Sign up  |  Log in

Long Lived Assets

What is the difference between Impairment and Revaluation? How is impairment loss reversed? I am very confused between these two

Personalized CFA® exam prep is here! Through this exclusive Analyst Forum offer, you can save 10% on a June 2020 Level I CFA PremiumPlus™ or Premium Study Package. Use promo code KS-AF10 at the checkout. Offer expires Oct 31, 2019.

My knowledge on GAAP and IFRS might be outdated, but I do not think they made significant changes to the rules… Let me know if I made any mistakes.

Impairment happens when the carrying value of the asset is NOT RECOVERABLE. Thus, you write the asset down and incur a loss.GAAP and IFRS each has their own rules in determining asset impairment (GAAP = two-step, IFRS = one-step).

Revaluation is just a method to value assets, and this method is only acceptable under IFRS. When asset is valued under revaluation, the carrying amount is simply the fair value - any depreciation.
So, if you value a long-term asset using revaluation method, and the current carrying amount is below the fair value - any depreciation, you have an impairment loss.

As far as reversal goes,
GAAP - for asset held under use, NO REVERSALS are allowed
GAAP - for asset held for sale, REVERSALS ALLOWED (a test of impairment happens when asset is categorized as held for sale and deprecations on the asset no longer applies)
IFRS - impairment loss may be reversed to its original value; ANY EXCESS is recorded as revaluation surplus which is a component of the OCI

Thanks much. This helps. My main confusion was related to the carrying value of the asset on the balance sheet after impairment loss has been identified or fair value has been found to be lower than the carrying value on the revaluation date. As per what you have replied after impairment loss the asset value is written down to recoverable value and after reavaluation it is written down to fair value.