Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards

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1 February 2011 Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards With th e CI CA Han dboo k Part V

2 Location: 8 Bastion Square Victoria, British Columbia V8V 1X4 Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am 4:30 pm Telephone: Toll free through Enquiry BC at: In Vancouver dial Fax: Website: This report and others are available at our website, which also contains further information about the office: Reproducing: Information presented here is the intellectual property of the Auditor General of British Columbia and is copyright protected in right of the Crown. We invite readers to reproduce any material, asking only that they credit our Office with authorship when any information, results or recommendations are used. II

3 T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s Background 1 Introduction 1 Limitations of this document 1 First-time adoption of PSAB 2 Financial statement presentation for not-for-profit organizations 3 1. The Framework Objective Users GAAP hierarchy Assets Liabilities Revenue Expenses 5 2. Financial Statement Presentation Statement of financial position Statement of operations Statement of change in net debt Statement of cash flows 8 3. Statement Of Financial Position Financial Assets Definition Cash and cash equivalents Temporary investments 9 III Revenues receivable 10

4 T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s Inventories for resale Loans receivable and other loans Portfolio investments Derivatives Liabilities Definition Accounts payable and accrued liabilities Deferred revenue, and restricted assets and revenue Employee future benefits Asset retirement obligations Long-term debt, borrowings and loans from other entities Contingent liabilities Loan guarantees Contractual obligations Non-Financial Assets Definition Tangible capital assets and amortization Leased tangible capital assets Prepaid expense Inventories held for consumption or use Statement Of Operations Revenues Expenses 22 IV

5 T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s 5. Other Specific Topics Consolidation principles Goodwill and intangible assets Accounting changes Foreign exchange Risk management and hedging Segment disclosures Related parties Subsequent events Economic dependence Capital disclosures Public private partnerships (P3s) Measurement Uncertainty PSAB Projects Impacting Future Accounting Standards Government transfers Financial instruments Foreign currency translation Related party transactions Appropriations Amalgamations and restructuring Assets Revenue from exchange transactions Financial statements for government organizations 36 V

6 BACKGROUND Introduction This document was prepared by the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia to assist Provincial government organizations in British Columbia who are transitioning to Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAB) from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Handbook (CICA Handbook). Government has directed that the transition occur according to the following timeline: Taxpayer-supported government organizations, except those designated as education or health sector organizations, are to adopt PSAB in their fiscal year that begins in Taxpayer-supported government organizations designated as education or health sector organizations are to adopt PSAB in their fiscal year that begins in With the transition, comparative figures will have to be restated. See the section below regarding the firsttime adoption of PSAB. This document would not be used by government business enterprises (GBEs) which, under the PSAB framework ( Introduction to Public Sector Standards ), are directed to report under the standards applicable to publicly accountable enterprises in the CICA Handbook. Therefore, GBEs will be applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) along with all the other publicly accountable enterprises in Canada for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, The introduction to the PSAB handbook also directs other government organizations (OGOs) to follow either PSAB or the standards applicable to publicly accountable enterprises in the CICA Handbook (i.e., IFRS). As well, PSAB now includes optional standards (PS 4200 series) for government not-for-profit organizations (GNPOs) identical in most respects to the HB 4400 series of the pre-changeover CICA Handbook (see below). However, in British Columbia, government has directed both OGOs and GNPOs to adopt PSAB, but without the optional not-for-profit standards available in the PS 4200 series. This document assumes that the PS 4200 series would not be applied; therefore, the detailed sections in this document compare PSAB (excluding the PS 4200 series) with the CICA Handbook Part V (ie the CICA Handbook as it was prior to the transition to IFRS, including the NPO standards in the HB 4400 series). Limitations of this document The government reporting entity of the Province of British Columbia comprises many different organizations, which make a multitude of transactions. No one document can therefore be expected to address every type of transaction or reporting situation that may arise. Applying accounting standards requires professional judgement. This is particularly true for PSAB, which does not provide specific guidance in a number of areas (noted in this document). Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, but it may not be comprehensive enough in all respects to meet the needs of every user. As well, accounting standards change constantly, and so some information may have changed since this document s publication. Furthermore, this publication is not intended to cover all aspects of PSAB, or to be a substitute for reading the actual standards Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 1

7 and interpretations when dealing with specific issues. Our Office accepts no responsibility for anyone acting on the basis of this publication without seeking professional advice. In British Columbia, provincial government organizations are expected to consult with the Office of the Comptroller General before exercising any choice available to them under the reporting framework, and before adopting policies and practices to implement applicable accounting standards. First-time adoption of PSAB (PS 2125) First-time adoption will ensure that financial statements: a) are transparent for users of the financial statements and comparable over all periods presented; b) provide a suitable starting point for accounting in accordance with PSAB; and c) can be generated at a cost that does not exceed the benefits to the users. The adoption of PSAB is to be accounted for by retroactive application, with restatement of prior periods, unless exemption is permitted. The following exemptions to retroactive application are available: a) retirement and post-employee benefits (PS 3250 and PS 3255) o Discount rate A first-time adopter may elect to delay application of these sections relative to the discount rate used until the date of the next actuarial valuation or within three years of the transition date to PSAB, whichever is sooner. o Cumulative actuarial gains A first-time adopter may elect to recognize all cumulative actuarial gains and losses, as of the date of transition to PSAB, directly in accumulated surplus/deficit. b) business combinations (PS 2510) o A first-time adopter need not comply with the requirement for retroactive application for an acquisition that was incurred prior to the date of transition to PSAB. c) investment in government business enterprises (PS 3070) o A first-time adopter need not comply with the requirement for retroactive application of the modified equity method of accounting for an investment in a government business enterprise that was incurred prior to the date of transition to PSAB. d) government business partnerships (PS 3060) o A first-time adopter need not comply with the requirement for retroactive application of the modified equity method of accounting for a government business partnership entered into prior to the date of transition to PSAB. e) tangible capital asset impairment (PS 3150) o A first-time adopter need not comply with the requirement for retroactive application for write-downs of tangible capital assets that were incurred prior to the date of transition to PSAB. Retroactive application is prohibited for: a) some aspects of hedge accounting relating to foreign currency translation; and b) accounting estimates. Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 2

8 Disclosure requirements: a) changes to accumulated surplus/deficit as a result of first-time adoption of PSAB; b) reconciliation of the most recently reported net income/loss to the entity s annual surplus/deficit under PSAB for the period; c) explanation of material adjustments to the statement of cash flow (if such a statement is presented); d) exemptions used (if any); and e) an opening statement of financial position as at the date of transition (so, an entity that adopts PSAB for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, will need to present an opening statement of financial position as at April 1, 2010). Financial statement presentation for not-for-profit organizations (PS 4200, HB 4400) Under the CICA HB 4400 series, not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) have the option of applying either the deferral method or the restricted fund method of accounting and may present balances and results in separate funds. As well, there are a number of other financial reporting requirements and options provided for NPOs (e.g., unique rules for reporting controlled entities, and separate reporting of net assets based on internal and external restrictions). The financial reporting options provided in HB 4400 for NPOs are also available under PSAB (for those organizations electing to apply PS 4200), but with the following differences: a) the modified equity method will be available as an alternative method for reporting controlled forprofit organizations, rather than the equity method that was available under the HB 4400 series; b) there are no requirements relating to other comprehensive income that is not reported as a component of net income in the PSAB handbook: on consolidation, other comprehensive income is reported as a component of the accumulated surplus/deficit; and c) the guidance in the CICA HB 4400 series relating to asset retirement obligations and interim financial statements has not been incorporated into the PS 4200 series. However, as noted above, government has directed GNPOs to report under PSAB without incorporating the PS 4200 series. Therefore, the detailed sections in this document do not consider the optional provisions in PS Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 3

9 1.1 Objective PS 1100 HB Users PS GAAP hierarchy 1 PS 1150 HB Assets PS 1000 HB THE FRAMEWORK PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Nine objectives established under PSAB are specific to public sector reporting. Information needs to highlight measures that help users assess whether the reporting entity s financial position has improved or deteriorated, and needs to explain the changes in financial position. The reporting entity s financial statements serve the interests of a variety of users such as the public, legislators, councillors, investors, analysts and other governments. A reporting entity should apply every primary source of GAAP that deals with the accounting and reporting in financial statements of transactions including: a) sections; b) guidelines; and c) appendices and illustrative material. When primary sources of GAAP are not applicable or when additional guidance is needed, a reporting entity should adopt accounting policies and disclosures that are consistent with the primary sources of GAAP and the application of the concepts described in section PS Assets have three essential characteristics: a) they embody a future benefit that involves a capacity, singly or in combination with other assets, to provide future net cash flows, or to provide goods and Differences with CICA Handbook Under the CICA Handbook, the overall reporting principles are consistent to PSAB, but specific objectives are not provided. Under the CICA Handbook, the overall principles are consistent to PSAB, but the user groups are different. Under the CICA Handbook, the GAAP hierarchies are conceptually similar to PSAB. However, PSAB is not as comprehensive as the CICA Handbook and is silent in a number of areas. As a result, there are often specific areas, such as asset retirement obligations (see section 3.2.5), that require professional judgement and reference to other reporting frameworks. Under the CICA Handbook, the essential characteristics are similar to PSAB, except that profitoriented enterprises define future benefit in terms of cash flows only. 1 GAAP hierarchy is an outline for determining the most appropriate sources for obtaining guidance on Canadian generally accepted accounting principles. For example, in PSAB there is no specific standard for asset retirement obligations. Under the GAAP hierarchy, reporting entities would therefore look to other sources for guidance. The sources may include international financial reporting standards (IFRS) or accounting standards for private enterprises (ASPE). Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 4

10 1.5 Liabilities PS 1000 PS 3200 HB Revenue PS 1000 HB Expenses PS 1000 HB THE FRAMEWORK PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) services; b) the reporting entity can control access to the benefit; and c) the transaction or event giving rise to the reporting entity s control of the benefit has already occurred. Liabilities have three essential characteristics: a) they embody a duty or responsibility to others, leaving a reporting entity little or no discretion to avoid settlement of the obligation; b) the duty or responsibility to others entails settlement by future transfer or use of assets, by provision of goods or services or by other form of economic settlement, at a specified or determinable date, on occurrence of a specified event, or on demand; and c) the transaction or event obligating the reporting entity has already occurred. Revenues, other than gains, can arise from: taxation; the sale of goods; the rendering of services; the use by others of government economic resources yielding rent, interest, royalties or dividends; or contributions received, such as grants, donations and bequests. Expenses, including losses, are decreases in economic resources (either by way of decreases in assets or increases in liabilities) resulting from the operations, transactions and events of the accounting period. Differences with CICA Handbook Similar to PSAB, under the CICA Handbook NPOs define future benefits associated with assets in terms of either cash flows or service potential. Under the CICA Handbook, the essential characteristics are similar to PSAB. Under the CICA Handbook, the essential characteristics are similar to PSAB. Under the CICA Handbook, the essential characteristics are similar to PSAB. Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 5

11 2. FINANCIAL STATEMENT PRESENTATION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook 2.1 Statement of financial position PS 1200 HB 1000 HB 1510 HB Statement of operations PS 1200 HB 1400 HB 1520 Five key figures describe the financial position: a) financial assets; b) liabilities; c) net debt position (liabilities minus financial assets); d) non-financial assets; and e) accumulated surplus/deficit. Current year statement of financial position should be presented with prior year comparatives. A reporting entity should report: a) revenues by significant types; b) expenses by function or major program; c) surplus or deficit for the period (difference between revenues and expenses); and d) accumulated surplus/deficit at the beginning and end of the period on either the statement of operations or a separate statement. The statement of operations excludes other comprehensive income. If a subsidiary business enterprise reports other comprehensive income, the amount is recorded directly to accumulated surplus/deficit. Under the CICA Handbook, accounts are classified into current assets, current liabilities, tangible capital assets, long-term liabilities and equity/net assets. Under PSAB, there is no distinction between current and non-current items. Assets are separated into financial assets and non-financial assets. Presentation highlights net debt position and accumulated surplus/deficit (see also section 2.3). PSAB does not specifically address the presentation of share capital. However, accumulated surplus/deficit is defined as the residual of assets less liabilities, therefore encompassing equity interests. Relevant details of capital/ownership structure should be presented in the notes to the financial statements. Under the CICA Handbook, the statement of operations reports the results of revenues, expenses, gains and losses, discontinued operations, and extraordinary items. The following requirements under PSAB are different from the CICA Handbook: expenses are required to be reported by function or major program on the statement of operations; expenses by object/type are disclosed in the notes to the financial statements; other comprehensive income is included in the statement of change in net debt and not in the Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 6

12 2. FINANCIAL STATEMENT PRESENTATION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook 2.3 Statement of change in net debt PS 1200 HB 1000 HB 1400 HB 1530 The current year statement of operations should be presented with prior year and originally planned (budgeted) comparatives. Proposed Standards PSAB is proposing the inclusion of a separate statement of remeasurement gains and losses. This statement would report unrealized gains and losses associated with foreign exchange and changes in value for financial instruments recorded at fair value. It would also include amounts reclassified to the statement of operations when the asset or liability is derecognized or settled, as well as other comprehensive income. Refer to the summary of these projects in sections 6.2 and 6.3. Net debt is the remainder of liabilities less financial assets. The accumulated surplus/deficit is the remainder of nonfinancial assets less net debt. The statement of change in net debt should report the extent to which the expenditures of the accounting period are met by the revenues recognized. It should report net debt at both the beginning and end of the accounting period. The statement of change in net debt should explain the difference between the surplus/deficit for the period, including: acquisition of tangible capital assets (TCAs); disposals of TCAs; amortization of TCAs; statement of operations; there are no guidelines for discontinued operations or extraordinary items; and the statement of operations should present a comparison of the results for the accounting period with those originally planned (i.e., budgeted). Under the CICA Handbook, a statement of change in retained earnings (or net assets) is presented. Under PSAB, the statement of change in net debt differs from the statement of change in retained earnings (or net assets) in that the former results not only from the surplus/deficit for the period (and any other changes to the accumulated surplus/deficit) but also from the purchase, disposition and amortization of tangible capital assets (TCAs) and other nonfinancial assets. Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 7

13 2. FINANCIAL STATEMENT PRESENTATION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook adjustments relating to write-downs of TCAs; consumption of other non-financial assets; expenditures to acquire other non-financial assets; and other comprehensive income arising in applying the modified equity method when reporting on the results of government business enterprises and government business partnerships. 2.4 Statement of cash flows PS 1200 HB 1400 HB 1540 Prior year comparatives are presented as well as originally planned (budgeted) comparatives on the statement of change in net debt. The statement of cash flows should report how a reporting entity generated and used cash and cash equivalents in the accounting period, and what the change in cash and cash equivalents was in the period. The statement of cash flows should also report the cash and cash equivalents at both the beginning and end of the accounting period. The statement of cash flows should report cash flows during the period, classified by operating, capital, investing and financing activities. Under the CICA Handbook, the statement of cash flows is similar to PSAB, except that PSAB requires cash flows related to capital activities to be shown as a separate category from investing and financing activities. The CICA Handbook indicates no preference for use of the direct or indirect method, while PSAB encourages use of the direct method. Use of the direct method is encouraged. Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 8

14 3. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook 3.1 Financial assets Definition PS 1000 PS 1200 Financial assets are assets that could be used to discharge existing liabilities or finance future operations and are not for consumption in the normal course of operations. They may include inventories or items for resale. The indicator of net debt is determined by deducting the financial assets from liabilities Cash and cash equivalents PS 1200 HB 1540 HB Temporary investments PS 3030 HB 3855 The statement of financial position should report financial assets segregated by main classifications, such as: a) cash and cash equivalents; b) temporary investments; c) revenues receivable; d) inventories for resale and other assets held for sale that meet the requirements of section PS ; e) loans to other governments; f) other loans; g) portfolio investments; h) investments in government business enterprises; and i) investments in government business partnerships. Cash comprises cash on hand and demand deposits. Cash equivalents are short-term highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and that are subject to an insignificant risk of change in value. They are held for the purpose of meeting short-term cash commitments rather than for investing or other purposes. An investment would normally qualify as a cash equivalent only when it has a short maturity (i.e., three months or less). Temporary investments are recorded at the lower of cost and market value. Where there are holdings of marketable securities, their quoted market value as well as their carrying value should be disclosed. Under the CICA Handbook, the essential characteristics are similar to PSAB. Under the CICA Handbook, temporary investments are categorized as held for trading, held to maturity or available for sale. Financial instruments are held at fair value or amortized cost depending on their categorization. This guidance applies to both for- Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 9

15 3. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook Revenues receivable PS 1200 PS 3410 PS 3510 HB 3855 The financial statements should disclose adequate information about the nature and terms of a reporting entity s temporary investments, together with any valuation allowances. Proposed Standards PSAB is proposing changes to the standards for the recognition and measurement of financial instruments. Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.2. PSAB includes specific guidance on what triggers recognition of revenues (and receivables) relating to contributions and taxation. Under PSAB, financial assets are primarily measured at historical cost. New and Proposed Standards PSAB will be issuing a new standard on government transfers in March 2011, effective for fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, PSAB is also proposing changes to the standard for financial instruments. Refer to the summary of these projects in sections 6.1 and 6.2. profit and not-for-profit organizations. Under PSAB, there are no asset designation categories and temporary investments are recorded at lower of cost and market value. A write-down is recorded directly to the statement of operations. The measurement of shorter term accounts receivable should in most cases be similar under either framework. Under PSAB, potential differences could occur as additional guidance is provided on what triggers recognition of contributions and tax revenues. However, this guidance is consistent with the asset recognition principles in both frameworks. Potential differences may also exist in that the CICA Handbook provides the option for fair value measurement and also requires use of the effective interest rate method Inventories for resale PS 1000 As asset held for sale should be recognized as a financial asset when all of the following criteria are met: Although not currently required, the use of the effective interest rate method is a requirement in the proposed PSAB financial instrument standard. Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.2. Under the CICA Handbook, inventories are assets held for sale in the ordinary course of business, in the Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 10

16 3. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook PS 1200 a) the reporting entity is committed to selling the asset; b) the asset is in a condition to be sold; c) the asset is publicly seen to be for sale; d) there is an active market for the asset; e) there is a plan in place for selling the asset; and f) it is reasonably anticipated that the asset will be sold outside the reporting entity within one year of the reporting date. Inventories for sale which will not be sold within one year of the financial statement date should be included in inventories for consumption or use. Refer to section for further details. process of production for such sales, or in the form of materials or supplies to be consumed in the production process of rendering of services. Under PSAB, there are two categories of inventories: inventories for resale (financial asset) and inventories for consumption or use (non-financial asset) (see 3.3.5). Their presentation in the statement of financial position differs by category. This distinction is not made in the CICA Handbook Loans receivable and other loans PS 3050 HB 3855 The PSAB Handbook does not have detailed guidance on inventory costing methods when conversion processes occur within the organization. In keeping with the PSAB hierarchy of GAAP (PS 1150), organizations would likely refer to other sources of GAAP for this detailed guidance, such as Canadian Private Sector GAAP or IFRS. Loans receivable should initially be reported at cost. Valuation allowances should be used to reflect loans receivable at the lower of cost and net recoverable value. When the amount of a loss is known with sufficient precision, the loan receivable should be reduced by the amount of that loss. A reporting entity should disclose the nature and terms of significant classes of loans receivable, as well as describe the accounting policies applied to its loans receivable. Under the CICA Handbook, loans and receivables that are not quoted in an active market, unless designated as available for sale or held for trading with the intention that they be sold in the near term, are measured at amortized cost using the effective interest method. Such loans or receivables are initially measured at their fair value, which is calculated as the present value of future receipts discounted using prevailing market rates for similar instruments. Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 11

17 3. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook Portfolio investments PS 3040 HB3051 HB 3855 Proposed Standards PSAB is proposing changes to the standards for the recognition and measurement of financial instruments. Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.2. Portfolio investments are long-term investments in organizations that are not controlled. Such investments are normally shares or bonds and exclude temporary investments and loans receivable. Some investments in pooled or mutual funds may qualify as portfolio investments if they are held for the long term. Portfolio investments are measured at cost. When there is a loss in value other than a temporary decline, the investment should be written down to recognize the loss. The write-down should be included in the statement of operations and should not be reversed if there is a subsequent increase in value. Any gains or losses from the sale of portfolio investments should be included in the statement of operations in the period of the sale. Although not currently required, the use of the effective interest rate method is a requirement in the proposed PSAB financial instrument standard. Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.2. Under the CICA Handbook, when an investor is able to exercise significant influence over an investee that is not a subsidiary, a joint venture or a variable interest entity, the investor should account for the investment using the equity method. If an investor is not able to exercise significant influence, the investment should be accounted for in accordance with CICA Handbook 3855, Financial Instruments recognition and measurement. Under the CICA Handbook, when significant influence is not present, investments are categorized as either held for trading, held to maturity or available for sale. The financial instruments are measured at fair value or at amortized cost depending on their categorization. This guidance applies to both forprofit and not-for-profit organizations. Portfolio investments should be reported separately on the statement of financial position. Any income from portfolio investments should be reported on the statement of operations. Proposed Standards PSAB is proposing changes to the standards for the recognition and measurement of financial instruments. Under PSAB, the concept of significant influence does not exist. If an organization is not controlled, then it is a portfolio investment. If it is controlled, then it is consolidated as described in section 5.1. Under the CICA Handbook, fair value should be disclosed for financial instruments recorded at cost, subject to certain exemptions. Under PSAB, when Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 12

18 3. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.2. portfolio investments include marketable securities, then the quoted market value of such securities as well as their carrying value should be disclosed. Currently under PSAB, all portfolio investments are recorded at cost. Impairments are only recorded if other than a temporary decline in value. Under PSAB, an impairment that has persisted for three or four years is evidence of a decline that is not temporary. There is no similar guideline in the CICA Handbook. Impairments are not reversed for subsequent changes in value Derivatives HB 3855 Derivatives are not usually recorded in the financial statements, except that a derivative that gives rise to a contingent liability may be recorded. Proposed Standards PSAB is proposing changes to the standards for the recognition and measurement of financial instruments. Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.2. The proposed changes to the standards for financial instruments, if approved, would significantly change the measurement of portfolio investments. Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.2. Under the CICA Handbook, derivatives and embedded derivatives that are not closely related are classified as held for trading and are recorded at fair value. However, NPOs are given the option of not recognizing certain types of embedded derivatives. Currently under PSAB, derivatives and embedded derivatives are not typically recognized in the financial statements. However, a derivative giving rise to a contingent liability may be recognized and accounted for. Proposed changes to the standards for financial instruments, if approved, would result in derivatives being recorded at fair value. Refer to the Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 13

19 3. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook summary of this project in section Liabilities Definition PS 1000 PS 1200 Liabilities are present obligations a reporting entity has to others arising from past transactions or events, the settlement of which is expected to result in the future sacrifice of economic benefits. The statement of financial position should report liabilities segregated by main classifications, such as: a) accounts payable and accrued liabilities; b) liabilities for employee future benefits; c) deferred revenue; d) borrowings; and e) loans from other reporting entities Accounts payable and accrued liabilities PS1000 PS 1200 PS 3200 HB 3855 Liabilities have three essential characteristics: a) they embody a duty or responsibility to others, leaving little or no discretion to avoid settlement of the obligation; b) the duty or responsibility to others entails settlement by future transfer or use of assets, provision of goods or services, or other form of economic settlement at a specified or determinable date, on occurrence of a specified event, or on demand; and c) the transactions or events giving rise to the obligation have already occurred. Obligations are not liabilities unless they meet the three characteristics of liabilities. Under the CICA Handbook, the essential characteristics are similar to PSAB. The measurement of shorter term liabilities should be, in most cases, the same under either framework. However, potential differences could occur in that the CICA Handbook provides the option for fair value measurement and also requires use of the effective interest rate method. Although not currently required, the use of the effective interest rate method is a requirement in the proposed PSAB financial instrument standard. Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.2. PSAB provides additional guidance on discretion (being unable to avoid settlement of the obligation) for constructive and equitable obligations. Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 14

20 3. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION Financial Statement Item PSAB accounting standards (excluding PS 4200 series) Differences with CICA Handbook Deferred revenue, and restricted assets and revenue PS 1000 PS 1200 PS 3100 PSG-4 HB 1000 HB 3800 HB 4400 Exchange transactions Revenues should be recognized in the period in which the transactions or events that gave rise to the revenues occurred. For exchange transactions, detailed guidance is not provided in the PSAB Handbook beyond the general recognition principles present in sections PS 1000 and PS Non-exchange transactions For non-exchange transactions, PSAB provides specific guidance for revenues from government transfers and taxes. In the case of government transfers, revenue should be recorded when the transfer has been authorized and any eligibility criteria have been met. Taxation revenue should be recorded when the taxable event occurs, provided that the tax has been authorized. Externally restricted inflows should be recognized as revenue in the period in which the resources are used for the purposes specified. An externally restricted inflow received before this criterion has been met should be reported as a liability (i.e., deferred revenue) until the resources are used for the purposes specified. New and Proposed Standards PSAB will be issuing, in March 2011, changes to the standard relating to government transfers, allowing deferral to occur only where the criteria for recognition of a liability are met. The standard will be effective for fiscal periods beginning on or after April 1, Refer to the summary of this project in section 6.1. Exchange transactions Under the CICA Handbook, the recognition principles for revenues from exchange transactions are consistent with the principles in PSAB. However, the CICA Handbook provides much more detailed guidance on how to apply those principles. Non-exchange transactions For fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2012, PSAB will allow for the deferral of contributions only where the criteria for liability recognition are met (see section 6.1). Prior to this date, PSAB provides for the deferral of contributions with external restrictions until they are used for the purpose specified. This is similar to the deferral method of accounting used by NPOs except that, with the withdrawal of section PS 3800 in June 2010, PSAB does not specifically provide for the deferral of capital contributions beyond the point when the asset is purchased (unless there are conditions attached to the transfer, such that a liability is present). NPO standards specifically provide for the amortization of capital contributions over the life of the related asset when the deferral method of accounting is used. For profit-oriented organizations, the CICA Handbook currently provides for deferral accounting (including the matching of capital contributions over the life of the asset), but only for government assistance. Summary Comparison of Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards with the CICA Handbook Part V 15

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