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FRC publishes thematic review findings on financial reporting effects of COVID-19

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Jul 21, 2020

On July 21, 2020, the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published the results of a thematic review looking at company reporting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The review found that some – particularly interim reports - would have benefited from more extensive disclosure

The review analyzed a sample of March 2020 interim and annual reports and accounts and found that although companies provided suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion to enable a user to un­der­stand the impact COVID-19 had on their per­for­mance, position and future prospects, some - par­tic­u­larly interim reports - would have benefited from more extensive dis­clo­sure.

The FRC reminds companies that they should: 
 

  • explain the sig­nif­i­cant judge­ments and estimates made in preparing their accounts and provide mean­ing­ful sen­si­tiv­ity analysis or details of a range of possible outcomes to support any disclosed es­ti­ma­tion un­cer­tainty;
  • describe any sig­nif­i­cant judge­ments made in de­ter­min­ing whether there is a material un­cer­tainty about their ability to continue as a going concern;
  • ensure that as­sump­tions used in de­ter­min­ing whether the company is a going concern are com­pat­i­ble with as­sump­tions used in other areas of the financial state­ments;
  • apply the re­quire­ments of IAS 1 to any ex­cep­tional or similar items, with income statement sub-to­tals com­pris­ing only items recog­nized and measured in ac­cor­dance with IFRS;
  • apply existing accounting policies for ex­cep­tional and other similar items to COVID-19 related income and ex­pen­di­ture con­sis­tently and should not split income and expenses between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 financial statement captions ar­bi­trar­ily; and
  • prepare interim reports that provide suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion to explain the impact that COVID-19 has had on their per­for­mance, position and future prospects.

For further details, refer to the FRC press release and the Review Report.

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