There are several accounting considerations the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered in relation to IFRS 9. In our view one of the most significant is in relation to hedge accounting and highly probable cash flows.
Under IFRS, if an entity is applying hedge accounting as part of its risk management strategy, it will follow the hedging requirements in IFRS 9 ‘Financial Instruments’. However it could still be applying the requirements in IAS 39 ‘Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement’ in certain circumstances. In both cases, a key criterion relating to cash flow hedges over forecast transactions relates to the requirement for the hedged cash flows to be highly probable. This is set out in IFRS 18.104.22.168.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, an entity therefore may need to consider:
- if the hedged cash flows still meet the highly probable assessment (if not, the hedging relationship will have to be discontinued, in its entirety or only in part in accordance with IFRS 22.214.171.124)
- if the cash flow hedge reserve includes amounts that should be moved to profit or loss upon discontinuation of the hedge
- if there is any hedge ineffectiveness to recognise in the profit or loss for hedges that continue to meet the qualifying criteria to apply hedge accounting.
Preparers of financial statements will need to be agile and responsive as the situation unfolds. Having access to experts, insights and accurate information as quickly as possible is critical – but your resources may be stretched at this time. We can support you as you navigate through accounting for the impacts of COVID-19 on your business.
Now more than ever the need for businesses, their auditor and any other accounting advisors to work closely together is essential. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised, please speak to your usual Grant Thornton adviser or download our capability brochure.
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