Monday, April 25, 2011

Purpose of Related Party Disclosures

IAS 24 : Related Party Disclosures defines a related party as a person or entity that is related to the entity that is preparing its financial statements (reporting entity).

(a) A person or a close member of that person’s family is related to a reporting entity if that person :

  1. has control or joint control over the reporting entity;
  2. has significant influence over the reporting entity; or
  3. is a member of the key management personnel of the reporting entity or of a parent of the reporting entity

(b) An entity is related to a reporting entity if any of the following conditions applies:

  1. The entity and the reporting entity are members of the same group (which means that each parent, subsidiary and fellow subsidiary is related to the others)
  2. One entity is an associate or joint venture of the other entity (or an associate or joint venture of a member of a group of which the other entity is a member)
  3. Both entities are joint ventures of the same third party
  4. One entity is a joint venture of a third entity and the other entity is an associate of the third entity
  5. The entity is a post-employment benefit plan for the benefit of employees of either the reporting entity or an entity related to the reporting entity. If the reporting entity is itself such a plan, the sponsoring employers are also related to the reporting entity
  6. The entity is controlled or jointly controlled by a person identified in (a)
  7. A person identified in (a)(1) has significant influence over the entity or is a member of the key management personnel of the entity (or of a parent of the entity).

Related party relationships are a normal feature of commerce and business. For example, entities frequently carry on parts of their activities through subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates. In those circumstances, the entity has the ability to affect the financial and operating policies of the investee through the presence of control, joint control or significant influence.

A related party relationship could have an effect on the profit or loss and financial position of an entity. Related parties may enter into transactions that unrelated parties would not. For example, an entity that sells goods to its parent at cost might not sell on those terms to another customer. Also, transactions between related parties may not be made at the same amounts as between unrelated parties.

The profit or loss and financial position of an entity may be affected by a related party relationship even if related party transactions do not occur. The mere existence of the relationship may be sufficient to affect the transactions of the entity with other parties. For example, a subsidiary may terminate relations with a trading partner on acquisition by the parent of a fellow subsidiary engaged in the same activity as the former trading partner. Alternatively, one party may refrain from acting because of the significant influence of another – for example, a subsidiary may be instructed by its parent not to engage in research and development.

For these reasons, knowledge of an entity’s transactions, outstanding balances, including commitments, and relationships with related parties may affect assessments of its operations by users of financial statements, including assessments of the risks and opportunities facing the entity (Hrd).

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