Presentation and terminology

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) reissued IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements, in September 2007. The main changes are amendments to presentation and terminology. 

The reissue of IAS 1 affected all ACCA exam papers which referred to ‘balance sheets’ or ‘cash flow statements’, as the revised standard changed the name of these to ‘statement of financial position’ and ‘statement of cash flows’ respectively.

For ALL international papers* (excluding CAT Papers 6 and 8, and ACCA Qualification Papers F3, F7, F8, P2, and P7):
‘Balance sheet’ became ‘statement of financial position (balance sheet)’ in the June 2008 and December 2008 exams. From the June 2009 exams onwards, ‘balance sheet’ became ‘statement of financial position’.

‘Cash flow statement’ became ‘statement of cash flows’ from the June 2008 exam sitting onwards.

Examiners may choose to use a single ‘statement of comprehensive income’ – see Table 1.

For F3 (INT), F7 (INT), F8 (INT), P2 (INT), and P7 (INT):
For exam purposes, the following applies to all companies, partnerships, and sole traders:

  • ‘Balance sheet’ became ‘statement of financial position’ from the June 2008 exam sitting onwards.
  • ‘Cash flow statement’ became ‘statement of cash flows’ from the June 2008 exam sitting onwards.

Another amendment resulting from the reissue of IAS 1 was a requirement to present ‘other comprehensive income’ items (such as revaluation gains and losses, and actuarial gains and losses), as well as the usual income statement items, on the face of the primary financial statements. IAS 1 allows this information to be presented in one ‘statement of comprehensive income’ (see Table 1), or in two separate statements; an ‘income statement’ and a ‘statement of comprehensive income’.

In an exam, whenever a ‘statement of comprehensive income’ is referred to, this always relates to the single statement format (see Table 1). (Please refer to the Study Guides for examinability of line items.)

If ‘income statements’ are referred to, this relates to the statement from ‘revenue’ to ‘profit for the year’ (see Table 1 (part a)).

Exams may also refer to the ‘other comprehensive income section’ of the ‘statement of comprehensive income’ (see Table 1 (part b) (similar to the previous ‘statement of recognised income and expense’ (SORIE)).

Law and tax variant papers
Law and tax variant papers continue to use the relevant local terminology. However, Paper F4 (GLO) will adopt the international format, where relevant.