INTRODUCTION

COVID-19, an infectious disease caused by a novel Coronavirus is exponentially spreading illness and causing deaths to citizens throughout the globe and has been recognized as a global pandemic by the WHO. COVID-19 has not only affected the health of people across the globe and it has also caused severe disturbances in the global economic environment which has consequential impact on financial statements and reporting.

The adverse impact of this global pandemic can vary from nation to nation, industry to industry and above all entity to entity. As the companies in India approach their year-end, there is an urgent need to evaluate the impacts of the outbreak on their accounting and financial reporting. In this regard ICAI issued an advisory to provide light on some important requirements of Indian Accounting standards (IND AS) and Accounting standards (AS) to be considered by preparers of financial statements on how to incorporate effect of COVID 19 on financial statements for the year ending 31/03/2020.

 Some of the key accounting and financial reporting considerations for the companies are explained below.

1. GOING CONCERN ASSESSMENT

The Financial statements are normally prepared on the assumption that an entity is a going concern and will continue in operation for the foreseeable future. In this regard Management would need to assess whether the current events and conditions cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

While assessing that whether any entity is going concern or not, management should consider all available information about future for at least the period of next 12 months from the end of reporting period. If management decides that due to impact of COVID 19 entity intends to liquidate the entity or cease its business after the end of reporting period, then accounts shall not be prepared on going concern basis. Necessary disclosures as per Accounting Standards shall also be made, such as material uncertainties that might cast significant doubt upon an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.

2. INVENTORY MEASUREMENT

Due to COVID 19 there is a decline in sales, decline in selling price which might lead to obsolescence of inventory and reduction in movement of inventory. Hence management are advised to consider writing off inventory to its Net Realisable Value i.e. NRV. Accounting Standards also provide light on allocation of fixed production overheads on the basis of normal production capacity. The amount of fixed overhead 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.

All organizations are required to assess the disclosures due to write down of inventory as per applicable Accounting Standards.

3. LEASES

(a) If there are any revision in lease terms and agreement due to COVID 19 such as concession with respect to lease payments etc, these revisions must be incorporated. (anticipated revisions are not to be incorporated).

(b) Discount rate used to determine the present value of new lease liabilities may need to incorporate any risk associated with COVID-19.

(c) If Government grant any compensation to lessor in order to provide concession to lessee. It is advised to consider whether same is to be accounted for as lease modification under IND AS 116 or whether consider assistance received from government as grants under IND AS 20.

(d) Check whether discount rate used to discount value of lease liabilities include the effect of risk of COVID 19.

(e) Check whether any lease contracts have become onerous due to COVID 19.

All the entities on whom AS 19 is applicable need to examine all the same situations as mentioned in IND AS 116 but with respect to AS 19. If any contracts have become onerous, such contracts need to be accounted under AS 29.

4. REVENUE

Entities may have to disclose any impact of COVID 19 on nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue as per applicable Accounting Standards. When estimating the amount of revenue to be recognized, factors like increase in sale return, high price discounts etc due to COVID 19 need to be considered. Also, they should consider related impact on recoverability of trade receivables including estimate of expected credit losses.

Such entities might need to defer the recognition of revenue due to collection uncertainty as a result of impacts of COVID 19. Disclosure of such deferment shall also be made according to AS 9.

5. PROVISIONS, CONTIGENT LIABILITIES AND CONTIGENT ASSETS 

Entities covered under IND AS 37

(a) Some contracts are bound to become onerous due to COVID 19. If any such contracts are found they should be recognized as per IND AS 37. Before recognizing onerous contract, all assets dedicated to such contracts should be tested for impairment. (Onerous contracts are those contracts in which unavoidable cost of meeting obligation is more than the benefit to be achieved from the contract). It is also advised to disclose if any executory contracts are converted to onerous due to impacts of COVID 19.

(b) Insurance claims may be recorded by entities only if the insurance companies have accepted the claim and recovery is virtually certain.

Due to COVID 19, judgement need to be applied in ascertaining provisions for losses and claims.

Entities covered under AS 29

If any contracts are converted into onerous due to COVID 19, then such contracts need to be recognized as per AS 29. If any executory contracts are converted into onerous then such contracts shall be disclosed. If management in unable to analyse whether executory contract is converted to onerous or not due to unavailability of information, then such contracts shall be disclosed as well.

6. INCOME TAXES

COVID-19 could affect future profits and/or may also reduce the amount of deferred tax liabilities and/or create additional deductible temporary differences due to various factors. Entities with deferred tax assets should reassess forecasted profits and the recoverability of deferred tax assets in accordance with Ind AS or AS as applicable on entity, considering the additional uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 and the steps being taken by the management to control it.

7. PROPERTY PLANT AND EQUIPMENT (PPE) 

Ind AS 16 and AS 10 require that useful life and residual life of PPE needs revision in annual basis. It may be noted that the standards require depreciation charge even if the PPE remains idle. Further, COVID-19 impact may have affected the expected useful life and residual life of PPE.

The management may review the residual value and the useful life of an asset due to COVID-19 and, if expectations differ from previous estimates, it is appropriate to account for the change(s) as an accounting estimate in accordance with Ind AS 8 or AS 5 whichever applicable on the entity

8. POST BALANCE SHEET EVENTS

Entities must disclose significant recognition and measurement uncertainties that might have been created by the outbreak of the COVID -19 in measuring various assets and liabilities. They should also disclose how they have dealt with the impact of COVID -19 on the financial position and financial performance of the entity.

About the Author

Kaushal Sharma

Author is Kaushal Sharma, partner in PK Chopra & Company, Chartered Accountants, a Chartered Accountancy firm having experience of over five decades, with its head office at New Delhi. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) since 2016. His key skills include compliances in the fields of both Direct and Indirect Tax matters. He has been rendering Consultancy and opinion in various matters of Income Tax and GST for more than 2 years.

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