from:FRC PublicationsLexis House30 Farringdon StreetLondonEC4A 4HHTel: 0845 370 1234Email: [email protected] order online at: www.frcpublications.com

Cover.qxd08/04/201615:49Page 2The FRC is responsible for promoting high quality corporategovernance and reporting to foster investment. We set theUK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes as wellas UK standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial work.We represent UK interests in international standard-setting.We also monitor and take action to promote the qualityof corporate reporting and auditing. We operate independentdisciplinary arrangements for accountants and actuaries,and oversee the regulatory activities of the accountancyand actuarial professional bodies.The FRC does not accept any liability to any party for any loss, damage orcosts howsoever arising, whether directly or indirectly, whether in contract,tort or otherwise from any action or decision taken (or not taken) as a resultof any person relying on or otherwise using this document or arising fromany omission from it. The Financial Reporting Council Limited 2016The Financial Reporting Council Limited is a company limited by guarantee.Registered in England number 2486368. Registered Office:8th Floor, 125 London Wall, London EC2Y 5AS

Financial Reporting CouncilApril 2016Guidance on the Going ConcernBasis of Accounting and Reportingon Solvency and Liquidity RisksGuidance for directors of companiesthat do not apply The UK CorporateGovernance Code

ContentsSummary11Scope42Overview63Going concern basis of accounting and material uncertainties74Solvency and liquidity risks125The assessment process166Materiality and placement of disclosures207Auditor reporting22Appendix: Application to other reports25Financial Reporting Council

Guidance on the Going Concern Basis of Accounting and Reporting on Solvency and Liquidity Risks (April 2016)

SummaryThe Financial Reporting Council’s mission is to promote high quality corporate governance andreporting to foster investment. Ensuring that a business is able to continue over the longer terminvolves an assessment of the solvency and liquidity risks that a company faces. Directors mustalso assess whether the going concern basis of accounting is appropriate. The process shouldinform clear and concise financial reporting disclosures that enable investors to understand acompany’s exposure to these risks.BackgroundIn June 2012, the Panel of the Sharman Inquiry published its Final Report andRecommendations on Going Concern and Liquidity Risk.1 The key elements of therecommendations from the Panel included:.clarification of the accounting and stewardship purposes of the going concern assessmentand disclosure process and the related thresholds for such disclosures;.encouraging companies to move away from a model where disclosures about goingconcern risks are only highlighted when there are significant doubts about a company’ssurvival; and.a review of the FRC’s Going Concern and Liquidity Risk: Guidance for Directors of UKCompanies 2009 to ensure that the going concern assessment is integrated with thedirectors’ business planning and risk management processes and includes a focus onboth solvency and liquidity risks, considering the possible impacts on the business overthe longer term.The FRC published two consultation papers seeking views on the implementation of theSharman recommendations. For those companies within the scope of The UK CorporateGovernance Code (the ‘Code’), the FRC decided to take forward the implementation of therecommendations of the Sharman Panel as part of its September 2014 update to the Code.2 Italso published supporting Guidance on Risk Management, Internal Control and RelatedFinancial and Business Reporting.3In response to the feedback received, the FRC took the decision to issue separate, simplifiedguidance for directors of companies that do not apply the Code. The FRC consulted on draftguidance during 2015 and now issues the guidance in final form.123A copy of the report is available at t.aspx.A copy of the UK Corporate Governance Code is available at df.A copy of the guidance is available at al-Control-and.pdf.Financial Reporting Council 1

Aims of the guidanceThe guidance is intended to serve as a proportionate and practical guide for directors of nonCode companies. It brings together the requirements of company law, accounting standards,auditing standards, other regulation and existing FRC guidance relating to reporting on thegoing concern basis of accounting, and solvency and liquidity risks and reflects developmentsin the FRC’s thinking as a consequence of the Sharman Inquiry. It incorporates recentdevelopments in the corporate reporting framework, most notably the introduction of new UKand Ireland GAAP and the strategic report. It includes:.factors to consider when determining whether the going concern basis of accounting isappropriate (section 3) and making an assessment of the solvency and liquidity risksfacing a company that might constitute principal risks for disclosure in the strategic report(section 4);.guidance on the assessment periods for the going concern basis of accounting (section 3)and those risks (section 4);.guidance on the assessment process (section 5); and.summaries of related reporting requirements (sections 3 and 4).The guidance:.encourages directors to take a broader view, over the longer term, of the risks anduncertainties that go beyond the specific requirements in accounting standards;.acknowledges that companies will have risk management and control processes in placethat will underpin the assessment and that the degree of formality of this process willdepend on the size, complexity and the particular circumstances of the company; and.uses the term ‘going concern’ only in the context of referring to the going concern basis ofaccounting for the preparation of financial statements.This guidance replaces the FRC’s Going Concern and Liquidity Risk: Guidance for Directors ofUK Companies 2009 and An Update for Directors of Companies that Adopt the FinancialReporting Standard for Smaller Entities (FRSSE): Going Concern and Financial Reporting.2Guidance on the Going Concern Basis of Accounting and Reporting on Solvency and Liquidity Risks (April 2016)

How to use this guidanceThe guidance is structured as follows:Summary of requirementsThis information is intended to summarise important aspects of law, accounting standards4or other regulation that underpin the guidance. It is not intended to be a comprehensiveanalysis of those requirements.The guidance uses the terms ‘required to’ or ‘must’ to refer to mandatory requirementsderived from law, accounting standards or other regulation (considering the scope for thetype of company as set out in the table in section 1).Principles for best practiceThe guidance highlights principles for best practice, to assist directors with the practicalapplication of the requirements set out in law, accounting standards or other regulation,applied proportionately depending on the size, complexity or the particular circumstancesof the company.The guidance uses the term ‘should’ to refer to best practice guidance.Key focus areaFor ease of use, the guidance highlights key focus areas for directors to consider whenmaking their assessments of the appropriateness of the going concern basis of accountingand the solvency and liquidity risks facing the company.ExamplePractical examples are included. These examples are intended to be illustrative only andmay not be appropriate for all companies and circumstances.4The references in this document are to accounting standards that were effective at the date of publication of this guidance.Financial Reporting Council 3

1Scope1.1This guidance is non-mandatory, best practice guidance to assist the directors of allcompanies5 within its scope with the application of the requirements:.to make disclosures on the going concern basis of accounting and materialuncertainties in their financial statements; and.disclose principal risks and uncertainties, which may include risks that might impactsolvency and liquidity, within their strategic report.1.2Companies that are required or choose voluntarily to apply The UK CorporateGovernance Code6 are excluded from the scope of this guidance.1.3Small and micro-companies must assess whether the going concern basis ofaccounting is appropriate in preparing their financial statements. However, they areexcluded from the scope of this guidance on the basis that:1.4564.micro-companies applying FRS 105 The Financial Reporting Standard applicableto the Micro-entities Regime are not required to provide any disclosures on thegoing concern basis of accounting, as their financial statements are presumed, inlaw, to give a true and fair view if the (minimal) legal disclosure requirements aremet;.small companies applying Section 1A Small Entities of FRS 102 The FinancialReporting Standard applicable in the UK and the Republic of Ireland are notrequired to provide disclosures on the going concern basis of accounting, althoughtheir directors are encouraged to provide such disclosures, where appropriate, inmeeting their responsibility to prepare financial statements that give a true and fairview; and.they are not required to prepare a strategic report.The table overleaf sets out the requirements for each type of company, highlighting thesections of the guidance that may assist directors in meeting those requirements. Forcompleteness it includes small and micro-companies, although the guidance has notbeen written with these companies in mind.For simplicity, this guidance uses the terms ‘director’ and ‘company’. However, the guidance is also likely to be relevant to otherentities.Companies applying The UK Corporate Governance Code should refer to the FRC’s Guidance on Risk Management, InternalControl and Related Financial and Business Reporting, available on the FRC website. More complex and other publicly tradedentities that are not required to apply The UK Corporate Governance Code may also wish to refer to this as an alternative sourceof guidance.Guidance on the Going Concern Basis of Accounting and Reporting on Solvency and Liquidity Risks (April 2016)

Main requirementsSource ofrequirementsMicroentity7SmallcompanyLarge ormediumsizedcompanyAssessment of theappropriateness of thegoing concern basis ofaccountingFRS 105, 3.3FRS 102, 3.8IAS 1, 25PPP3.1 to 3.6Disclosure when there arematerial uncertainties orwhen the company doesnot prepare financialstatements on a goingconcern basis ofaccountingFRS 102, 3.9IAS 1, 25668P3.7 to 3.8Additional disclosures thatmay be required to give atrue and fair viewCompaniesAct 2006,s39367PP3.9 to 3.10Other relevant financialstatement disclosuresFRS 102IFRS 7IAS 1IAS 3766P4.10 to 4.11CompaniesAct 2006,s414C(2)(b)6969P4.1 to 4.9GuidanceparagraphreferenceFinancial statements8Strategic reportThe strategic report mustcontain a description ofthe principal risks anduncertainties facing thecompany789Companies Act 2006, section 393(1A). The financial statements of micro-entities comprising only micro-entity minimumaccounting items are presumed in law to give a true and fair view.There is no explicit requirement in the Companies Act 2006 or FRS 102 for companies entitled to prepare accounts inaccordance with the small companies regime to report on the going concern basis of accounting and material uncertainties.However, directors of small companies are required to make such disclosures that are necessary for the financial statements toprovide a true and fair view. Appendix D to Section 1A of FRS 102 encourages the inclusion of disclosures on materialuncertainties in order to meet this requirement.Companies Act 2006, section 414B. There is no requirement for companies that are entitled to prepare accounts in accordancewith the small companies regime to prepare a strategic report.Financial Reporting Council 5

2Overview2.1This guidance considers the related requirements in:.accounting standards which require disclosure in the financial statements on thegoing concern basis of accounting and material uncertainties; and.company law which requires disclosure in the strategic report of principal risks anduncertainties, which may include risks that might impact solvency and liquidity.2.2Some solvency and liquidity risks may be so significant that they highlight materialuncertainties that may cast significant doubt on a company’s ability to adopt the goingconcern basis of accounting in the future; these material uncertainties must be disclosedin accordance with the requirements of accounting standards. In extremecircumstances, such risks may crystallise thus making liquidation of the companyinevitable and the going concern basis of accounting inappropriate.2.3A company faces many risks. The principal risks and uncertainties are required to bedisclosed in the strategic report. Of these, some may have the potential to threaten thecompany’s ability to continue in operation because of their impact on solvency andliquidity.Determining the relevant disclosures2.46The process for determining which disclosures are necessary includes:.identification of risks and uncertainties, including those relating to solvency andliquidity and other potential threats to the company’s ability to continue in operation;.determining which of the identified risks and uncertainties are ‘principal’ andthereby require disclosure in the strategic report;.considering whether there are material uncertainties that require disclosure inaccordance with accounting standards;.in extreme circumstances, considering whether it is inappropriate to adopt thegoing concern basis of accounting; and.considering whether disclosures additional to those explicitly required by law,regulation or accounting standards are necessary for the financial statements toprovide a true and fair view.Guidance on the Going Concern Basis of Accounting and Reporting on Solvency and Liquidity Risks (April 2016)

3Going concern basis of accounting and material uncertaintiesAssessmentAdoption of the going concern basis of accountingSummary of requirementsAll companies must assess the appropriateness of the going concern basis of accountingwhen preparing their financial statements.Companies are required to adopt the going concern basis of ac

accounting items are presumed in law to give a true and fair view. 8 There is no explicit requirement in the Companies Act 2006 or FRS 102 for companies entitled to prepare accounts in accordance with the small companies regime to report on the going concern basis of accounting and material uncertainties. However, directors of small companies are required to make such disclosures that are ...