Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Strategic Finance Notes - 3

Q.12 Explain the accounting standards for investments in brief.
1. This Statement deals with accounting for investments in the financial statements of enterprises and related disclosure requirements.

Shares, debentures and other securities held as stock-in-trade (i.e., for sale in the ordinary course of business) are not ‘investments’ as defined in this Statement. However, the manner in which they are accounted for and disclosed in the financial statements is quite similar to that applicable in respect of current investments. Accordingly, the provisions of this Statement, to the extent that they relate to current investments, are also applicable to shares, debentures and other securities held as stock-in-trade, with suitable modifications as specified in this Statement.
2. This Statement does not deal with:
a) the bases for recognition of interest, dividends and rentals earned on investments which are covered by Accounting Standard 9 on Revenue Recognition;
b) operating or finance leases;
c) investments of retirement benefit plans and life insurance enter­prises; and
d) mutual funds and/or the related asset management companies, banks and public financial institutions formed under a Central or State Government Act or so declared under the Companies Act, 1956.

The following terms are used in this Statement with the meanings assigned:

Investments are assets held by an enterprise for earning income by way of dividends, interest, and rentals, for capital apprecia­tion, or for other bene­fits to the investing enterprise. Assets held as stock-in-trade are not ‘investments’.

A current investment is an investment that is by its nature readily realisable and is intended to be held for not more than one year from the date on which such investment is made.
A long-term investment is an investment other than a current investment.
An investment property is an investment in land or buildings that are not intended to be occupied substantially for use by, or in the operations of, the investing enterprise.
Fair value is the amount for which an asset could be exchanged between a knowledgeable, willing buyer and a knowledgeable, willing seller in an arm’s length transaction. Under appropriate circumstances, market value or net realisable value provides an evidence of fair value.Market value is the amount obtainable from the sale of an invest­ment in an open market, net of expenses necessarily to be in­curred on or before disposal.

Forms of Investments
3. Enterprises hold investments for diverse reasons. For some enterprises, investment activity is a significant element of operations, and assessment of the performance of the enterprise may largely, or solely, depend on the reported results of this activity.
4. Some investments have no physical existence and are represented merely by certificates or similar documents (e.g., shares) while others exist in a physical form (e.g., buildings). The nature of an investment may be that of a debt, other than a short or long term loan or a trade debt, representing a monetary amount owing to the holder and usually bearing interest; alternatively, it may be a stake in the results and net assets of an enterprise such as an equity share. Most investments represent financial rights, but some are tangible, such as certain investments in land or buildings.
5. For some investments, an active market exists from which a market value can be established. For such investments, market value generally provides the best evidence of fair value. For other investments, an active market does not exist and other means are used to determine fair value.
Classification of Investments
6. Enterprises present financial statements that classify fixed assets, investments and current assets into separate categories. Investments are classified as long term investments and current investments. Current investments are in the nature of current assets, although the common practice may be to include them in investments.
7. Investments other than current investments are classified as long term investments, even though they may be readily marketable.
Cost of Investments
8. The cost of an investment includes acquisition charges such as brokerage, fees and duties.
9. If an investment is acquired, or partly acquired, by the issue of shares or other securities, the acquisition cost is the fair value of the securities issued (which, in appropriate cases, may be indicated by the issue price as determined by statutory authorities). The fair value may not necessarily be equal to the nominal or par value of the securities issued.
10. If an investment is acquired in exchange, or part exchange, for another asset, the acquisition cost of the investment is determined by reference to the fair value of the asset given up. It may be appropriate to consider the fair value of the investment acquired if it is more clearly evident.
11. Interest, dividends and rentals receivables in connection with an investment are generally regarded as income, being the return on the investment. However, in some circumstances, such inflows represent a recovery of cost and do not form part of income. For example, when unpaid interest has accrued before the acquisition of an interest-bearing investment and is therefore included in the price paid for the investment, the subsequent receipt of interest is allocated between pre-acquisition and post-acquisition periods; the pre-acquisition portion is deducted from cost. When dividends on equity are declared from pre-acquisition profits, a similar treatment may apply. If it is difficult to make such an allocation except on an arbitrary basis, the cost of investment is normally reduced by dividends receivable only if they clearly represent a recovery of a part of the cost.
12. When right shares offered are subscribed for, the cost of the right shares is added to the carrying amount of the original holding. If rights are not subscribed for but are sold in the market, the sale proceeds are taken to the profit and loss statement. However, where the investments are acquired on cum-right basis and the market value of investments immediately after their becoming ex-right is lower than the cost for which they were acquired, it may be appropriate to apply the sale proceeds of rights to reduce the carrying amount of such investments to the market value.
Carrying Amount of Investments
Current Investments
13. The carrying amount for current investments is the lower of cost and fair value. In respect of investments for which an active market exists, market value generally provides the best evidence of fair value. The valuation of current investments at lower of cost and fair value provides a prudent method of determining the carrying amount to be stated in the balance sheet.
14. Valuation of current investments on overall (or global) basis is not considered appropriate. Sometimes, the concern of an enterprise may be with the value of a category of related current investments and not with each individual investment, and accordingly the investments may be car­ried at the lower of cost and fair value computed categorywise (i.e. equity shares, preference shares, convertible debentures, etc.). However, the more prudent and appropriate method is to carry investments individual­ly at the lower of cost and fair value.
15. For current investments, any reduction to fair value and any rever­sals of such reductions are included in the profit and loss statement.
Carrying Amount of Investments
Long-term Investments
16. Long-term investments are usually carried at cost. However, when there is a decline, other than temporary, in the value of a long term investment, the carrying amount is reduced to recognise the decline. Indicators of the value of an investment are obtained by reference to its market value, the investee’s assets and results and the expected cash flows from the investment. The type and extent of the investor’s stake in the investee are also taken into account. Restrictions on distributions by the investee or on disposal by the investor may affect the value attributed to the investment.
17. Long-term investments are usually of individual importance to the investing enterprise. The carrying amount of long-term investments is therefore determined on an individual investment basis.
18. Where there is a decline, other than temporary, in the carrying amounts of long term investments, the resultant reduction in the carrying amount is charged to the profit and loss statement. The reduction in carrying amount is reversed when there is a rise in the value of the investment, or if the reasons for the reduction no longer exist.
Investment Properties
19. The cost of any shares in a co-operative society or a company, the holding of which is directly related to the right to hold the investment property, is added to the carrying amount of the investment property.
Disposal of Investments
20. On disposal of an investment, the difference between the carrying amount and the disposal proceeds, net of expenses, is recognised in the profit and loss statement.
21. When disposing of a part of the holding of an individual investment, the carrying amount to be allocated to that part is to be determined on the basis of the average carrying amount of the total holding of the investment.
Reclassification of Investments
22. Where long-term investments are reclassified as current invest­ments, transfers are made at the lower of cost and carrying amount at the date of transfer.
23. Where investments are reclassified from current to long-term, trans­fers are made at the lower of cost and fair value at the date of transfer.
24. The following disclosures in financial statements in relation to investments are appropriate:—
a) the accounting policies for the determination of carrying amount of investments;
b) the amounts included in profit and loss statement for:
i) interest, dividends (showing separately dividends from sub­sidiary companies), and rentals on investments showing separately such income from long term and current invest­ments. Gross income should be stated, the amount of income tax deducted at source being included under Advance Taxes Paid;
ii) profits and losses on disposal of current investments and changes in carrying amount of such investments;
iii) profits and losses on disposal of long term investments and changes in the carrying amount of such investments;
c) significant restrictions on the right of ownership, realisability of investments or the remittance of income and proceeds of disposal;
d) the aggregate amount of quoted and unquoted investments, giving the aggregate market value of quoted investments;
e) other disclosures as specifically required by the relevant statute governing the enterprise.

Q.13 Explain the accounting standards for inventories in brief.
Ans Objective
A primary issue in accounting for inventories is the determination of the value at which inventories are carried in the financial statements until the related revenues are recognised. This Statement deals with the determination of such value, including the ascertainment of cost of inventories and any write-down thereof to net realisable value.

1. This Statement should be applied in accounting for inventories other than:
a) work in progress arising under construction contracts, including directly related service contracts (see Accounting Standard (AS) 7, Accounting for Construction Contracts);
b) work in progress arising in the ordinary course of business of service providers;
c) shares, debentures and other financial instruments held as stock-in-trade; and
d) producers’ inventories of livestock, agricultural and forest products, and mineral oils, ores and gases to the extent that they are measured at net realisable value in accordance with well established practices in those industries.

2. The inventories referred to in paragraph 1 (d) are measured at net realisable value at certain stages of production. This occurs, for example, when agricultural crops have been harvested or mineral oils, ores and gases have been extracted and sale is assured under a forward contract or a government guarantee, or when a homogenous market exists and there is a negligible risk of failure to sell. These inventories are excluded from the scope of this Statement.

3. The following terms are used in this Statement with the meanings specified:
Inventories are assets:
a. held for sale in the ordinary course of business;
b. in the process of production for such sale; or
c. in the form of materials or supplies to be consumed in the production process or in the rendering of services.

Net realisable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business less the estimated costs of completion and the estimated costs necessary to make the sale.

4. Inventories encompass goods purchased and held for resale, for example, merchandise purchased by a retailer and held for resale, computer software held for resale, or land and other property held for resale. Inventories also encompass finished goods produced, or work in progress being produced, by the enterprise and include materials, maintenance supplies, consumables and loose tools awaiting use in the production process. Inventories do not include machinery spares which can be used only in connection with an item of fixed asset and whose use is expected to be irregular; such machinery spares are accounted for in accordance with Accounting Standard (AS) 10, Accounting for Fixed Assets.

Measurement of Inventories
5. Inventories should be valued at the lower of cost and net realisable value.

Cost of Inventories
6. The cost of inventories should comprise all costs of purchase, costs of conversion and other costs incurred in bringing the inventories to their present location and condition.

Costs of Purchase
7. The costs of purchase consist of the purchase price including duties and taxes (other than those subsequently recoverable by the enterprise from the taxing authorities), freight inwards and other expenditure directly attributable to the acquisition. Trade discounts, rebates, duty drawbacks and other similar items are deducted in determining the costs of purchase.

Costs of Conversion
8. The costs of conversion of inventories include costs directly related to the units of production, such as direct labour. They also include a systematic allocation of fixed and variable production overheads that are incurred in converting materials into finished goods. Fixed production overheads are those indirect costs of production that remain relatively constant regardless of the volume of production, such as depreciation and maintenance of factory buildings and the cost of factory management and administration. Variable production overheads are those indirect costs of production that vary directly, or nearly directly, with the volume of production, such as indirect materials and indirect labour.
9. The allocation of fixed production overheads for the purpose of their inclusion in the costs of conversion is based on the normal capacity of the production facilities. Normal capacity is the production expected to be achieved on an average over a number of periods or seasons under normal circumstances, taking into account the loss of capacity resulting from planned maintenance. The actual level of production may be used if it approximates normal capacity. The amount of fixed production overheads allocated to each unit of production is not increased as a consequence of low production or idle plant. Unallocated overheads are recognised as an expense in the period in which they are incurred. In periods of abnormally high production, the amount of fixed production overheads allocated to each unit of production is decreased so that inventories are not measured above cost. Variable production overheads are assigned to each unit of production on the basis of the actual use of the production facilities.

10. A production process may result in more than one product being produced simultaneously. This is the case, for example, when joint products are produced or when there is a main product and a by-product. When the costs of conversion of each product are not separately identifiable, they are allocated between the products on a rational and consistent basis. The allocation may be based, for example, on the relative sales value of each product either at the stage in the production process when the products become separately identifiable, or at the completion of production. Most by-products as well as scrap or waste materials, by their nature, are immaterial. When this is the case, they are often measured at net realisable value and this value is deducted from the cost of the main product. As a result, the carrying amount of the main product is not materially different from its cost.

Other Costs
11. Other costs are included in the cost of inventories only to the extent that they are incurred in bringing the inventories to their present location and condition. For example, it may be appropriate to include overheads other than production overheads or the costs of designing products for specific customers in the cost of inventories.
12. Interest and other borrowing costs are usually considered as not relating to bringing the inventories to their present location and condition and are, therefore, usually not included in the cost of inventories.

Exclusions from the Cost of Inventories
13. In determining the cost of inventories in accordance with paragraph 6, it is appropriate to exclude certain costs and recognise them as expenses in the period in which they are incurred. Examples of such costs are:
a. abnormal amounts of wasted materials, labour, or other production costs;
b. storage costs, unless those costs are necessary in the production process prior to a further production stage;
c. administrative overheads that do not contribute to bringing the inventories to their present location and condition; and
d. selling and distribution costs.

Cost Formulas
14. The cost of inventories of items that are not ordinarily interchangeable and goods or services produced and segregated for specific projects should be assigned by specific identification of their individual costs.
15. Specific identification of cost means that specific costs are attributed to identified items of inventory. This is an appropriate treatment for items that are segregated for a specific project, regardless of whether they have been purchased or produced. However, when there are large numbers of items of inventory which are ordinarily interchangeable, specific identification of costs is inappropriate since, in such circumstances, an enterprise could obtain predetermined effects on the net profit or loss for the period by selecting a particular method of ascertaining the items that remain in inventories.
16. The cost of inventories, other than those dealt with in paragraph 14, should be assigned by using the first-in, first-out (FIFO), or weighted average cost formula. The formula used should reflect the fairest possible approximation to the cost incurred in bringing the items of inventory to their present location and condition.
17. A variety of cost formulas is used to determine the cost of inventories other than those for which specific identification of individual costs is appropriate. The formula used in determining the cost of an item of inventory needs to be selected with a view to providing the fairest possible approximation to the cost incurred in bringing the item to its present location and condition. The FIFO formula assumes that the items of inventory which were purchased or produced first are consumed or sold first, and consequently the items remaining in inventory at the end of the period are those most recently purchased or produced. Under the weighted average cost formula, the cost of each item is determined from the weighted average of the cost of similar items at the beginning of a period and the cost of similar items purchased or produced during the period. The average may be calculated on a periodic basis, or as each additional shipment is received, depending upon the circumstances of the enterprise.

Techniques for the Measurement of Cost
18. Techniques for the measurement of the cost of inventories, such as the standard cost method or the retail method, may be used for convenience if the results approximate the actual cost. Standard costs take into account normal levels of consumption of materials and supplies, labour, efficiency and capacity utilisation. They are regularly reviewed and, if necessary, revised in the light of current conditions.
19. The retail method is often used in the retail trade for measuring inventories of large numbers of rapidly changing items that have similar margins and for which it is impracticable to use other costing methods. The cost of the inventory is determined by reducing from the sales value of the inventory the appropriate percentage gross margin. The percentage used takes into consideration inventory which has been marked down to below its original selling price. An average percentage for each retail department is often used.

Net Realisable Value
20. The cost of inventories may not be recoverable if those inventories are damaged, if they have become wholly or partially obsolete, or if their selling prices have declined. The cost of inventories may also not be recoverable if the estimated costs of completion or the estimated costs necessary to make the sale have increased. The practice of writing down inventories below cost to net realisable value is consistent with the view that assets should not be carried in excess of amounts expected to be realised from their sale or use.
21. Inventories are usually written down to net realisable value on an item-by-item basis. In some circumstances, however, it may be appropriate to group similar or related items. This may be the case with items of inventory relating to the same product line that have similar purposes or end uses and are produced and marketed in the same geographical area and cannot be practicably evaluated separately from other items in that product line. It is not appropriate to write down inventories based on a classification of inventory, for example, finished goods, or all the inventories in a particular business segment.
22. Estimates of net realisable value are based on the most reliable evidence available at the time the estimates are made as to the amount the inventories are expected to realise. These estimates take into consideration fluctuations of price or cost directly relating to events occurring after the balance sheet date to the extent that such events confirm the conditions existing at the balance sheet date.
23. Estimates of net realisable value also take into consideration the purpose for which the inventory is held. For example, the net realisable value of the quantity of inventory held to satisfy firm sales or service contracts is based on the contract price. If the sales contracts are for less than the inventory quantities held, the net realisable value of the excess inventory is based on general selling prices. Contingent losses on firm sales contracts in excess of inventory quantities held and contingent losses on firm purchase contracts are dealt with in accordance with the principles enunciated in Accounting Standard (AS) 4, Contingencies and Events Occurring After the Balance Sheet Date.
24. Materials and other supplies held for use in the production of inventories are not written down below cost if the finished products in which they will be incorporated are expected to be sold at or above cost. However, when there has been a decline in the price of materials and it is estimated that the cost of the finished products will exceed net realisable value, the materials are written down to net realisable value. In such circumstances, the replacement cost of the materials may be the best available measure of their net realisable value.
25. An assessment is made of net realisable value as at each balance sheet date.

26. The financial statements should disclose:
a. the accounting policies adopted in measuring inventories, including the cost formula used; and
b. he total carrying amount of inventories and its classification appropriate to the enterprise.

27. Information about the carrying amounts held in different classifications of inventories and the extent of the changes in these assets is useful to financial statement users. Common classifications of inventories are raw materials and components, work in progress, finished goods, stores and spares, and loose tools.

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