IASB issues interim standard on rate regulation

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30 Jan 2014

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published IFRS 14 'Regulatory Deferral Accounts'. This Standard is intended to allow entities that are first-time adopters of IFRS, and that currently recognise regulatory deferral accounts in accordance with their previous GAAP, to continue to do so upon transition to IFRS. The Standard is intended to be a short-term, interim solution while the longer term rate-regulated activities project is undertaken by the IASB. The IASB has stated that by publishing this Standard, they are not anticipating the outcome of the comprehensive rate-regulated activities project which is in its early stages.



In September 2012, the IASB started a comprehensive rate-regulated activities project, starting with a research phase to develop a Discussion Paper.  In December 2012, the IASB decided to add an additional phase to the rate-regulated activities project to develop this limited-scope Standard.

In April 2013, the IASB published the Exposure Draft ED/2013/5 Regulatory Deferral Accounts (the ‘ED’), with comments due by 4 September 2013. 

The IASB received comments on the ED which lead to some clarifications and edits, including additional disclosure requirements; however, the main proposals in the ED were not changed substantially in the final Standard.



Initial application of IFRS 14 must coincide with the application of IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards. This means, IFRS 14 cannot be applied by entities that have previously adopted IFRSs. Entities applying this interim standard must also meet specified eligibility criteria. Specifically, the entity has to conduct 'rate-regulated activities' (as defined by IFRS 14), and it must have recognised amounts that qualify as regulatory deferral account balances in its financial statements in accordance with its previous GAAP.


Overview of the key requirements

  • IFRS 14 requires the balances reflecting the effects of rate regulation to be described as “regulatory deferral account debit balances” and “regulatory deferral account credit balances” (collectively they are referred to as “regulatory deferral account balances”) and these balances cannot be referred to as, or presented with, assets and/or liabilities because  the determination of whether these balances meet the definition of assets or liabilities in the Conceptual Framework must be addressed as part of the IASB's comprehensive conceptual framework project
  • The effects of rate regulation must be separately presented in the statement of financial position and statement(s) of profit or loss and other comprehensive income, and the Standard provides illustrative examples of these presentation requirements
  • All assets and liabilities, balances and transactions have to comply with all other IFRS standards so the regulatory deferral account balances represent the effects of rate regulation only after the requirements of other IFRS standards have been met
  • IFRS 14 includes some specific guidance on how other Standards such as IAS 10 Events After the Reporting Period, IAS 12 Income Taxes, IAS 33 Earnings Per Share, IAS 36 Impairment of Assets, IFRS 3 Business Combinations and IFRS 5 Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations should be applied to regulatory deferral balances and/or movements in such balances
  • There are specific disclosure requirements to (a) enable users to evaluate the nature of, and the risks associated with, the specific rate regulation regime and (b) enable users to understand how the regulatory deferral account balances are recognised and measured both initially and subsequently.


Effective date and transition

The Standard can be applied in an entity's first annual IFRS financial statements for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016.  Earlier application is permitted. Application of the standard is voluntary. However, an entity that elects to apply the standard in its first IFRS financial statements continues to apply it in all its subsequent financial statements.


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