About 350 companies having a net worth upwards of Rs 500 crore in the BSE 500 universe will adopt Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) from this financial year. Some of these companies were following the Indian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles till now. Ind AS is similar to International Financial Reporting Standards.
The norms will impact the net worth, return ratios and earnings of Indian companies. This is because it brings about a significant change in the accounting of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), revenue recognition, employee stock options (ESOPs), foreign currency transactions, treatment of redeemable preference shares as debt versus equity earlier, among others. Banking and telecom will see the highest impact of this transition. Cement and capital goods will be the least hit, estimate analysts at Motilal Oswal Securities.
“Migrating to Ind AS will require corporates to prepare an opening balance sheet on the transition day, recognising assets and liabilities in accordance with Ind AS and adjusting the difference on migration through reserves. This will imply material change in the net worth of companies,” says Sandeep Gupta, analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities.
The new norms make it mandatory to account for ESOPs on a fair valuation basis. This could increase employee costs for most companies. Earlier, they had a choice between adopting either the intrinsic value or the fair value methods. Companies in banking/financials, information technology (IT), consumer goods and pharmaceuticals offer high ESOPs and are accounting for these on an intrinsic value basis. Hence, these will be hit the most by the new norm. Analysts estimate CRISIL, HDFC Bank and Info Edge will see a six to 11 per cent hit on earnings.
And, all financial instruments will have to be accounted for on a fair value basis. Every year mark-to-market (recalculating at current valuations) of gains will have to be accounted for in the profit & loss (P&L) account. All these changes will boost book profits and this will push up the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) payable by companies. Most entities in the IT sector pay MAT and will bear a higher one.
Changes in consolidating of revenues from joint ventures (JVs) will impact telecom companies and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Bharti Infratel have formed a JV called Indus Towers, which contributes about half of Bharti Infratel's revenue. Hence the latter will witness a higher revenue impact than its peers from the change.
Reliance Communications' earnings will reduce by the new norm to recognise foreign exchange fluctuations on translation or settlement of foreign currency monetary items in the income statement. While Idea will also be affected by the changes, analysts believe the impact will be marginal, due to lower revenue share from the JV and lower foreign currency exposure. As Bharti Airtel already follows IFRS, the global reporting standard, it should not see any meaningful impact from the transition.
So, too, for large IT companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro and HCL, which follow either IFRS or US GAAP (HCL) reporting standards. “Tech Mahindra, however, neither reports under IFRS nor US GAAP. Further, as noted earlier, using the fair value method of accounting for ESOPs instead of the intrinsic value method might adversely affect its profits after tax by two to three per cent,” says Karan Khanna, analyst at Ambit Capital. TechM will also be impacted by revised norms on M&As, as inorganic growth is a key part of its strategy.
Consumer goods, which used to account for discounts/incentives to end-users in the P&L so far, will now deduct these from total revenues. The move might not have an impact on earnings. Further, under IND AS norms, companies will report gross revenues and deduct excise duty from operating expenses. Companies taxed heavily such as ITC or United Spirits will see materially higher revenues, even as operating margins move southwards. The actual earnings, though, will not be impacted.
While companies will disclose the IND AS P&L statement in the June quarter, their balance sheets will come out in the following one, throwing more light on the actual impact.