IAS 36 – Impairment of Assets is a significant accounting standard that plays a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of financial statements. Here’s an engaging explanation tailored for accounting and finance professionals:


  1. Objective of IAS 36: The primary goal of IAS 36 is to ensure that assets are not carried at more than their recoverable amount. An asset’s recoverable amount is the higher of its fair value less costs of disposal and its value in use. This standard seeks to prevent overstatement of assets’ values on the balance sheet, which can mislead stakeholders about the financial health of an entity.


  1. When to Test for Impairment: An impairment test is required when there are indicators that an asset may be impaired, such as significant changes in market value, adverse changes in technology or market economy, or evidence of obsolescence or physical damage. The test is also mandatory annually for goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite useful lives.


  1. Calculating the Recoverable Amount: This involves determining the higher of an asset’s fair value less costs to sell and its value in use. The fair value less costs to sell refers to the amount obtainable from the sale of an asset in an arm’s length transaction. The value in use is the present value of the future cash flows expected to be derived from the asset.


  1. Recognizing and Measuring Impairment Losses: If the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its recoverable amount, the difference is recognized as an impairment loss. This loss is reported in the profit and loss account, reducing the carrying amount of the asset on the balance sheet to its recoverable amount.


  1. Reversal of Impairment Losses: If the reasons for a previous impairment loss have ceased to exist, IAS 36 allows for the reversal of such losses. However, the increased carrying amount cannot exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined had no impairment loss been recognized in prior years.


  1. Disclosure Requirements: Entities must disclose information about the impairments and reversals, including the amount of the impairment or reversal, the events leading to the recognition, and the segment of the business affected.


For accounting and finance professionals, understanding and applying IAS 36 is crucial for accurate financial reporting and compliance. It helps in maintaining the integrity of financial statements and ensuring that the assets are valued correctly, providing a true and fair view of an entity’s financial position to its stakeholders.

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