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Introduction to IAS 11 - Construction Contracts


Scope

This Standard shall be applied in accounting for construction contracts in the financial statements of contractors. This Standard supersedes IAS 11 Accounting for Construction Contracts approved in 1978.

Definitions

The following terms are used in this Standard with the meanings specified:
A construction contract is a contract specifically negotiated for the construction of an asset or a combination of assets that are closely interrelated or interdependent in terms of their design, technology and function or their ultimate purpose or use.
A fixed price contract is a construction contract in which the contractor agrees to a fixed contract price, or a fixed rate per unit of output, which in some cases is subject to cost escalation clauses.
A cost plus contract is a construction contract in which the contractor is reimbursed for allowable or otherwise defined costs, plus a percentage of these costs or a fixed fee.

Combining and segmenting construction contracts

The requirements of this Standard are usually applied separately to each construction contract. However, in certain circumstances, it is necessary to apply the Standard to the separately identifiable components of a single contract or to a group of contracts together in order to reflect the substance of a contract or a group of contracts.

When a contract covers a number of assets, the construction of each asset shall be treated as a separate construction contract when:

(a) separate proposals have been submitted for each asset;
(b) each asset has been subject to separate negotiation and the contractor and customer have been able to accept or reject that part of the contract relating to each asset; and
(c) the costs and revenues of each asset can be identified.

A group of contracts, whether with a single customer or with several customers, shall be treated as a single construction contract when:

(a) the group of contracts is negotiated as a single package;
(b) the contracts are so closely interrelated that they are, in effect, part of a single project with an overall profit margin; and(c) the contracts are performed concurrently or in a continuous sequence.

A contract may provide for the construction of an additional asset at the option of the customer or may be amended to include the construction of an additional asset. The construction of the additional asset shall be treated as a separate construction contract when:

(a) the asset differs significantly in design, technology or function from the asset or assets covered by the original contract; or
(b) the price of the asset is negotiated without regard to the original contract price.

Contract revenue

Contract revenue shall comprise:

(a) the initial amount of revenue agreed in the contract; and

(b) variations in contract work, claims and incentive payments:

(i) to the extent that it is probable that they will result in revenue; and
(ii) they are capable of being reliably measured.

Contract revenue is measured at the fair value of the consideration received or receivable. The measurement of contract revenue is affected by a variety of uncertainties that depend on the outcome of future events. The estimates often need to be revised as events occur and uncertainties are resolved. Therefore, the amount of contract revenue may increase or decrease from one period to the next. For example:

(a) a contractor and a customer may agree variations or claims that increase or decrease contract revenue in a period subsequent to that in which the contract was initially agreed;
(b) the amount of revenue agreed in a fixed price contract may increase as a result of cost escalation clauses;
(c) the amount of contract revenue may decrease as a result of penalties arising from delays caused by the contractor in the completion of the contract; or
(d) when a fixed price contract involves a fixed price per unit of output, contract revenue increases as the number of units is increased.

Contract costs

Contract costs shall comprise:

(a) costs that relate directly to the specific contract;
(b) costs that are attributable to contract activity in general and can be allocated to the contract; and
(c) such other costs as are specifically chargeable to the customer under the terms of the contract.

Costs that relate directly to a specific contract include:

(a) site labour costs, including site supervision;
(b) costs of materials used in construction;
(c) depreciation of plant and equipment used on the contract;
(d) costs of moving plant, equipment and materials to and from the contract site;
(e) costs of hiring plant and equipment;
(f) costs of design and technical assistance that is directly related to the contract;
(g) the estimated costs of rectification and guarantee work, including expected warranty costs; and
(h) claims from third parties.

These costs may be reduced by any incidental income that is not included in contract revenue, for example income from the sale of surplus materials and the disposal of plant and equipment at the end of the contract.

Recognition of contract revenue and expenses

When the outcome of a construction contract can be estimated reliably, contract revenue and contract costs associated with the construction contract shall be recognised as revenue and expenses respectively by reference to the stage of completion of the contract activity at the end of the reporting period. An expected loss on the construction contract shall be recognised as an expense immediately in accordance with paragraph 36.

In the case of a fixed price contract, the outcome of a construction contract can be estimated reliably when all the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) total contract revenue can be measured reliably;
(b) it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the contract will flow to the entity;
(c) both the contract costs to complete the contract and the stage of contract completion at the end of the reporting period can be measured reliably; and
(d) the contract costs attributable to the contract can be clearly identified and measured reliably so that actual contract costs incurred can be compared with prior estimates.

In the case of a cost plus contract, the outcome of a construction contract can be estimated reliably when all the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the contract will flow to the entity; and
(b) the contract costs attributable to the contract, whether or not specifically reimbursable, can be clearly identified and measured reliably.

When the outcome of a construction contract cannot be estimated reliably:

(a) revenue shall be recognised only to the extent of contract costs incurred that it is probable will be recoverable; and
(b) contract costs shall be recognised as an expense in the period in which they are incurred.

An expected loss on the construction contract shall be recognised as an expense immediately in accordance with paragraph 36.

Recognition of expected losses

 When it is probable that total contract costs will exceed total contract revenue, the expected loss shall be recognised as an expense immediately.
The amount of such a loss is determined irrespective of: (a) whether work has commenced on the contract; (b) the stage of completion of contract activity; or
(c) the amount of profits expected to arise on other contracts which are not treated as a single construction contract in accordance with paragraph 9.

Disclosure

An entity shall disclose:

(a) the amount of contract revenue recognised as revenue in the period;
(b) the methods used to determine the contract revenue recognised in the period; and
(c) the methods used to determine the stage of completion of contracts in progress.

An entity shall disclose each of the following for contracts in progress at the end of the reporting period:

(a) the aggregate amount of costs incurred and recognised profits (less recognised losses) to date;
(b) the amount of advances received; and
(c) the amount of retentions.

An entity shall present:

(a) the gross amount due from customers for contract work as an asset; and
(b) the gross amount due to customers for contract work as a liability.

Effective date

This Standard becomes operative for financial statements covering periods beginning on or after 1 January 1995.



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