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  • IFRS Bulletin 2020-03

    International Financial Reporting Bulletin


IFRS Bulletin 2020-03 – Potential effects of the Coronavirus outbreak on 2020 reporting periods and onward

03. Juli 2020



The 2019 Novel Coronavirus infection (‘coronavirus’) or ‘COVID-19’ outbreak poses a serious public health threat. It has interrupted the movement of people and goods throughout the world, and many levels of government are instituting restrictions on individuals and businesses. The resulting impact on financial reporting may be significant.

BDO issued IFR Bulletin 2020/02 – Potential effects of the Coronavirus Outbreak on 31 December 2019 year-end financial reporting (external publication) in February 2020. In that publication, it was noted that significant development and spread of the coronavirus did not take place until January 2020. As at 31 December 2019, only certain events and associated actions had taken place such as the Wuhan Municipal Health Committee’s issue on 30 December 2019 of an urgent notice in respect of the virus. However, although cases were reported to the World Health Organisation on 31 December 2019, its announcement of coronavirus as a global health emergency was not made until 31 January 2020 (following which national governments took action). In addition, significant measures taken by the Chinese government and by private sector organisations did not take place until early 2020.

On this basis, the effects of the coronavirus were generally a ‘non-adjusting event’ (IAS 10.10-11), and therefore forecasts, projections and associated assumptions used in preparing financial statements as at 31 December 2019 would reflect either little or no change as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

For reporting periods beginning on or after 31 January 2020, the effects of the coronavirus would need to be incorporated into the preparation of financial statements.

The effects of the coronavirus may be very wide spread, and relate to many industries; they are not limited only to entities operating directly in the travel and tourism industry (e.g. airlines, tour operators, etc.).