The IFRS Interpretations Committee (Committee) discussed the following matter and tentatively decided not to add it to its standard-setting agenda. The Committee will reconsider this tentative decision, including the reasons for not adding the matter to its standard-setting agenda, at a future meeting. The Committee invites comments on its tentative agenda decision. All comments will be on the public record and posted on our website unless a responder requests confidentiality and we grant that request. We do not normally grant such requests unless they are supported by good reason, for example, commercial confidence.
Tentative agenda decision
The Committee received a request about the accounting for costs related to the biological transformation (subsequent expenditure) of biological assets measured at fair value less costs to sell applying IAS 41. The request asked whether an entity capitalises subsequent expenditure (ie adds it to the carrying amount of the asset) or, instead, recognises subsequent expenditure as an expense when incurred.
The Committee observed that capitalising subsequent expenditure or recognising it as an expense has no effect on the measurement of biological assets nor does it have any effect on profit or loss; however, it affects the presentation of amounts in the statement of profit or loss.
IAS 41 does not specify requirements on the accounting for subsequent expenditure. Paragraph B62 of the Basis for Conclusions on IAS 41 explains that ‘…the [IASC] Board decided not to explicitly prescribe the accounting for subsequent expenditure related to biological assets in the Standard, because it believes to do so is unnecessary with a fair value measurement approach’.
Accordingly, the Committee concluded that, applying IAS 41, an entity either capitalises subsequent expenditure or recognises it as an expense when incurred. Applying paragraph 13 of IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors, an entity would apply its accounting policy for subsequent expenditure consistently to each group of biological assets. An entity would also disclose the selected accounting policy applying paragraphs 117–124 of IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements if that disclosure would assist users of financial statements in understanding how those transactions are reflected in reported financial performance.
In the light of its analysis, the Committee considered whether to add a project to its standard-setting agenda on the accounting for subsequent expenditure on biological assets. The Committee has not [yet] obtained evidence to suggest that standard-setting on this matter at this time would result in an improvement to financial reporting that would be sufficient to outweigh the costs. The Committee therefore [decided] not to add the matter to its standard-setting agenda.
The deadline for commenting on the proposals is 20 August 2019. The Committee will consider all comments received in writing by that date; agenda papers analysing comments received will include analysis only of comments received by that date.