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Old 27th Jan 2008, 18:00
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 119
Off Balance Sheet Financing

The accountancy profession attempted to eliminate these Spanish practices years ago by requiring the full substance of such transactions to be reported...

FRS 5 Reporting the Substance of Transactions

Issued: April 1994

FRS 5 addresses the problem of what is commonly referred to as 'off balance sheet financing'. One of the main aims of such arrangements is to finance a company's assets and operations in such a way that the finance is not shown as a liability in the company's balance sheet. A further effect is that the assets being financed are excluded from the accounts, with the result that both the resources of the entity and its financing are understated.

FRS 5 requires that the substance of an entity's transactions is reported in its financial statements. This requires that the commercial effect of a transaction and any resulting assets, liabilities, gains and losses are shown and that the accounts do not merely report the legal form of a transaction.

For example, a company may sell (ie transfer legal title to) an asset and enter into a concurrent agreement to repurchase the asset at the sales price plus interest. The asset may remain on the premises of the 'seller' and continue to be used in its business. In such a case, the company continues to enjoy the economic benefit of the asset and to be exposed to the principal risks inherent in those benefits.

FRS 5 requires that the asset continues to be reported as an asset of the seller, notwithstanding the transfer of legal title, and that a liability is recognised for the 'seller's' obligation to repay the sales price plus interest.

PPP/PFI has always been dodgy in my book.

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