Statement of Comprehensive Income

Introduction to Statement of comprehensive income

This statement expands the conventional income statement to involve specific other gains and losses that influence the equity of shareholders. It may be represented either in the form of a single statement or as two separate statements, including an income statement and a statement of comprehensive income. Though, this choice of presentation seems to be a transitional arrangement because the IASB's clear preference is for a single statement.

Again the format of the statement of comprehensive income is not set, but IAS 1 sets out the minimum information to be offered on the face of the statement. This involves:

  • revenue
  • finance costs
  • profits or losses occurring from discontinued operations
  • tax expense
  • profit or loss
  • every component of another comprehensive income classified though its nature
  • any share of the complete income of associates or joint ventures
  • total comprehensive income.

The standard makes it clear that further items should be shown on the face of the income statement where they are relevant to an understanding of performance. If, for example, a business is badly affected by flooding and inventories are destroyed like a result, the cost of the flood damage should be shown.

As a further aid to understanding, each and every material expenses should be separately disclosed. However, they need not be shown on the face of the income statement: they can appear in the notes to the financial statements. The kind of material items that may require separate disclosure include:

  • write-down of inventories to net realisable value
  • write-down of property, plant and equipment
  • disposals of investments
  • restructuring costs
  • discontinued operations
  • litigation settlements.

This is not an exhaustive list and actually other material expenses may need separate disclosure.

The standard recommends two possible ways in which expenses can be represented on the face of the income statement. Expenses can be presented either as per to their nature, for instance like depreciation, employee expenses and so on, or as per to business functions, like administrative activities and distribution. The choice among the two feasible ways of presenting expenses will relies on which one the directors believe will give the more applicable and reliable information.

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