Accounting for property, plant and equipment

The accounting for International Accounting Standard (IAS®) 16, Property, Plant and Equipment is a particularly important area of the Financial Reporting syllabus. You can almost guarantee that in every exam you will be required to account for property, plant and equipment at least once.

This article is designed to outline the key areas of IAS 16, Property, Plant and Equipment that you may be required to attempt in the Financial Reporting exam.

IAS 16, Property, Plant and Equipment overview

There are essentially four key areas when accounting for property, plant and equipment that you must ensure that you are familiar with:

  • initial recognition
  • depreciation
  • revaluation
  • derecognition (disposals).

Initial recognition

The basic principle of IAS 16 is that items of property, plant and equipment that qualify for recognition should initially be measured at cost.

One of the easiest ways to remember this is that you should capitalise all costs to bring an asset to its present location and condition for its intended use.

Commonly used examples of cost include:

  • purchase price of an asset (less any trade discount)
  • directly attributable costs such as:
    • cost of site preparation
    • initial delivery and handling costs
    • installation and testing costs
    • professional fees 
  • the initial estimate of dismantling and removing the asset and restoring the site on which it is located, to its original condition (ie to the extent that it is recognised as a provision per IAS 37, Provisions, Contingent Assets and Liabilities
  • borrowing costs in accordance with IAS 23, Borrowing Costs


EXAMPLE 1

On 1 March 20X0 Yucca Co acquired a machine from Plant Co under the following terms:

 $ 
List price of machine82,000 
Import duty1,500 
Delivery fees2,050 
Electrical installation costs9,500 
Pre-production testing4,900 
Purchase of a five-year maintenance contract with Plant7,000 

In addition to the above information Yucca Co was granted a trade discount of 10% on the initial list price of the asset and a settlement discount of 5% if payment for the machine was received within one month of purchase. Yucca Co paid for the plant on 25 March 20X0.

How should the above information be accounted for in the financial statements? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 1.)

EXAMPLE 2 

Construction of Ham Co’s new store began on 1 April 20X1. The following costs were incurred on the construction:

 $000 
Freehold land4,500 
Architect fees620 
Site preparation1,650 
Materials7,800 
Direct labour costs11,200 
Legal fees2,400 
General overheads940 

The store was completed on 1 January 20X2 and brought into use following its grand opening on the 1 April 20X2. Ham Co issued a $25m unsecured loan on 1 April 20X1 to aid construction of the new store (which meets the definition of a qualifying asset per IAS 23). The loan carried an interest rate of 8% per annum and is repayable on 1 April 20X4.

Required

Calculate the amount to be included as property, plant and equipment in respect of the new store and state what impact the above information would have on the statement of profit or loss (if any) for the year ended 31 March X2.

(See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 2.)

Subsequent costs
Once an item of PPE has been recognised and capitalised in the financial statements, a company may incur further costs on that asset in the future. IAS 16 requires that subsequent costs should be capitalised if: 

  • it is probable that future economic benefits associated with the extra costs will flow to the entity 
  • the cost of the item can be reliably measured.


All other subsequent costs should be recognised as an expense in the income statement in the period that they are incurred.

EXAMPLE 3

On 1 March 202 Yucca Co purchased an upgrade package from Plant Co at a cost of $18,000 for the machine it originally purchased in 20X0 (Example 1). The upgrade took a total of two days where new components were added to the machine. Yucca agreed to purchase the package as the new components would lead to a reduction in production time per unit of 15%. This will enable Yucca to increase production without the need to purchase a new machine.

Should the additional expenditure be capitalised or expensed? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 3.)

Depreciation

Depreciation is defined in IAS 16 as being the systematic allocation of the depreciable amount of an asset over its useful life. In other words, depreciation applies the accruals concept to the capitalised cost of a non-current asset and matches this cost to the period that it relates to.

Depreciation methods
There are many methods of depreciating a non-current asset with the most common being:

  • Straight line
    • % on cost, or
    • Cost – residual value divided by useful life 

  • Reducing balance
    • % on carrying amount 


EXAMPLE 4

An item of plant was purchased on 1 April 20X0 for $200,000 and is being depreciated at 25% on a reducing balance basis.

Prepare the extracts of the financial statements for the year ended 31 March 20X2. (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 4.)

Useful life and residual value 

IAS 16 requires that these estimates be reviewed at the end of each reporting period. If either changes significantly, the change should be accounted for over the useful life remaining.

EXAMPLE 5 

A machine was purchased on 1 April 20X0 for $120,000. It was estimated that the asset had a residual value of $20,000 and a useful life of 10 years at this date. On 1 April 20X2 (two years later) the residual value was reassessed as being only $15,000 and the useful life remaining was considered to be only five years.

How should the asset be accounted for in the years ending 31 March 20X1/20X2/20X3? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 5.)

Component depreciation 

If an asset comprises two or more major components with different useful lives, then each component should be accounted for separately for depreciation purposes and depreciated over its own useful life.

EXAMPLE 6 

A company purchased a property with an overall cost of $100m on 1 April 20X1. The property elements are made up as follows:

 $000Estimated life 
Land and buildings
(Land element $20,000)

65,000

50 years
 
Fixtures and fittings24,00010 years 
Lifts11,00020 years 
 100,000  

Calculate the annual depreciation charge for the property for the year ended 31 March 20X2. (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 6.)

Revaluations

This is an important topic in the exam and features regularly in Question 2, so you should ensure that you are familiar with all aspects of revaluations.

IAS 16 rules

IAS 16 permits the choice of two possible treatments in respect of property, plant and equipment: 

  • The cost model (carry an asset at cost less accumulated depreciation/impairments). 
  • The revaluation model (carry an asset at its fair value at the revaluation date less subsequent accumulated depreciation impairment).


If the revaluation policy is adopted this should be applied to all assets in the entire category, ie if you revalue a building, you must revalue all land and buildings in that class of asset. Revaluations must also be carried out with sufficient regularity so that the carrying amount does not differ materially from that which would be determined using fair value at the reporting date.

Accounting for a revaluation

There are a series of accounting adjustments that must be undertaken when revaluing a non-current asset. These adjustments are indicated below.

The initial revaluation

You may find it useful in the exam to first determine if there is a gain or loss on the revaluation with a simple calculation to compare:

Carrying amount of non-current asset at revaluation dateX
Valuation of non-current assetX
Difference = gain or loss revaluationX

Revaluation gains

A gain on revaluation is always recognised in equity, under a revaluation reserve (unless the gain reverse’s revaluation losses on the same asset that were previously recognised in the income statement – in this instance the gain is to be shown in the income statement).

The revaluation gain is known as an unrealised gain which later becomes realised when the asset is disposed of (derecognised).

Double entry:

  • Dr Non-current asset cost (difference between valuation and original cost/valuation)
  • Dr Accumulated depreciation (with any historical cost accumulated depreciation)
  • Cr Revaluation reserve (gain on revaluation)


EXAMPLE 7

A company purchased a building on 1 April 20X1 for $100,000. The asset had a useful life at that date of 40 years. On 1 April 20X3 the company revalued the building to its current fair value of $120,000.

What is the double entry to record the revaluation? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 7.)

Revaluation losses 

A revaluation loss should be charged against any related revaluation surplus to the extent that the decrease does not exceed the amount held in the revaluation surplus in respect of the same asset. Any additional loss must be charged as an expense in the statement of profit or loss.

Double entry:

  • Dr Revaluation reserve (to maximum of original gain)
  • Dr Income statement (any residual loss)
  • Cr Non-current asset (loss on revaluation)


EXAMPLE 8

The carrying amount of Zen Co’s property at the end of the year amounted to $108,000. On this date the property was revalued and was deemed to have a fair value of $95,000. The balance on the revaluation surplus relating to the original gain of the property was $10,000.

What is the double entry to record the revaluation? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 8.)

Depreciation

The asset must continue to be depreciated following the revaluation. However, now that the asset has been revalued the depreciable amount has changed. In simple terms the revalued amount should be depreciated over the assets remaining useful life.

Reserves transfer

The depreciation charge on the revalued asset will be different to the depreciation that would have been charged based on the historical cost of the asset. As a result of this, IAS 16 permits a transfer to be made of an amount equal to the excess depreciation from the revaluation reserve to retained earnings.

Double entry:

  • Dr Revaluation reserve
  • Cr Retained earnings


Be careful, in the exam a reserves transfer is only required if the examiner indicates that it is company policy to make a transfer to realised profits in respect of excess depreciation on revalued assets. If this is not the case then a reserves transfer is not necessary.

This movement in reserves should also be disclosed in the statement of changes in equity.

EXAMPLE 9

A company revalued its property on 1 April 20X1 to $20m ($8m for the land). The property originally cost $10m ($2m for the land) 10 years ago. The original useful life of 40 years is unchanged. The company’s policy is to make a transfer to realised profits in respect of excess depreciation.

How will the property be accounted for in the year ended 31 March 20X2? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 9.)

Exam focus

In the exam make sure you pay attention to the date that the revaluation takes place. If the revaluation takes place at the start of the year then the revaluation should be accounted for immediately and depreciation should be charged in accordance with the rule above.

If however the revaluation takes place at the year-end then the asset would be depreciated for a full 12 months first based on the original depreciation of that asset. This will enable the carrying amount of the asset to be known at the revaluation date, at which point the revaluation can be accounted for.

A further situation may arise if the examiner states that the revaluation takes place mid-way through the year. If this were to happen the carrying amount would need to be found at the date of revaluation, and therefore the asset would be depreciated based on the original depreciation for the period up until revaluation, then the revaluation will take place and be accounted for. Once the asset has been revalued you will need to consider the last period of depreciation. This will be found based upon the revaluation rules (depreciate the revalued amount over remaining useful life). This will be the most complicated situation and you must ensure that your working is clearly structured for this; ie depreciate for first period based on old depreciation, revalue, then depreciate last period based on new depreciation rule for revalued assets.

EXAMPLE 10

A company purchased a building on 1 April 20X1 for $100,000 at which point it was considered to have a useful life of 40 years. At the year end 31 March 20X6 the company decided to revalue the building to its current value of $98,000.

How will the building be accounted for in the year ended 31 March 20X6? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 10.)

EXAMPLE 11

At 1 April 20X1 HD Co carried its office block in its financial statements at its original cost of $2 million less depreciation of $400,000 (based on its original life of 50 years). HD Co decided to revalue the office block on 1 October 20X1 to its current value of $2.2m. The useful life remaining was reassessed at the time of valuation and is considered to be 40 years at this date. It is the company’s policy to charge depreciation proportionally.

How will the office block be accounted for in the year ended 31 March 20X2? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 11.)

Derecognition

Property, plant and equipment should be derecognised when it is no longer expected to generate future economic benefit or when it is disposed of.

When property, plant and equipment is to be derecognised, a gain or loss on disposal is to be calculated. This can be found by comparing the difference between:

Carrying amountX
Disposal proceedsX
Profit or loss on disposalX

Tip: When the disposal proceeds are greater than the carrying amount there is a profit on disposal and when the disposal proceeds are less than the carrying amount there is a loss on disposal.

EXAMPLE 12

An asset that originally cost $16,000 and had accumulated depreciation on it of $8,000 was disposed of during the year for $5,000 cash.

How should the disposal be accounted for in the financial statements? (See 'Related links' for the solution to Example 12.)

Disposal of previously revalued assets

When an asset is disposed of that has previously been revalued, a profit or loss on disposal is to be calculated (as above). Any remaining surplus on the revaluation reserve is now considered to be a ‘realised’ gain and therefore should be transferred to retained earnings as:

  • Dr Revaluation reserve
  • Cr Retained earnings

In summary, it can be seen that accounting for property, plant and equipment is an important topic that features regularly in the Financial Reporting exam. With most of what is examinable feeding though from the Financial Accounting exam, this should be a comfortable topic that you can tackle well in the exam.

Bobbie-Anne Retallack is a content specialist at Kaplan Publishing