When presenting annual reports for property companies, a number of issues have arisen out of the financial crisis as investment properties can be measured at fair value. Fair value is based either on objective, identifiable market prices (mark-to-market) or on models (mark-to-model) that are verified by using market indicators. In January 2009, IAASB published an alert for audit of the determination of fair value in inactive and illiquid markets. The thesis is partly based on a theoretical analysis of the investor’s need for information in terms of measurement attributes and disclosures and partly on a definition of responsibilities between the auditor and management for the fair value recognition and disclosures. In an empirical analysis, the general practice for presentation of annual reports for ten of the most prominent, Danish listed property companies, in which investment properties have been measured at fair value, has been investigated. Our analysis and assessments have shown that some of the disclosure requirements according to IFRS resemble general provisions and, in our view, the disclosures given in the annual reports are inadequate to meet these disclosure requirements. In addition, we believe that the users of financial statements could benefit from including further disclosure requirements in the accounting standards. We have assessed that both the auditor and management have separate responsibilities for the fair values and disclosures in the annual reports presented. Management’s responsibility is based on common responsibility standards whereas the auditor’s responsibility is based on professional responsibility standards. If members of management have special skills, these members will be subject to a stricter judgment. Management must ensure that all accounting standards are observed in the annual report. The auditor’s responsibility is to check that management has taken all requirements in the accounting standards into consideration – and in the event of inadequacy the auditor must qualify the audit opinion. If matters are found in the annual report, which the user of financial statements should pay special attention to, the auditor must highlight the matter in an emphasis of matter paragraph in the audit opinion. We suggest that further disclosure requirements be implemented in IAS 40 by way of sensitivity analyses and segmental disclosures. According to the conceptual framework for IFRS, further disclosures should always be considered from a cost-benefit point of view.
|Uddannelser||Cand.merc.aud Regnskab og Revision, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|