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Accounting implications of COVID-19

With the Coronavirus now a pandemic, it is important that Maltese businesses consider the accounting implications of the impact that this crisis is having on their operations.


Is the impact of the Coronavirus an adjusting event in the 31 December 2019 year-end financial statements?

Entities should consider IAS 10 “Events after the reporting period” to determine whether the impact of the coronavirus is an adjusting or a non-adjusting event.

IAS 10 describes an adjusting event as one which ‘provides evidence of conditions that existed at the end of the reporting period’. In our view, the development and spread of this virus happened in 2020 and does not provide evidence of a condition that existed as of 31 December 2019 and therefore is a non-adjusting event. On 31 December 2019 there were few reported cases and little confirmed evidence of its spread amongst the human population.

Entities need to ensure that the measurement of their assets and liabilities at 31 December 2019 is not impacted by the subsequent development of the virus. For instance, the measurement of expected credit losses and hedge effectiveness in accordance with IFRS 9 ‘Financial Instruments’, the measurement of impairment of intangible assets such as goodwill under IAS 36 ‘Impairment’, and assets and liabilities that are measured at fair value in accordance with IFRS 13 ‘Fair Value Measurement’. Entities should also consider IAS 2 ‘Inventories’ because if they have reduced or idle capacity, the overhead costs may not be allocated to inventory as they usually are (i.e. any downtime should not be included in the cost of inventory). The realisation of deferred tax assets under IAS 12 ‘Income Taxes’ should also be considered.



If the impact of the non-adjusting event is material to the financial statements, it should be disclosed. This disclosure should include the nature of the event and an estimate of the financial effect, or if it is not possible to estimate this, a statement to that effect.


This document is intended as a guide only and the application of its contents to specific situations will depend on the particular circumstances involved. While every care has been taken in its presentation, personnel who use this document to assist in achieving or evaluating compliance with IFRS should have sufficient training and experience to do so. No person should act specifically on the basis of the material contained herein without considering and taking professional advice. Neither Grant Thornton nor its partners and employees accept any responsibility for any errors this document might contain, whether caused by negligence or otherwise, or any loss, howsoever caused, incurred by any person as a result of utilising or otherwise placing any reliance upon it.