Perspectives on International Financial Reporting and Auditing in the Airline Industry: Volume 35

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Table of contents

(8 chapters)

Part I: International Financial Reporting


This chapter focuses on the diversity of financial reporting frameworks in the airline industry considering past and present. While diversity of financial reporting frameworks existed in the past, currently, the majority of listed and non-listed airlines, whose financial statements are publicly available, are inclined to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), leading toward uniformity in financial reporting frameworks because their country of incorporation or the stock exchange where they are listed either require or permit them to do so. Airlines operating in the United States prepare their financial statements under United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and some of Asian-Pacific countries still use their own national accounting standards in financial reporting. In addition, this research points out that the primary determinant of IFRS adoption in the airline industry is the fact that the majority of airlines are listed in national or foreign stock exchanges where IFRS adoption is required, but there are some company-specific determinants for listed and non-listed IFRS adopting airlines. Finally, this chapter also sets forth that there are jurisdictional versions of IFRS in the global context from the perspective of financial statements of airlines leading to some obstacles in understanding the financial reporting framework.


This chapter deals with the patterns of International Financial Reporting Standards’ accounting policy choices that have been analyzed by several authors in a country-specific context. Instead of a country-specific context, this chapter adopts a sector-specific approach in terms of the airline industry in a regional and global context in order to observe the patterns of cosmetic and non-cosmetic policy options. Cosmetic policy options are related to the presentation of financial information which is not expected to impact the comparability of financial information versus non-cosmetic policy options are considered to be policy options that are related to measurement and, therefore, if there is more than one allowable accounting treatment, the comparability of financial information weakens. In the context of the airline industry, this chapter considers the patterns of policy choices related to IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements, IAS 2 Inventory, IAS 7 Statement of Cash Flows, IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment, IAS 38 Intangible Assets, and IAS 40 Investment Property, within the framework of frequently observed policy options as well as taking depreciation methods and expected useful life into consideration in terms of industry-specific policy options in order to observe whether there is uniformity rather than diversity in the airline industry for presentation and measurement.


This chapter focuses on the IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers and IFRS 16 Leases in the airline industry considering the case of Air France – KLM (AF-KLM). This airline timely adopted IFRS 15 and early adopted IFRS 16 for the year 2018 and restated its 2017 financial statements using the full retrospective method so that the 2018 financial statements of the airline provide comparative financial information during the transition phase from IAS 18 to IFRS 15 as well as from IAS 17 to IFRS 16. In the first part of the chapter, liquidity, solvency, and profitability ratios along with cash flow ratios were used to analyze the cumulative effect of IFRS 15 and IFRS 16 using 2017 and restated 2017 financial statements. In this context, results indicate that the liquidity ratios decreased, and the solvency ratios increased in general. In addition, the cumulative effect of IFRS 15 and IFRS 16 created an upward change in general on profitability ratios based on the several performance parameters that should be considered during the transition from IAS 18 to IFRS 15 and from IAS 17 to IFRS 16. Overall, IFRS 15 has minor effect and IFRS 16 has major effect on the financial statements of AF-KLM. In the second part of the chapter, the compliance level of the mandatory disclosures requirements of the airline was examined from the lessee standpoint and the research pointed out that the airline fully complied with these disclosures at its first adoption of IFRS 16 and provided some voluntary disclosures as well.


This chapter focuses on the application of segment reporting under IFRS 8 in the context of the airline industry. It analyses the airlines’ disclosures related to segment reporting considering 11 aspects of segment reporting in the regional and global context. Observations reveal that reporting of segmental disclosures in the airline industry is diverse at different levels. In this regard, the following conclusions were drawn: (1) the nature of segments reported by the airlines is diverse due to methods adopted in preparation of operating segments; (2) factors such as internal reporting system, and nature of business used to identify the airline’s reportable segments were stated by most airlines; (3) types of products and services from which each reportable segment derives its revenues were stated by all airlines; (4) proportion of total revenues represented by separately reportable segments exceeds 75% of the revenue rule of IFRS 8; (5) most segmental performance measures are non-IFRS and diverse; (6) a limited number of airlines use dual reporting currency in segment reporting; (7) most airlines reported segment assets and liabilities for each reportable segment; (8) most airlines reported between 6 and 10 income and expense items in segment reporting; (9) segmental cash flow information is reported by one airline; (10) in terms of entity-wide disclosures, most airlines reported their revenue from major products and services in the revenue disclosures, most airlines reported their revenues on a geographical basis but few airlines reported their non-current assets on a geographical basis; and (11) more than half of the airlines did not declare the identity of the Chief Operating Decision Maker.

Part II: International Auditing


This chapter focuses on the international aspects of auditing in the context of the airline industry for the year 2018. This chapter finds that International Standards on Auditing have been widely adopted in the global context. This chapter also analyses several observations related to the composition of audit firms (Big 4 vs. non-Big 4), types of audit opinions, emphasis of matter, other matters, material uncertainty related to going-concern, and types of auditors (single or joint auditor). This chapter covers the frequency of the four elements of describing key audit matters (KAM) in the audit reports in the global and auditor context as well as the KAMs observed in the airline industry and classifies them as industry-specific KAMs and entity-specific KAMs. In addition, this chapter analyses the requirements of the expanded audit report of the UK which includes the declaration of materiality threshold and scope of the audit in connection with the materiality and KAMs considering UK and non-UK airlines.

Cover of Perspectives on International Financial Reporting and Auditing in the Airline Industry
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Studies in Managerial and Financial Accounting
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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