Accounts – Important definitions you should know

1. Financial instrument

A financial instrument is any contract that gives rise to a financial asset of one entity and a financial liability or equity instrument of another entity.

Let us understand with one example. A receivable for one entity gives rise to payable for another entity. Here receivable is a financial asset and payable is a financial liability.

2. Financial Asset

A financial asset is any asset that is:

(a) cash;

(b) an equity instrument of another entity;

(c) a contractual right:

(i) to receive cash or another financial asset from another entity; or

(ii) to exchange financial assets or financial liabilities with another entity under conditions that are potentially favourable to the entity; or

(d) a contract that will or may be settled in the entity’s own equity instruments and is:

(i) a non-derivative for which the entity is or may be obliged to receive a variable number of the entity’s own equity instruments; or

(ii) a derivative that will or may be settled other than by the exchange of a fixed amount of cash or another financial asset for a fixed number of the entity’s own equity instruments. For this purpose the entity’s own equity instruments do not include puttable financial instruments classified as equity instruments in accordance with paragraphs 16A and 16B, instruments that impose on the entity an obligation to deliver to another party a pro rata share of the net assets of the entity only on liquidation and are classified as equity instruments in accordance with paragraphs 16C and 16D, or instruments that are contracts for the future receipt or delivery of the entity’s own equity instruments.

3. Financial Liability

A financial liability is any liability that is:

(a) a contractual obligation :

(i) to deliver cash or another financial asset to another entity; or

(ii) to exchange financial assets or financial liabilities with another entity under conditions that are potentially unfavourable to the entity; or

(b) a contract that will or may be settled in the entity’s own equity instruments and is:

(i) a non-derivative for which the entity is or may be obliged to deliver a variable number of the entity’s own equity instruments; or

(ii) a derivative that will or may be settled other than by the exchange of a fixed amount of cash or another financial asset for a fixed number of the entity’s own equity instruments. For this purpose, rights, options or warrants to acquire a fixed number of the entity’s own equity instruments for a fixed amount of any currency are equity instruments if the entity offers the rights, options or warrants pro rata to all of its existing owners of the same class of its own non-derivative equity instruments. Apart from the aforesaid, the equity conversion option embedded in a convertible bond denominated in foreign currency to acquire a fixed number of the entity’s own equity instruments is an equity instrument if the exercise price is fixed in any currency. Also, for these purposes the entity’s own equity instruments do not include puttable financial instruments that are classified as equity instruments in accordance with paragraphs 16A and 16B, instruments that impose on the entity an obligation to deliver to another party a pro rata share of the net assets of the entity only on liquidation and are classified as equity instruments in accordance with paragraphs 16C and 16D, or instruments that are contracts for the future receipt or delivery of the entity’s own equity instruments.

4. Equity

An equity instrument is any contract that evidences a residual interest in the assets of an entity after deducting all of its liabilities.

Here the interest is in net assets of the entity. Which is in fact ownership interest.

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