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Accountancy  •  Business Services

Preparing for the new financial reporting standard FRS 102 – What you need to know

By Simon Paterson on 23 September, 2015


Medium to large sized companies in the UK are now required to implement a new financial reporting standard FRS 102, which came into effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015. Introduced as part of the original IAS reforms, FRS 102 is effectively a new UK GAAP and a single financial reporting standard that aims to provide companies with succinct reporting guidelines. It replaces all UK accounting standards currently in issue. There are some key changes to prepare for and this could have a knock on effect on the way accounts are presented.


When does the new financial standard FRS 102 start to apply?

FRS 102 applies to entities in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland and is compulsory for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015. The requirements in FRS 102 are based on the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs) which is simpler in form than the full International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).


Which companies will be affected by FRS 102?

The new FRS 102 brings with it a number of changes and will immediately affect companies that have an accounting year starting during 2015. All companies that do not meet the small/micro company limits and fulfill two of the following criteria will need to apply the FRS 102 rules:

  • Annual turnover of more than £6.5m;
  • Total assets of more than £3.26m;
  • More than fifty employees.


What are some of the key FRS 102 changes to be aware of?

1. Under FRS 102 the period over which an entity can amortise goodwill without having a reliable estimate of the useful economic life has been reduced to 10 years. Under the previous rules the maximum period was 20 years. Although the net effect over the life of the goodwill is still the same, entities could be faced with lower than anticipated profits in the short term.

2. On transition to new GAAP fixed assets can either be brought into the accounts at their closing net book value from the previous period, or they can be brought in at “deemed cost” (i.e. fair or market value). Where there is more than one asset within a category of fixed assets, all assets need to be treated the same i.e. individual assets cannot be brought in at deemed cost, the whole category of assets must be recognised using the same method Overall this change may provide some companies with an opportunity to improve the value of their balance sheet if assets have appreciated in value or have been previously depreciated to below market value.

3. When fixed assets are revalued under FRS102 the uplift in the value will no longer pass through the revaluation reserve. Instead the increase will pass directly through the profit and loss account. Any upward revaluation will not be distributable as a dividend.

4. Prior period adjustments will now be recognised for all material errors discovered under FRS102. Current UK GAAP required that only “fundamental” errors be corrected via prior period adjustments. In theory this could lead to an increase in the adjustments that are made to prior year information.

5. Stock can no longer be valued under the ”Last in, First Out”(LIFO) method, which could lead to material changes in the valuation of stock. During times of rising material prices stock values will be higher resulting in higher reportable profits.

6. Deferred tax calculations under FRS102 need to take into consideration the revaluations of non-monetary assets, such as investment property. On the face of it this may not appear to be a big change, but due to increasing the value of property in today’s economic climate, this change could lead to a large increase in deferred tax liabilities for some entities.

7. Loans receivable from intra-group companies should be recognised at “amortised cost”. This means that where interest on intra-group loans is below market rate, loans will need to be discounted to a value below that of the original loan. The discount will be reflected in the profit and loss account as a cost to the lender.

8. Where an entity has employees that have unused holiday allowance at the balance sheet date, if this holiday entitlement is used in the next financial year FRS102 carries an explicit requirement to accrue for such costs. There was no such obvious necessity under current UK GAAP.

If you have any questions about introducing FRS 102 and the impact it may have on your company, please contact Simon Paterson ( or Michael Blay (

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