Business advice
and accounting

Our purpose is to help you on your journey as you grow. Learn more about our history, partners and purpose.

Our purpose is to help you on your journey as you grow. Learn more about our history, partners and purpose.

Your partners for Business Service and Advisory, Taxation, Audit, Business Valuation, Forensic Accounting, Fraud & Risk and Business Valuation Services.

Whatever your business, industry or family office, from local or international institutions we bring extensive expertise.

We're one team with a purpose and passion for what we do. Learn about our culture and career opportunities available to you.

Uncovering insights, trends and inspiration to help business grow in an ever-changing world.

We are always looking for ways to engage and give back to our community.

Telephone: +612 9283 1666
Email: admin@esvgroup.com

Level 13, 68 York Street,
Sydney NSW 2000

Why us

Our purpose is to help you on your journey as you grow. Learn more about our history, partners and purpose.

What we do

Your partners for Business Service and Advisory, Taxation, Audit, Business Valuation, Forensic Accounting, Fraud & Risk and Business Valuation Services.

Who do we help

Whatever your business, industry or family office, from local or international institutions we bring extensive expertise.

Work with us

We're one team with a purpose and passion for what we do. Learn about our culture and career opportunities available to you.

What we think

Uncovering insights, trends and inspiration to help business grow in an ever-changing world.

Working to give back

We are always looking for ways to engage and give back to our community.

Contact us

Telephone: +612 9283 1666
Email: admin@esvgroup.com

Level 13, 68 York Street,
Sydney NSW 2000

The end of an era?

18 May 2020

by Susan Prichard

Special Purpose Financial Reporting

The much anticipated AASB announcement in March that special purpose financial reporting was coming to an end was a landmark day for accountants. From 2022 all entities required to prepare financial statements under accounting standards, (either by legislation or through a documented requirement eg: constitution, lending agreement) will have to prepare general purpose financial statements. The days of limited disclosures and the option of picking and choosing standards will soon be over for most.

All entities currently preparing general purpose financial statements will have the option of Tier 1 full disclosures (most suitable for companies with public accountability) or Tier 2 “simplified” disclosures, (with significantly less disclosures than Tier 1, but not as forgiving as special purpose). All entities required to prepare general purpose financials will be required to follow all of the measurement and recognition principles of all accounting standards, including consolidations and equity accounting, which may previously have been avoided by some.

The Details

Large Proprietary companies

Large proprietary companies will be required to prepare general purpose financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2020. When ASIC doubled the thresholds for large reporting entities last year, Treasury said it was due to these entities being “economically significant”. Due to Treasury’s stated position it’s difficult to justify even under the current requirements that anyone large would not be a reporting entity. Some will no doubt try.

Companies that report to ASIC – not large

AFSL license holders, small foreign owned companies, companies reporting at shareholder or ASIC request, and other entities required to report to ASIC will have until 2022 to move to general purpose reporting. These are likely to be the entities hardest hit by the changes due to the significant increase in disclosure requirements they may face. Also they may not have their accounting processes set up to capture the additional disclosures.

Entities choosing to early adopt general purpose financial reporting prior to 1 July 2021 will be able to avoid restatement of comparatives. Practically this early adoption appears to be a very appealing.

For – Profit Entities, required through documentation

These entities report because documentation such as their constitution, bank facility, distribution agreement or shareholder agreement requires them to report under “Accounting standards” or “Australian Accounting Standards”, (they have no legislative requirement). These entities will need to prepare general purpose financial statements from 2022 but only if these documents are created or amended after 1 July 2021. Given the high probability of these documents changing we strongly recommend that entities review and correct these documents before 1 July 2021.

Other Entities and Not for Profits

Can still prepare special purpose financials under the same conditions that exist presently, however from 2021 a statement of compliance with accounting standards and the consolidations standard should be included.

So as some of us say a sad goodbye to the Era of “special” we now say hello and look forward to the Era of “Simplified”. For others they may be able to hold onto the past for a little bit longer with some timely action.

If you need any assistance in planning for the end of special purpose financial reporting, or exploring transitional arrangements please contact ESV on 02 9283 1666.