State Bank of India has suggested deferment in the application of the revised accounting standard on employee benefits in the wake of its impact on its balance sheet. The revised accounting standard on employee benefits (AS-15) is mandatory on certain large enterprises such as SBI and has come into force from the accounting period beginning April 1, 2006.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) President, Mr T.N. Manoharan, confirmed the receipt of a letter from SBI, which, he said, has suggested that the institute may consider deferment of application of revised AS-15 in view of its impact on its balance sheet.
"They (SBI) are having transitional problems. The ICAI is seized of the matter. As the central council had approved the revised AS-15, it would have to again consider the matter on account of SBI's request. We propose to examine the issue in the next council meeting on September 6-8," Mr Manoharan told Business Line.
He maintained that the revised AS-15 was in line with the internationally recognised accounting standards on employee benefits. Accountancy experts said that many enterprises would face transitional problems to the new standard as in most cases it would result in higher provisions for retirement and other employee benefits.
Informed sources said that SBI appears to be concerned over the transitional provisions in the revised AS-15 as it requires the additional liability arising from the implementation of the revised accounting standard on employee benefits to be adjusted against the reserves of the bank.
The revised AS-15 has stringent requirements concerning measurement of employee benefits costs. It has also specified the projected unit credit method as the only single actuarial method of valuation that would be recognised. Moreover, the revised AS-15 has also stipulated that the discount rate to discount benefit obligations should be consistent with market yields of Government bonds.