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Telling the COVID-19 Story

By: Mark Hucklesby, Sarah Carroll

Telling the COVID-19 story is not only about reflecting what the financial reporting standards require disclosure on.

Annual financial statements will always be a critical communication to investors and other stakeholders. But how effective will they be in explaining to your stakeholders how the global COVID-19 pandemic has affected your organisation?

While the focus over the last three years has been on explaining the introduction of new Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards (International Financial Reporting Standards equivalent), dealing with revenue, financial instruments and leasing, readers of the financial statements will want to know how the global pandemic changed the business.

No matter what situation exists, preparers of financial statements need to get the content right. When drafting the financial statements that will be issued, management should be mindful of what others have done – particularly businesses in the same industry sector – when they tell their own COVID-19 story and they should never lose sight of what makes their business unique. This will take time and effort because the recognition, measurement and disclosure requirements set out in IFRS issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) can be complex and demanding.

Unfortunately, many users complain that IFRS generates financial statements that are cluttered, and important information is often hard to find.

This publication describes and illustrates how entities can better tell their COVID-19 story using four key tools we believe can help explain what has happened over the last 12 months.