Accounting treatment of credit loss allowances amid COVID-19: Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) versus IFRS 9 Expected Credit Loss (ECL)


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COVID-19, US GAAP, Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL), IFRS 9, Expected Credit Loss, Risk model


Shortly before the COVID-19 crisis emerged worldwide accounting standard boards reformed the accounting requirements for the modeling and the accounting of credit loss allowances. The Financial Standards Board (FASB) issues new requirements effective 2020 and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) IFRS 9 becoming effective 2018. The crisis possible evolving from COVID-19 will be the first Locums test for the recent set-up expected credit loss model, which originally emerged out of another crisis the Global Financial Crisis in 2009. This article will provide an overview of this new expected credit loss model. This paper starts with a synopsis and explains main differences of the new credit models. The main conclusion is that the expected credit loss model although reflecting management approach the model once implemented must be mandatorily steadily pursued without change. All available information management is aware must be incorporated into the model. Therefore, companies cannot increase credit loss allowance based on prudence principle, but the change of macroeconomic outlook is a main driver of the credit model.