IAS 34 ‘Interim Financial Reporting’ is applicable when an entity chooses to prepare an interim financial report. It doesn’t mandate which entities should be required to publish interim financial reports, how frequently, or how soon after the end of an interim period.
This standard allows for a reduced level of information to be presented compared to annual financial statements.
The standard establishes guidelines for recognizing, measuring, and disclosing financial data in interim reports. Reports can include either a complete or condensed set of financial statements covering a period shorter than a financial year.
MINIMUM CONTENTS OF AN INTERIM FINANCIAL REPORT
Entities reporting in accordance with IAS 34 are required to include in their interim financial reports, at a minimum, the following components:
- A condensed statement of comprehensive income,
- A condensed statement of financial position,
- A condensed statement of cash flows,
- A condensed statement of changes in equity, and
- selected explanatory notes.
Full compliance with IFRSs is required if a complete set of financial statements are being included in the interim report.
PERIODS REQUIRED TO BE PRESENTED
IAS 34 requires interim reports to include interim financial statements for the periods listed in the following table:
|Statement of financial position||End of current interim period||End of immediately preceding financial year|
|Statement of profit and loss and other comprehensive income||Current interim period and cumulatively for the current financial year-to-date||Comparable interim period of immediately preceding financial year|
|Statement of changes in equity||Cumulatively for the current financial year-to-date||Comparable year-to-date period of the immediately preceding financial year|
|Statement of cash flows||Cumulatively for the current financial year-to-date||Comparable year-to-date period of the immediately preceding financial year|
The same accounting policies should be applied for interim reporting as are applied in the entity’s annual financial statements. The exception to this is accounting policy changes made after the date of the most recent annual financial statements that are to be reflected in the next annual financial statements.
Entities are required by IAS 34 to disclose in their interim financial reports that this requirement has been met.
A key provision of IAS 34 is that an entity should use the same accounting policy throughout a single financial year. If a decision is made to change a policy mid-year, the change is implemented retrospectively, and previously reported interim data is restated.
RECOGNITION AND MEASUREMENT
In preparing their interim financial reports, entities are required to apply the same accounting policies as applicable for next annual financial statements.
The Standard states that the frequency of an entity’s reporting (annual, half-yearly or quarterly) should not affect the measurement of its annual results. To achieve that objective, measurements for interim reporting purposes are made on a year-to-date basis.
Several important measurement points to consider are as follows:
COSTS INCURRED UNEVENLY
Costs that are incurred unevenly during an entity’s financial year shall be anticipated or deferred for interim reporting purposes if, and only if, it is also appropriate to anticipate or defer that type of cost at the end of the financial year.
SEASONAL, CYCLICAL OR OCCASIONAL REVENUE
Revenues that are received seasonally, cyclically or occasionally within a financial year should not be anticipated or deferred as of an interim date, if anticipation or deferral would not be appropriate at the end of the financial year.
USE OF ESTIMATES
Measurement procedures used in interim financial reports should produce information that is reliable, with disclosure of all material relevant financial information.
The standard acknowledges that interim reports generally will require a greater use of estimation methods than annual financial reports.
Materiality is defined in IAS 1.
In deciding how to recognise, measure, classify, or disclose an item for interim financial reporting purposes, materiality should be assessed in relation to the interim period financial data.
In making assessments of materiality, it should be recognised that interim measurements may rely on estimates to a greater extent than measurements of annual financial data. (IAS 34:23)
The disclosure requirements of IAS 34 are designed with the understanding that readers of the interim financial report will already have access to the latest annual financial statements. Therefore, supplementary notes found in the annual financial statements need not be duplicated in the interim reports. Instead, the explanatory notes accompanying the interim report aim to offer insights into significant events and transactions since the last annual reporting period.
IAS 34:16 sets out a list of the minimum explanatory notes required to be included in the interim financial statements.