Determining the fair value of Australia’s water infrastructure assets
About this report
In the Australian context, water infrastructure assets may be valued for one or more purposes, including the basis for the determination of regulated water prices, asset replacement and management programs, the transfer of assets from one water business to another, impairment testing and determining carrying values for annual financial reporting.
As recent reports in Australia’s major financial and business media make clear there is growing awareness across the Australian public sector that the application of Australian accounting requirements, which are written principally for publically listed companies, is not without problem. As a case in point, the determination of asset valuations and accounting for major infrastructure projects are particularly challenging.
This paper explores the requirements and practical issues associated with the determination of the fair value of water infrastructure assets for annual financial reporting purposes or, in other words, the measurement of water infrastructure assets in the balance sheets of Australian water businesses. With regard to the accounting rules, the following questions will be considered:
- Do the rules apply equally to ‘for-profit’ and ‘not-for-profit’ entities?
- Are there alternative measurement approaches?
- Are there any restrictions or limitations on the selection of an appropriate approach?
- What are Australian water businesses doing in practice?
- How do the ‘revaluation’ rules interact with the ‘impairment’ rules?
- What other practical matters need to be considered?
- Are there any broader implementation or business issues that need to be considered?
Deloitte Partners, Darryn Rundell and Robin Polson presented a paper on this issue at the Australian Water Association’s annual 2010 conference.
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