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IFRS vs ASPE Essay

Inventory is defined as “assets held for sale in the ordinary course of business, in the process of production for such sale, or in the form of materials or supplies to be consumed in the production process or in the rendering of services”. The cost of inventory is measured at the lower of cost and net realizable value. The IFRS accounting for inventory is generally converged with ASPE. The only difference between IFRES and ASPE in the accounting for inventory is with borrowing costs. Since some inventory products require significant manufacturing time (qualifying assets), a manufacturer will finance its operating costs by borrowing money. Under ASPE we can choose to capitalize borrowing costs relating to inventory that takes substantial time to get it ready for sale. In comparison with IFRS, borrowing costs associated with qualifying assets are capitalized.

Financial Assets

financial assets refer to any asset that is “cash, an equity instrument of another entity, a contractual right, a contract that will or may be settled in the entity’s own equity instruments”. The main differences between IFRS and ASPE exist for scope, classification, and measurement of financial assets. IFRS uses four categories of financial assets: fair value through profit or loss (FVTPL), held-to-maturity (HTM), loans and receivable, and available for sale.

ASPE does not use the four categories to group the financial assets. Instead, investments are categorized by their nature: equity, debt, and derivatives. For the joint arrangements perspective, IFRS distinguishes joint operations from joint ventures and require proportionate consolidation for joint operations and the equity method for joint ventures. ASPE, on the other hand, does not distinguish between joint operations from joint ventures and uses the term joint venture to refer to both types of joint arrangements. ASPE allows the proportionate consolidaton, the equity method, and the cost method without any preference for any of them. Another difference between these two accounting standards is the accounting for available for sale investments.

IFRS requires that available for sale investments be carried at fair value with unrealized gains or losses going through other comprehensive income, whereas in ASPE there is no concept of other comprehensive income. Portfolio equity investments (PEI) also need to be recorded at fair value in IFRS with the unrealized gains or losses recorded through net income if PEI is classified as held for trading and if classified available for sale unrealized gains or losses flow through other comprehensive income.

In comparison with ASPE, equity investments quoted in active market are measured at fair value with gains or losses going through income. Equity investments not quoted in an active market should remain at cost, subject to impairment. Finally, investments in debt under IFRS may be classified as HFT, AFS, or HTM with an amortized cost method that uses the effective interest method. This is not the case under ASPE. ASPE uses both the effective interest method and the straight line method.

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