IFRS 9 Financial Instruments (replacement of IAS 39)
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) completed the final element of its comprehensive response to the financial crisis with the publication of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments in July 2014. The package of improvements introduced by IFRS 9 includes a logical model for classification and measurement, a single, forward-looking ‘expected loss’ impairment model and a substantially-reformed approach to hedge accounting.
The IASB has previously published versions of IFRS 9 that introduced new classification and measurement requirements (in 2009 and 2010) and a new hedge accounting model (in 2013). The July 2014 publication represents the final version of the Standard, replaces earlier versions of IFRS 9 and completes the IASB’s project to replace IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement.
IFRS 9 is effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018. More information about IFRS 9 can be found in the press release for the Standard.
Additionally, you can view a Project Summary providing an overview of the new Standard.
Phase 1: Classification and measurement
Classification determines how financial assets and financial liabilities are accounted for in financial statements and, in particular, how they are measured on an ongoing basis. IFRS 9 introduces a logical approach for the classification of financial assets driven by cash flow characteristics and the business model in which an asset is held. This single, principle-based approach replaces existing rule-based requirements that are complex and difficult to apply. The new model also results in a single impairment model being applied to all financial instruments removing a source of complexity associated with previous accounting requirements.
Phase 2: Impairment
During the financial crisis, the delayed recognition of credit losses on loans (and other financial instruments) was identifed as a weakness in existing accounting standards. As part of IFRS 9 the IASB has introduced a new, expected loss impairment model that will require more timely recognition of expected credit losses. Specifically, the new Standard requires entities to account for expected credit losses from when financial instruments are first recognised and it lowers the threshold for recognition of full lifetime expected losses.
The IASB has already announced its intention to create a transition resource group to support stakeholders in the transition to the new impairment requirements.
IFRS 9 introduces a substantially-reformed model for hedge accounting with enhanced disclosures about risk management activity. The new model represents a substantial overhaul of hedge accounting that aligns the accounting treatment with risk management activities, enabling entities to better reflect these activities in their financial statements. In addition, as a result of these changes, users of the financial statements will be provided with better information about risk management and the effect of hedge accounting on the financial statements.