FRS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors – Summary

The objective of FRS 8 is to prescribe the criteria for selecting and changing accounting policies, together with the accounting treatment and disclosure of changes in accounting policies, changes in accounting estimates and correction of prior period errors.

Changes in accounting policies
An entity should change its accounting policies only if the change is required by the Standards or the change results in a more relevant and reliable information about the entities financial position. Any changes in accounting policies shall be accounted for in accordance with the specific transitional provisions of the Standards. If there are no specific transitional provisions, the change in accounting policies shall be done retrospectively as though the new accounting policy had always been applied.

Changes in accounting estimates
Changes in accounting estimates should be recognised prospectively in the profit and loss account either in the period of the change only or the period of change and future periods, if the changes affect both. Any corresponding changes in assets, liabilities or equity are recognised by making adjustments to the carrying amount of the assets, liabilities or equity in the period of change.

Material errors in financial statements that are discovered in subsequent periods must be adjusted retrospectively in the first set of financial statements authorized for issue after their discovery. The comparative amounts for prior period are either restated or if the error occurred before the earliest prior period presented, the opening balances of the assets, liabilities and equity for the earliest prior period are restated.

FRS 8 specifies that in instances where it is impracticable to do a retrospective adjustment for change in accounting policy, the entity should restate the comparative information prospectively from the earliest date practicable.

FRS 8 also specifies the disclosures required of changes in accounting policies, accounting estimates and errors.

What is prior period errors? When did an error occur?

Prior period errors are omissions from, and misstatements in, the entity’s financial statements for one or more prior periods arising from a failure to use, or misuse of, reliable information that:-

  • was available when financial statements for those periods were authorised for issue; and
  • could reasonably be expected to have been obtained and taken into account in the preparation and presentation of those financial statements.

Such errors include the effects of mathematical mistakes, mistakes in applying accounting policies, oversights or misinterpretations of facts, and fraud.

Source – ICPAS ePublication 29 Nov 2005 Issue 12/2005

FRS 2 Inventories – Summary

FRS 2 provides guidance on the determination of cost of inventories and its subsequent recognition as an expense, any write down to net realizable value.

FRS 2 applies to all inventories except for:

a) WIP under construction contracts;
b) Financial instruments; and
c) Biological assets related to agricultural activity produce at the point of harvest.

Inventories are measured at the lower of cost and net realisable value (NRV).

  • NRV is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business less estimated costs of completion and costs necessary to make the sale.
  • Cost of inventories comprise of cost of purchase, costs of conversion and other costs incurred in bringing the inventories to their present location and condition.

Three methods of costing inventories are specified under paragraph 23-27 of FRS 2.

i) Specific identification of costs method

ii) First-In, First-Out (FIFO) costs method

iii) Weighted average costs method

FRS 2 requires that the amount of write down of inventories to NRV is recognised as an expense in the period the write down or loss occurs. Any reversals of the write down, as a result of increase in NRV, is recognised as a reduction in amount of inventories recognized as an expense in the period the reversal occurs.

FRS 2 also specifies the disclosures required of inventories.

Source – ICPAS ePublication

FRS 1 – Presentation of Financial Statements Nov 2005


  1. To prescribe the basis of presentation of general purpose financial statements and;
  2. To ensure comparability of entity’s financial statements with previous periods and with other entities’ financial statements.

Below is a summary of the overall considerations for the presentation of financial statements.

  • Fair presentation and compliance with FRS

A faithful representation of the effects of transactions, events and conditions in accordance with the FRS.

  • Going concern

Preparation of financial statements with the assumption that the business will continue indefinitely.

  • Accrual basis of accounting

A method where income and expense items are recognized and recorded when income is earned and expense is incurred, regardless of when cash is actually received or paid.

  • Consistency of presentation

Presentation and classification of items in financial statements are retained from one period to the next unless the standard requires a change in presentation or there is a significant change in the nature of the entity’s operations, such that another presentation would be more appropriate.

  • Materiality and aggregation

Similar items of each material class are to be presented separately.

  • Offsetting

No offsetting of asset and liabilities, and income and expenses unless permitted by a Standard.

  • Comparative information

To disclose comparative information of previous period for comparative purposes.

FRS 1 also specifies the minimum line item disclosure required on the face of the balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity and notes to the financial statements except for presentation of cash flow statements which is covered under FRS 7.

FRS 1 also specifies that entities disclose information that is presented in the financial statements such as the accounting policies, judgments and key sources of estimation uncertainty at the balance sheet date.

Source – ICPAS ePublication 8 November 2005 Issue 9/2005

GST-inclusive price

I have been paying attention to the numerous huge advertisements by the many industry players in the red hot lasik market in Singapore. Prices of lasik is definitely on a downtrend and possibility of hitting sub-$1,000 per eye for standard lasik is very real. (someone told me the limit has been breached already)

In today’s national paper, I notice a lasik provider has now included the GST-inclusive price of $2,341.16 into the advert albeit in a smaller font size.

In the heat of competition, perhaps many have forgotten the small detail of the need to place GST-inclusive prices.

What is the Law?
According to reg 77(1) of GST regulations, “where a taxable person publicly displays or advertises the price of any supply of goods and services he makes, or intends to make, it has to be the “GST-inclusive” price.

Any exception to this law must be approved by IRAS.

Edgar says…
While such taxable persons may not be sufficiently in tune with all details, I wonder whether the advertising agents or media owners should play a role in removing such “printing errors or omissions”.

Cake or biscuit = GBP3.5m error


Under UK tax rules, most traditional bakery products such as bread, cakes, flapjacks and Jaffa Cakes are free of Value Added Tax (VAT).

But the tax is payable on some other items eg. cereal bars, shortbread and partly-coated or wholly-coated biscuits.

The confusion arose when the Authority is not sure when a CAKE is not a bread or when a BREAD is actually a cake etc etc etc….

Customers of Marks & Spencer in UK, who had been paying VAT for the last 20 years for a product called “teacakes” realised recently that VAT should not have been applied on the product. How come? The authorities have accepted the product was actually a cake, which does not command VAT!!! A mistake realised after 20 years.

This incident serves to explain why the Government has chosen not to heed calls from some quarters to apply a lower GST rate on necessities.