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The Three New Accounting Standards

Australian financial reporting is poised to go through the biggest upheaval since Australia adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in 2005, with the introduction of three new standards that will significantly change the financial reporting landscape for how entities account for financial instruments, recognise revenue and how lessees account for operating leases.

These changes come into effect between now and 2019 and raise a plethora of issues for organisations in every industry sector.

New financial instruments standard, AASB 9 Financial Instruments

The objective of the new standard is to simplify the accounting for financial instruments. AASB 9 applies to the preparation of general purpose financial statements by for-profit, not-for-profit and public sector entities.

This new standard applies to financial instruments including, cash, trade receivables, trade payables, investments in shares etc. The standard introduces significant changes to the classification and measurement of financial instruments, how impairment losses are recognised and the rules around qualifying to apply hedge accounting.

Effective Date - Mandatory for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018. For most Australian entities the first reporting period is the year ending 30 June 2019.

Read more AASB 9 Financial Instruments

New revenue standard, AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers

The new standard’s core principle requires entities to recognise revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in amounts that reflect the consideration (payment) to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services.

This new standard significantly increases complexity around the recognition of revenue, meaning that in a significant number of industries the invoiced amount will not correspond to the pattern of revenue recognition.

Effective Date - Mandatory for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018. For most Australian for profit entities the first reporting period is the year ending 30 June 2019.

Read more AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers

New leases standard, AASB 16 Leases

For lessees the new standard does away with the current operating/finance lease distinction, requiring lessees to recognise all but the lowest value leases on the balance sheet as a right of use asset and a corresponding lease liability. The operating lease rental expense will be replaced by an amortisation charge for the right of use asset and a finance cost.

Effective Date - Mandatory for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. For most Australian companies the first reporting period is the year ending 30 June 2020.

Read more AASB 16 Leases