Changes in Accounting Policies for 2009
Effective January 1, 2009, the temporary exemption was withdrawn from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Handbook Section 1100 "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles", which permitted the recognition and measurement of assets and liabilities arising from rate regulation. In addition, Section 3465 "Income Taxes" was amended to require the recognition of future income tax assets and liabilities for rate-regulated operations. In accordance with the CICA Handbook accounting hierarchy, the Company chose to adopt accounting policies consistent with the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 980 "Regulated Operations". As a result, TransCanada retained its current method of accounting for its rate-regulated operations, except that the Company is required to recognize future income tax assets and liabilities, instead of using the taxes payable method, and records an offsetting adjustment to regulatory assets and liabilities. As a result of adopting this accounting change, additional future income tax liabilities and a regulatory asset in the amount of $1.4 billion were recorded January 1, 2009 in each of Future Income Taxes and Regulatory Assets.
Adjustments to the 2009 financial statements have been made in accordance with the transitional provisions for Section 3465, which required a cumulative adjustment in the current period to Future Income Taxes and Regulatory Assets. Restatement of prior periods' financial statements was not permitted under Section 3465.
Goodwill and Intangible Assets
Effective January 1, 2009, the Company adopted CICA Handbook Section 3064 "Goodwill and Intangible Assets", which replaced Section 3062 "Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets". Section 3064 gives guidance on the recognition of intangible assets and on the recognition and measurement of internally developed intangible assets. In addition, Section 3450 "Research and Development Costs" was withdrawn from the CICA Handbook. Adopting this accounting change did not have a material effect on the Company's financial statements.
Credit Risk and the Fair Value of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities
Effective January 1, 2009, the Company adopted the accounting provisions of Emerging Issues Committee (EIC) Abstract EIC 173, "Credit Risk and the Fair Value of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities". Under EIC 173 an entity's own credit risk and the credit risk of its counterparties are taken into account in determining the fair value of financial assets and financial liabilities, including derivative instruments. Adopting this accounting change did not have a material effect on the Company's financial statements.
Future Accounting Changes
Business Combinations, Consolidated Financial Statements and Non-Controlling Interests
The CICA Handbook Section 1582 "Business Combinations" is effective for business combinations with an acquisition date after January 1, 2011. This standard was amended to require additional use of fair value measurements, recognition of additional assets and liabilities, and increased disclosure. Adopting the standard is expected to have a material effect on the way the Company accounts for future business combinations. Entities adopting Section 1582 will also be required to adopt CICA Handbook Sections 1601 "Consolidated Financial Statements" and 1602 "Non-Controlling Interests". These standards will require non-controlling interests to be presented as part of Shareholders' Equity on the balance sheet. In addition, the income statement of the controlling parent will include 100 per cent of the subsidiary's results and present the allocation between the controlling and non-controlling interests. These standards will be effective January 1, 2011, with early adoption permitted. The changes resulting from adopting Section 1582 will be applied prospectively and the changes from adopting Sections 1601 and 1602 will be applied retrospectively.
International Financial Reporting Standards
The CICA's Accounting Standards Board announced that Canadian publicly accountable enterprises are required to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), effective January 1, 2011. Effective January 1, 2011, the Company will begin reporting under IFRS.
TransCanada currently follows specific accounting policies unique to a rate-regulated business. TransCanada has established a project team to support adopting IFRS. The project team is actively monitoring developments regarding potential future guidance on the applicability of certain aspects of rate-regulated accounting under IFRS. Developments in this area could have a significant effect on the scope of the Company's IFRS project and on TransCanada's financial results under IFRS. On July 23, 2009, the IASB issued an exposure draft "Rate-regulated Activities". The Company is assessing the impact of developments related to the exposure draft.
As a result of proposed changes to certain IFRS, together with the current stage of the Company's IFRS project, TransCanada cannot reasonably quantify the full impact that adopting IFRS will have on its financial position and future results.