Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2020
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]
|Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
The Company’s accounting policies and accompanying consolidated financial statements conform to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (US GAAP).
These financial statements have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting.
Basis of presentation and principles of consolidation
The Company’s consolidated financial statements present the consolidated accounts of FRHC, Freedom RU, FFIN Bank, Freedom KZ, Freedom Global, Freedom CY, Freedom GE, Freedom UZ, Freedom GE, FFIN and Freedom UA. All significant inter-company balances and transactions have been eliminated from the consolidated financial statements.
Consolidation of variable interest entities
In accordance with accounting standards regarding consolidation of variable interest entities, VIEs are generally entities that lack sufficient equity to finance their activities without additional financial support from other parties or whose equity holders lack adequate decision making ability. VIEs must be evaluated to determine the primary beneficiary of the risks and rewards of the VIE. The primary beneficiary is required to consolidate the VIE for financial reporting purposes.
Use of estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with US GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Management believes that the estimates utilized in preparing its financial statements are reasonable and prudent. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Revenue and expense recognition
Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (“ASC Topic 606”), establishes principles for reporting information about the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from the entity’s contracts to provide goods or services to customers. The core principle requires an entity to recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services promised to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration that it expects to be entitled to receive in exchange for those goods or services recognized as performance obligations are satisfied. A significant portion of the Company’s revenue-generating transactions are not subject to ASC Topic 606, including revenue generated from financial instruments, such as loans and investment securities, as these activities are subject to other US GAAP guidance discussed elsewhere within these disclosures. Descriptions of the Company’s revenue-generating activities that are within the scope of ASC Topic 606, which are presented in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Statements of Other Comprehensive Income as components of non-interest income are as follows:
Under Topic 606, the Company is required to recognize incentive fees when they are probable and there is not a significant chance of reversal in the future. For the brokerage commission, banking service commission and investment banking services commission contracts in place at the time of adoption, this change in policy did not result in any actual change in revenue that had already been recognized and therefore there was no transition adjustment necessary.
The Company recognizes revenue when five basic criteria have been met:
Derivative financial instruments
In the normal course of business, the Company invests in various derivative financial contracts including futures. Derivatives are initially recognized at fair value at the date a derivative contract is entered into and are subsequently re-measured to their fair value at each reporting date. The fair values are estimated based on quoted market prices or pricing models that take into account the current market and contractual prices of the underlying instruments and other factors. Derivatives are carried as assets when their fair value is positive and as liabilities when it is negative.
Management has adopted ASC 830, Foreign Currency Translation Matters as it pertains to its foreign currency translation. The Company’s functional currencies are the Russian ruble, European euro, Ukrainian hryvnia, Uzbekistani som and Kazakhstani tenge, and its reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. For financial reporting purposes, foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars as the reporting currency. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars using the exchange rate prevailing at the balance sheet date. Non-monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated at rates of exchange in effect at the date of the transaction. Average monthly rates are used to translate revenues and expenses. Translation adjustments arising from the use of different exchange rates from period to period are included as a component of stockholders’ equity as “Accumulated other comprehensive loss”.
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents are generally comprised of certain highly liquid investments with maturities of three months or less at the date of purchase. Cash and cash equivalents include reverse repurchase agreements which are recorded at the amounts at which the securities were acquired or sold plus accrued interest.
Securities reverse repurchase and repurchase agreements
A reverse repurchase agreement is a transaction in which the Company purchases financial instruments from a seller, typically in exchange for cash, and simultaneously enters into an agreement to resell the same or substantially the same financial instruments to the seller for an amount equal to the cash or other consideration exchanged plus interest at a future date. Securities purchased under reverse repurchase agreements are accounted for as collateralized financing transactions and are recorded at the contractual amount for which the securities will be resold, including accrued interest. Financial instruments purchased under reverse repurchase agreements are recorded in the financial statements as cash placed on deposit collateralized by securities and classified as cash and cash equivalents in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
A repurchase agreement is a transaction in which the Company sells financial instruments to another party, typically in exchange for cash, and simultaneously enters into an agreement to reacquire the same or substantially the same financial instruments from the buyer for an amount equal to the cash or other consideration exchanged plus interest at a future date. These agreements are accounted for as collateralized financing transactions. The Company retains the financial instruments sold under repurchase agreements and classifies them as trading securities in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The consideration received under repurchase agreements is classified as securities repurchase agreement obligations in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
The Company enters into reverse repurchase agreements, repurchase agreements, securities borrowed and securities loaned transactions to, among other things, acquire securities to leverage and grow its proprietary trading portfolio, cover short positions and settle other securities obligations, to accommodate customers’ needs and to finance its inventory positions. The Company enters into these transactions in accordance with normal market practice. Under standard terms for repurchase transactions, the recipient of collateral has the right to sell or repledge the collateral, subject to returning equivalent securities on settlement of the transaction.
Financial assets categorized as available-for-sale (“AFS”) are non-derivatives that are either designated as available-for-sale or not classified as (a) loans and receivables, (b) held to maturity investments or (c) trading securities.
Listed shares and listed redeemable notes held by the Company that are traded in an active market are classified as AFS and are stated at fair value. The Company has investments in unlisted shares that are not traded in an active market but that are also classified as investments AFS and stated at fair value (because Company management considers that fair value can be reliably measured). Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value are recognized in other comprehensive income and accumulated in the Accumulated other comprehensive income/(loss), with the exception of other-than-temporary impairment losses, interest calculated using the effective interest method, dividend income and foreign exchange gains and losses are recognized in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Statements of other Comprehensive Income/(Loss). Where the investment is disposed of or is determined to be impaired, the cumulative gain or loss previously accumulated in the investments revaluation reserve is reclassified to profit or loss.
Financial assets are classified as trading securities if the financial asset has been acquired principally for the purpose of selling it in the near term.
Trading securities are stated at fair value, with any gains or losses arising on remeasurement recognized in revenue. Changes in fair value are recognized in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Statements of Other Comprehensive Income/(Loss) and included in net gain/(loss) on trading securities. Interest earned and dividend income are recognized in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Statements of Other Comprehensive Income/(Loss) and included in interest income, according to the terms of the contract and when the right to receive the payment has been established.
Investments in nonconsolidated managed funds are accounted for at fair value based on the net asset value of the funds provided by the fund managers with gains or losses included in net gain on trading securities in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Statements of Other Comprehensive Income/(Loss).
Debt securities issued
Debt securities issued are initially recognized at the fair value of the consideration received, less directly attributable transaction costs. Subsequently, amounts due are stated at amortized cost and any difference between net proceeds and the redemption value is recognized over the period of the borrowings using the effective interest method. If the Company purchases its own debt it is removed from the Consolidated Balance Sheets and the difference between the carrying amount of the liability and the consideration paid is recognized in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Statements of Other Comprehensive Income/(Loss).
Brokerage and other receivables
Brokerage and other receivables comprise commissions and receivables related to the securities brokerage and banking activity of the Company. At initial recognition, brokerage and other receivables are recognized at fair value. Subsequently, brokerage and other receivables are carried at cost net of any allowance for impairment losses.
Derecognition of financial assets
A financial asset (or, where applicable a part of a financial asset or a part of a group of similar financial assets) is derecognized where all of the following conditions are met:
Where the Company has not met the asset derecognition conditions above, it continues to recognize the asset to the extent of its continuing involvement.
Impairment of long-lived assets
In accordance with the accounting guidance for the impairment or disposal of long-lived assets, the Company periodically evaluates the carrying value of long-lived assets to be held and used when events and circumstances warrant such a review. The carrying value of a long-lived asset is considered impaired when the fair value from such asset is less than its carrying value. In that event, a loss is recognized based on the amount by which the carrying value exceeds the fair value of the long-lived asset. Fair value is determined primarily using the anticipated cash flows discounted at a rate commensurate with the risk involved. Losses on long-lived assets to be disposed of are determined in a similar manner, except that fair values are reduced for the cost of disposal. As of March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019, the Company had not recorded any charges for impairment of long-lived assets.
Impairment of goodwill
As of March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019, goodwill recorded in the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets totaled $2,607 and $2,936, respectively. The Company performs an impairment review at least annually unless indicators of impairment exist in interim periods. The impairment test for goodwill uses a two-step approach. Step one compares the estimated fair value of a reporting unit with goodwill to its carrying value. If the carrying value exceeds the estimated fair value, step two must be performed. Step two compares the carrying value of the reporting unit to the fair value of all of the assets and liabilities of the reporting unit as if the reporting unit was acquired in a business combination. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit's goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of its goodwill, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to the excess. In its annual goodwill impairment test, the Company estimated the fair value of the reporting unit based on the income approach (also known as the discounted cash flow method) and determined the fair value of the Company’s goodwill exceeded the carrying amount of the Company’s goodwill. The goodwill value as March 31, 2020 decreased compared to March 31, 2019 due to foreign exchange currency translation.
The changes in the carrying amount of goodwill as of March 31, 2019 and for the year ended March 31, 2020 were as follows:
The Company recognizes deferred tax liabilities and assets based on the difference between the financial statements and tax basis of assets and liabilities using the enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. The measurement of deferred tax assets is reduced, if necessary, by the amount of any tax benefits that, based on available evidence, are not expected to be realized.
Current income tax expenses are provided for in accordance with the laws of the relevant taxing authorities. As part of the process of preparing financial statements, the Company is required to estimate its income taxes in each of the jurisdictions in which it operates. The Company accounts for income taxes using the asset and liability approach. Under this method, deferred income taxes are recognized for tax consequences in future years based on differences between the tax bases of assets and liabilities and their reported amounts in the financial statements at each year-end and tax loss carry forwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates applicable for the differences that are expected to affect taxable income.
The Company will include interest and fines arising from the underpayment of income taxes in the provision for income taxes (if anticipated). As of March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019, the Company had no accrued interest or fines related to uncertain tax positions.
The Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income ("GILTI") provisions of the Tax Reform Act require the Company to include in its U.S. income tax return foreign subsidiary earnings in excess of an allowable return on the foreign subsidiary’s tangible assets. The Company has presented the deferred tax impacts of GILTI tax in its consolidated financial statements as of March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019.
Financial instruments are carried at fair value as described below.
Fair value is the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. The fair value measurement is based on the presumption that the transaction to sell the asset or transfer the liability takes place either in the principal market for the asset or liability, or in the absence of a principal market, in the most advantageous market for the asset or liability. Fair value is the current bid price for financial assets, current ask price for financial liabilities and the average of current bid and ask prices when the Company is both in short and long positions for the financial instrument. A financial instrument is regarded as quoted in an active market if quoted prices are readily and regularly available from an exchange or other institution and those prices represent actual and regularly occurring market transactions on an arm’s length basis.
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), which establishes a right-of-use model that requires a lessee to record a right-of-use asset and a lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases with terms longer than 12 months. Leases have been classified as either finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern of expense recognition in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Statements of Other Comprehensive Income/(Loss). The new standard also requires disclosures that provide additional information on recorded lease arrangements. In July 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-11, Leases –Targeted Improvements, which provides an optional transition method that allows entities to initially apply the new lease standard at the adoption date and recognize a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the period of adoption.
The Company adopted the provisions of ASU 2018-11, including the optional transition method, on April 1, 2019, and selected practical expedients package as follows:
Operating lease assets and corresponding lease liabilities were recognized on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets. Refer to Note 26 - Leases, within the notes to consolidated financial statements for additional disclosure and significant accounting policies affecting leases.
Fixed assets are carried at cost, net of accumulated depreciation. Maintenance, repairs, and minor renewals are expensed as incurred. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which range between three and seven years.
The Company operates in a single operating segment offering financial services to its customers in a single geographic region covering Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The Company’s financial services business provides retail securities brokerage, research, investment counseling, securities trading, market making, corporate investment banking and underwriting services to its customers. The Company generates revenue from customers primarily from fee and commission income and interest income. The Company does not use profitability reports or other information disaggregated on a regional, country or divisional basis for making business decisions.
For the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company had expenses related to advertising in the amount of $5,635 and $4,500, respectively. All costs associated with advertising are expensed in the period incurred.
Recent accounting pronouncements
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820), Disclosure Framework—Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement. In March 2014, the Board issued a proposed FASB Concepts Statement, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting—Chapter 8: Notes to Financial Statements, which the Board finalized on August 28, 2018. The disclosure framework project’s objective and primary focus are to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in the notes to financial statements by facilitating clear communication of the information required by GAAP. The amendments in this Update modify the disclosure requirements on fair value measurements in Topic 820, Fair Value Measurement, based on the concepts in the Concepts Statement, including the consideration of costs and benefits. The amendments in this Update apply to all entities that are required, under existing GAAP, to make disclosures about recurring or nonrecurring fair value measurements. The amendments in this Update are effective for all entities for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2019. The Company does not expect that the new guidance will significantly impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In November 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-19, Codification Improvements to Topic 326, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses. On June 16, 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, which introduced an expected credit loss methodology for the impairment of financial assets measured at amortized cost basis. That methodology replaces the probable, incurred loss model for those assets. Through that Update, the Board added Topic 326 and made several consequential amendments to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification. The amendment clarifies that receivables arising from operating leases are not within the scope of Subtopic 326-20. Instead, impairment of receivables arising from operating leases should be accounted for in accordance with Topic 842, Leases. For public business entities that are U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filers, the amendments in this Update are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The effective date and transition requirements for the amendments in this Update are the same as the effective dates and transition requirements in Update 2016-13, as amended by this Update. The Company does not expect a material impact from the new guidance on its consolidated financial statements.
In April 2019, FASB also issued ASU No. 2019-04, Codification Improvements to Topic 326, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses, Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging, and Topic 825, Financial Instruments and in May 2019, FASB issued ASU No. 2019-05, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326). The ASU 2019-04 amendments affect a variety of Topics in the Codification and is part of the Board’s ongoing project on Codification improvement. The FASB received several agenda request letters asking that the Board consider amending the transition guidance for Update 2016-13. ASU 2019-05 addresses stakeholders’ concerns by providing an option to irrevocably elect the fair value option for certain financial assets previously measured at amortized cost basis. For those entities, the targeted transition relief will increase comparability of financial statement information by providing an option to align measurement methodologies for similar financial assets. Furthermore, the targeted transition relief also may reduce the costs for some entities to comply with the amendments in Update 2016-13 while still providing financial statement users with decision-useful information. For entities that have not yet adopted the amendments in Update 2016-13, the effective dates and transition requirements for the amendments related to ASU 2019-04 are the same as the effective dates and transition requirements in Update 2016-13. ASU 2019-05 is effective for entities that have adopted the amendments in Update 2016-13 for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted in any interim period after the issuance of this Update as long as an entity has adopted the amendments in Update 2016-13. The Company does not expect that the new guidance will significantly impact its consolidated financial statements.
In July 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-07, Codification Updates to SEC Sections. This ASU amends various SEC paragraphs pursuant to the issuance of SEC Final Rule Releases No. 33-10532, Disclosure Update and Simplification, and Nos. 33-10231 and 33-10442, Investment Company Reporting Modernization. One of the changes in the ASU requires a presentation of changes in stockholders’ equity in the form of a reconciliation, either as a separate financial statement or in the notes to the financial statements, for the current and comparative year-to-date interim periods. The Company presented changes in stockholders' equity as separate financial statements for the current and comparative year-to-date interim periods beginning on April 1, 2019. The additional elements of the ASU did not have a material impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements. This guidance was effective immediately upon issuance.
In November 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-10 Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326), Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815), and Leases (Topic 842). On the basis of feedback obtained from outreach with stakeholders and monitoring of implementation, the Board has gained a greater understanding about the implementation challenges encountered by all types of entities when adopting a major Update. The Board developed a philosophy to extend and simplify how effective dates are staggered between larger public companies (bucket one) and all other entities (bucket two). Those other entities include private companies, smaller public companies, not-for-profit organizations, and employee benefit plans. Under this philosophy, a major Update would first be effective for bucket-one entities, that is, public business entities that are Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filers, excluding entities eligible to be smaller reporting companies (SRCs) under the SEC's definition. The Master Glossary of the Codification defines public business entities and SEC filers. All other entities, including SRCs, other public business entities, and nonpublic business entities (private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and employee benefit plans) would compose bucket two. For those entities, it is anticipated that the Board will consider requiring an effective date staggered at least two years after bucket one for major Updates. The Company is currently an SRC and according to the ASU 2019-10, qualifies for bucket two, ASU 2016-13, ASU 2017-12 and ASU 2016-02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2022. ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) was adopted by the Company beginning April 1, 2019. The Company is currently evaluating the impact that ASU 2019-10 will have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
In November 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-11, Codification Improvements to Topic 326, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses. On June 16, 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, which introduced an expected credit loss model for the impairment of financial assets measured at amortized cost basis. That model replaces the probable, incurred loss model for those assets. Through the amendments in that Update, the Board added Topic 326, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses, and made several consequential amendments to the Codification. The amendments apply to all reporting entities within the scope of the affected accounting guidance. ASU 2019-11 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2022. The Company is currently evaluating the impact that this guidance will have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-12, Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes (“ASU 2019-12”), which simplifies the accounting for income taxes, eliminates certain exceptions within ASC 740, Income Taxes, and clarifies certain aspects of the current guidance to promote consistency among reporting entities. ASU 2019-12 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021. Most amendments within the standard are required to be applied on a prospective basis, while certain amendments must be applied on a retrospective or modified retrospective basis. The Company is currently evaluating the impacts of the provisions of ASU 2019-12 on its financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
In January 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-01, Investments – Equity Securities (Topic 321), Investments—Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323), and Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815) – Clarifying the Interactions between Topic 321, Topic 323, and Topic 815 (a consensus of the Emerging Issues Task Force) (“ASU 2020-01”). The amendments in this Update clarify certain interactions between the guidance to account for certain equity securities under Topic 321, the guidance to account for investments under the equity method of accounting in Topic 323, and the guidance in Topic 815, which could change how an entity accounts for an equity security under the measurement alternative of a forward contract or purchased option to purchase securities that, upon settlement of the forward contract or exercise of the purchased option, would be accounted for under the equity method of accounting or the fair value option in accordance with Topic 825, Financial Instruments. These amendments improve current GAAP by reducing diversity in practice and increasing comparability of the accounting for these interactions. For public business entities, the amendments in this Update are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020, and interim periods within those fiscal years. For all other entities, the amendments are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021, and interim periods within those fiscal years for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020, and interim periods within those fiscal years and should be applied prospectively. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact that ASU 2020-01 may have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
In February 2020, the FASB issued Amendments to SEC Paragraphs Pursuant to SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 119 and Update to SEC Section on Effective Date Related to Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). Generally, amendments included clarifications on SAB Topic 6.M, Financial Reporting Release No. 28 - Accounting for Loan Losses by Registrants Engaged in Lending Activities Subject to FASB ASC regarding measurement of current expected losses, development, governance and documentation of a systematic methodology, documentation of results of a systematic methodology and validation of a systematic methodology.
In terms of amendments of Accounting Standards Update No. 2019-10, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Table of Contents link Topic 326), Derivatives and Hedging (Table of Contents link Topic 815), and Leases (Table of Contents link Topic 842), SEC staff announced that it would not object to a public business entity that otherwise would not meet the definition of a public business entity except for a requirement to include or the inclusion of its financial statements or financial information in another entity's filing with the SEC adopting Table of Contents link Topic 842 for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021. Those dates are consistent with the effective dates for Table of Contents link Topic 842 as amended in Update 2019-10. The Company is currently evaluating the impact these Updates may have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
In March 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2030-20 Codification Improvements to Financial Instruments, An Amendment of the FASB Accounting Standards Codification: a)in ASU No. 2016-01, b) in Subtopic 820-10, c) for depository and lending institutions clarification in disclosure requirements, d) in Subtopic 470-50, e) in Subtopic 820-10, f) Interaction of Topic 842 and Topic 326, g) Interaction of the guidance in Topic 326 and Subtopic 860-20.The amendments in this Update represent changes to clarify or improve the Codification. The amendments make the Codification easier to understand and easier to apply by eliminating inconsistencies and providing clarifications. For public business entities updates under the following paragraphs: a), b), d) and e) are effective upon issuance of this final update. The effective date for c) is for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The Company does not expect that the new guidance will significantly impact its consolidated financial statements.