IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment states that the residual value and useful economic life of an asset should be reviewed at each financial year end (at least).
Exam questions dealing with published accounts often ask for accounting adjustments arising on revaluation of non-current assets. You should know some points about IAS 16 as well as IAS40. See the note on IAS36 for accounting for impairment losses.
The main points dealt with by the standard are:
1.An item of property, plant and equipment which qualifies for recognition as an asset should initially be measured at its cost. All capital costs should be included in this initial cost (e.g. the cost of site preparation, delivery costs, installation costs, and other directly attributable costs that would have been avoided had the assts not been acquired), whereas revenue costs should be written off as incurred (e.g. general overhead costs, maintenance costs).
2.An entity evaluates under the general recognition principle all property, plant and equipment costs at the time they are incurred. Those costs include costs incurred initially to acquire or construct an item of property, plant and equipment and costs incurred subsequently to add to, replace part of, or service an item. An entity does not recognize in the carrying amount of an item of property, plant and equipment the costs of the day-to-day servicing of the item. Rather, there costs are recognized in profit or loss as incurred. An entity recognizes in the carrying amount of an item of property, plant and equipment the cost of replacing part of such an item when that cost is incurred if the recognition criteria are met. The carrying amount of those parts that are replaced is derecognized. If it is not practicable to determine the carrying amount of the replaced part, it may use the cost of the replacement as an indication of what the cost of the replaced part was at the time it was acquired or constructed.
3.Normally all inspection and overhaul costs are expensed as they are incurred. However, to the extend that they satisfy the IAS16 rules for separate components, such costs should be capitalized separately as a non-current asset and depreciated over their useful lives.
4.The residual value and useful economic life of an asset should be reviewed at least at each financial year-end and revised when necessary. When a material change becomes necessary, the depreciation charge for the current and future periods should be adjusted. The change in depreciation method does not constitute a change of accounting policy.
5.Depreciation of an asset begins when it is available for use and ceases at the earlier of the date that the asset is classified as held for sale (IFRS5) and the date that the asset is derecognized.
6.The carrying amount of an item of property, plant and equipment shall be derecognized on disposal or when no future economic benefits are expected from its use or disposal.
7.Subsequent to initial recognition, the cost model is that property, plant and equipment should be carried at cost less accumulated depreciation subject to any necessary write-down in value.
8.The revaluation model is that property, plant and equipment whose fair value can be measured reliably should be carried at a revalued amount being its fair value at the date of revaluation less any accumulated depreciation after revaluation and any necessary write-down in value. On revaluation, the increase in carrying amount must be credited to revaluation surplus, however, if such increase reverses a previous revaluation decrease of the same asset which was recognized as an expense in I/S then the increase is firstly credited to I/S; the revaluation decrease should be recognized immediately as an expense in I/S, however, if there is revaluation surplus on the same asset then such decrease should write off the revaluation surplus firstly.
9. Where the revaluation model is adopted, revaluation should be made regularly so that the carrying value of a revalued asset does not differ materially from its fair value at the balance sheet date.