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Accounting for derivatives - An Overview

Accounting for derivatives refers to the process of recognizing, measuring, and reporting the financial impact of derivative contracts, such as futures, options, and swaps, in financial statements. The accounting for derivatives involves several key steps:

  1. Initial recognition: The derivative contract is recognized on the balance sheet as an asset or liability at its fair value.

  2. Fair value measurement: The fair value of a derivative contract is determined based on market prices or discounted future cash flows. The fair value is updated regularly to reflect changes in market conditions.

  3. Classification: Derivatives are classified as either held for trading or designated as hedging instruments. The classification affects the way gains and losses are recognized in financial statements.

  4. Hedging: If the derivative is designated as a hedging instrument, it must meet certain criteria to be considered effective in reducing risk. The effectiveness of the hedge is assessed regularly to ensure that it continues to meet the criteria.

  5. Reporting: Gains and losses from derivatives are recognized in the income statement and reflected in the balance sheet. The presentation of derivative contracts and related gains and losses in financial statements must comply with IFRS requirements.

The accounting for derivatives is complex and requires a thorough understanding of financial markets and instruments. It is important to properly account for derivatives to ensure that financial statements accurately reflect the financial position and performance of an entity.

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