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COVID-19: Accounting implications for CFOs

Debt Modifications 

The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in economic consequences that many reporting entities may not have had to previously consider. One of those consequences is their ability to repay loans. In response, some lenders have agreed to changing the borrowing terms or providing waivers or modifications to debt covenant arrangements. Any changes to the terms of loan agreements, for example providing any kind of payment holidays on either principal or interest or changing interest rates, should be carefully assessed.

Borrowers need to determine the impact of these changes and then apply the guidance set out in IFRS 9 ‘Financial Instruments’ to determine whether the change is a modification (as defined in IFRS 9). In many instances a gain or a loss might need to be recorded in profit or loss and depending on facts and circumstances, derecognition of the financial arrangement might be required as a result of modifying the financial instrument arrangement that existed.