Recognition and Measurement of Financial Instruments (Ind AS 39), Initial Recognition, Subsequent recognition of financial assets and Liabilities

14th September 2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Recognition and Measurement outlines the requirements for the recognition and measurement of financial assets, financial liabilities, and some contracts to buy or sell non-financial items. Financial instruments are initially recognised when an entity becomes a party to the contractual provisions of the instrument, and are classified into various categories depending upon the type of instrument, which then determines the subsequent measurement of the instrument (typically amortised cost or fair value). Special rules apply to embedded derivatives and hedging instruments.

IAS 39 was reissued in December 2003, applies to annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2005, and will be largely replaced by IFRS 9 Financial Instruments for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018.

Initial recognition

IAS 39 requires recognition of a financial asset or a financial liability when, and only when, the entity becomes a party to the contractual provisions of the instrument, subject to the following provisions in respect of regular way purchases. [IAS 39.14]

Regular way purchases or sales of a financial asset. A regular way purchase or sale of financial assets is recognised and derecognised using either trade date or settlement date accounting. [IAS 39.38] The method used is to be applied consistently for all purchases and sales of financial assets that belong to the same category of financial asset as defined in IAS 39 (note that for this purpose assets held for trading form a different category from assets designated at fair value through profit or loss). The choice of method is an accounting policy. [IAS 39.38]

IAS 39 requires that all financial assets and all financial liabilities be recognised on the balance sheet. That includes all derivatives. Historically, in many parts of the world, derivatives have not been recognised on company balance sheets. The argument has been that at the time the derivative contract was entered into, there was no amount of cash or other assets paid. Zero cost justified non-recognition, notwithstanding that as time passes and the value of the underlying variable (rate, price, or index) changes, the derivative has a positive (asset) or negative (liability) value.

Initial measurement

Initially, financial assets and liabilities should be measured at fair value (including transaction costs, for assets and liabilities not measured at fair value through profit or loss). [IAS 39.43]

Measurement subsequent to initial recognition

Subsequently, financial assets and liabilities (including derivatives) should be measured at fair value, with the following exceptions: [IAS 39.46-47]

  • Loans and receivables, held-to-maturity investments, and non-derivative financial liabilities should be measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method.
  • Investments in equity instruments with no reliable fair value measurement (and derivatives indexed to such equity instruments) should be measured at cost.
  • Financial assets and liabilities that are designated as a hedged item or hedging instrument are subject to measurement under the hedge accounting requirements of the IAS 39.
  • Financial liabilities that arise when a transfer of a financial asset does not qualify for derecognition, or that are accounted for using the continuing-involvement method, are subject to particular measurement requirements.

Fair value is the amount for which an asset could be exchanged, or a liability settled, between knowledgeable, willing parties in an arm’s length transaction. [IAS 39.9] IAS 39 provides a hierarchy to be used in determining the fair value for a financial instrument: [IAS 39 Appendix A, paragraphs AG69-82]

  • Quoted market prices in an active market are the best evidence of fair value and should be used, where they exist, to measure the financial instrument.
  • If a market for a financial instrument is not active, an entity establishes fair value by using a valuation technique that makes maximum use of market inputs and includes recent arm’s length market transactions, reference to the current fair value of another instrument that is substantially the same, discounted cash flow analysis, and option pricing models. An acceptable valuation technique incorporates all factors that market participants would consider in setting a price and is consistent with accepted economic methodologies for pricing financial instruments.
  • If there is no active market for an equity instrument and the range of reasonable fair values is significant and these estimates cannot be made reliably, then an entity must measure the equity instrument at cost less impairment.

Amortised cost is calculated using the effective interest method. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash payments or receipts through the expected life of the financial instrument to the net carrying amount of the financial asset or liability. Financial assets that are not carried at fair value though profit and loss is subject to impairment test. If expected life cannot be determined reliably, then the contractual life is used.

Recognition and derecognition

A financial instrument is recognised in the financial statements when the entity becomes a party to the financial instrument contract. An entity removes a financial liability from its statement of financial position when its obligation is extinguished. An entity removes a financial asset from its statement of financial position when its contractual rights to the asset’s cash flows expire; when it has transferred the asset and substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership; or when it has transferred the asset, and has retained some substantial risks and rewards of ownership, but the other party may sell the asset. The risks and rewards retained are recognised as an asset.


A financial asset or financial liability is measured initially at fair value. Subsequent measurement depends on the category of financial instrument. Some categories are measured at amortised cost, and some at fair value. In limited circumstances other measurement bases apply, for example, certain financial guarantee contracts.

The following are measured at amortised cost:

  • held to maturity investments; non-derivative financial assets that the entity has the positive intention and ability to hold to maturity;
  • loans and receivables; non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market; and
  • Financial liabilities that are not carried at fair value through profit or loss or otherwise required to be measured in accordance with another measurement basis.

The following are measured at fair value:

  • Financial assets and financial liabilities held for trading this category includes derivatives not designated as hedging instruments and financial assets and financial liabilities that the entity has designated for measurement at fair value. All changes in fair value are reported in profit or loss.
  • Available for sale financial assets: All financial assets that do not fall within one of the other categories. These are measured at fair value. Unrealised changes in fair value are reported in other comprehensive income. Realised changes in fair value (from sale or impairment) are reported in profit or loss at the time of realisation.