CSA Staff Notice 52-306 Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Part III Disclosure Accompanying Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Lexata note: This staff notice will soon be replaced by new NI 52-112. See Part 5 of the new rule for transition details.

Disclosure Accompanying Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Financial statements prepared in accordance with an issuer’s GAAP provide investors with a clear basis for financial analysis and comparison among issuers. Staff recognizes that non-GAAP financial measures may provide investors with additional information to assist them in understanding critical components of an issuer’s financial performance. However, an issuer should not present a non-GAAP financial measure in a way that confuses or obscures the most directly comparable measure specified, defined or determined under the issuer’s GAAP presented in its financial statements.

Staff reminds issuers of their responsibility to ensure that information they provide to the public is not misleading. Staff also reminds certifying officers of their obligations under National Instrument 52-109 Certification of Disclosure in Issuers’ Annual and Interim Filings to make certifications regarding misrepresentations, fair presentation, and disclosure controls and procedures. A non-GAAP financial measure may be misleading if it includes positive components of the most directly comparable measure specified, defined or determined under the issuer’s GAAP presented in its financial statements but omits similar negative components.

In order to ensure that a non-GAAP financial measure does not mislead investors, an issuer should:

  1. state explicitly that the non-GAAP financial measure does not have any standardized meaning under the issuer’s GAAP and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers;
  2. name the non-GAAP financial measure in a way that distinguishes it from disclosure items specified, defined or determined under an issuer’s GAAP and in a way that is not misleading. For example, in presenting EBITDA as a non-GAAP financial measure, it would be misleading to exclude amounts for items other than interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization;
  3. explain why the non-GAAP financial measure provides useful information to investors and the additional purposes, if any, for which management uses the non-GAAP financial measure;
  4. present with equal or greater prominence to that of the non-GAAP financial measure, the most directly comparable measure specified, defined or determined under the issuer’s GAAP presented in its financial statements;
  5. provide a clear quantitative reconciliation from the non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable measure specified, defined or determined under the issuer’s GAAP and presented in its financial statements, referencing to the reconciliation when the non-GAAP financial measure first appears in the document, or in the case of content on a website, in a manner that meets this objective (for example, by providing a link to the reconciliation);
  6. ensure that the non-GAAP financial measure does not describe adjustments as non-recurring, infrequent or unusual, when a similar loss or gain is reasonably likely to occur within the next two years or occurred during the prior two years; and
  7. present the non-GAAP financial measure on a consistent basis from period to period; however, where an issuer changes the composition of the non-GAAP financial measure, explain the reason for the change and restate any comparative period presented.


Companion Policy to NI 52-112 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure
Proximity, composition and usefulness
Re ss. 6(1)(e)(ii)(A), 8(c)(iii)(A), 10(1)(b)(ii)(A), 11(b)

Lexata note: This companion policy is not yet effectve. See Part 5 of NI 52-112 for transition details.

Explain the composition

The composition explanation should include a clear description of how the specified financial measure is calculated. For example, we would expect an issuer to describe the type of adjustments made, such as those for “non-cash” items or the basis being used to determine the type of adjustments.

In most instances, this requirement would not be satisfied just by listing all adjustments made in calculating the measure.

It is important to consider whether any new adjustment made in the calculation of a specified financial measure might constitute a change in composition or whether the adjustment is consistent with the stated usefulness of the measure.



Companion Policy to NI 52-112 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure
Reconciliation
Re ss. 6(1)(e)(ii)(C), 6(2)

Lexata note: This companion policy is not yet effectve. See Part 5 of NI 52-112 for transition details.

Reconciliation of a non-GAAP financial measure

Clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(C) of the Instrument requires a quantitative reconciliation between the non-GAAP financial measure and the most directly comparable financial measure presented in the primary financial statements. For the purpose of clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(C), a quantitative reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure is required to be the “permitted format” outlined in subsection 6(2) of the Instrument. An issuer may satisfy this requirement by providing a reconciliation in a clearly understandable way, such as a table. For purposes of presenting the reconciliation, an issuer may begin with the non-GAAP financial measure or the most directly comparable financial measure presented in the primary financial statements, provided the reconciliation is presented in an understandable and consistent manner.

Most Directly Comparable Financial Measure

The Instrument does not define the “most directly comparable financial measure” and therefore the issuer needs to apply judgment in determining the most directly comparable financial measure. In applying judgment, it is important for an issuer to consider the context of how the non-GAAP financial measure is used. For example, when the non-GAAP financial measure is discussed primarily as a performance measure used in determining cash generated by the issuer, or the issuer’s distribution-paying capacity, its most directly comparable financial measure will be from the statement of cash flows. In practice, earnings-based measures and cash flow-based measures are used to disclose operational performance. If it is not clear from the way the non-GAAP financial measure is used what the most directly comparable financial measure is, consideration can be given to the nature, number and materiality of the reconciling items.

Reconciling Items

The reconciliation must be quantitative, separately itemizing and explaining each significant reconciling item.

Source of Reconciling Items

When a reconciling item is taken directly from the entity’s financial statements, it should be named such that an investor is able to identify the item in those financial statements, and no further explanation of that reconciling item is required.

When a reconciling item is not extracted directly from the entity’s financial statements, but is, for example, a component of a line item in the entity’s primary financial statements or originates from outside the primary financial statements, disclosure must be provided to satisfy clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(C) and subsection 6(2) of the Instrument. Such disclosure should identify the source of the reconciling item (e.g., the financial statement line item, the financial statement note, or the externally sourced document), if not obvious, and should explain how the amount is calculated, including a discussion of any significant judgments or estimates management has made in developing the reconciling items used in the reconciliation.

Entity-Specific Inputs

Reconciling items should be calculated using entity-specific inputs. An entity may make adjustments that are accepted within an industry; however, the quantum of these adjustments should be calculated using entity-specific information. For example, an entity may make an adjustment for operating capital expenditures, which is a standard adjustment in certain industries, but the amount of the adjustment should be calculated based on the entity’s operating capital expenditures, and not by using only an ‘industry average’ amount as the sole factor. However, adjustments should be supportable and consistent with the usefulness explanation provided to address clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(B) of the Instrument.

Level of Detail

The level of detail expected in the reconciliation depends on the nature and complexity of the reconciling items. The adjustments made from the most directly comparable financial measure should be consistent with the explanation required by clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(B) of the Instrument regarding why the information is useful to investors and if applicable, how it is used by management. Explanations should be more detailed than merely stating what the reconciling item represents and should also cover the circumstances that give rise to the particular adjustment if it is not obvious.

An “other” or “adjusting items” category to describe numerous insignificant reconciling items should not be used without further explanation as to the nature of items that comprise the category.

Gross Basis

Issuers should consider significant reconciling items on a gross basis. For example, an issuer is expected to separately itemize positive and negative adjustments unless netting is permitted under the financial reporting framework used in the preparation of the financial statements.

Tax

Reconciling items are commonly presented on a pre-tax basis to ensure that investors understand the gross amount of each reconciling item. If an issuer chooses to present reconciling items on a post-tax basis then the tax effect for each reconciling item should also be disclosed.

Comparatives

For comparative non-GAAP financial measures disclosed for a previous period under paragraph 6(1)(f) of the Instrument, a reconciliation to the corresponding most directly comparable financial measure is required for that previous period.

Presentation in the Form of a Primary Financial Statement

An issuer may present adjusted financial information outside the entity’s financial statements using a format that is similar to one or more of the primary financial statements, but that is not in accordance with the financial reporting framework used to prepare the entity’s financial statements. In this case, the adjusted financial information would contain non-GAAP financial measures. Specifically, this would arise if an issuer presents such financial measures in a form that is similar to the following financial statements:

  • A statement of financial position;
  • A statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income;
  • A statement of changes in equity; or
  • A statement of cash flows.

Presentation of this information as a single column that excludes the most directly comparable financial measures in a separate column would not satisfy clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(C) and subsection 6(2) of the Instrument. However, this information may be presented in the form of a reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable financial measure if such presentation shows in separate columns each of the most directly comparable financial measures, the reconciling items, and the non-GAAP financial measures. An example of the separate column approach may be used when issuers with joint ventures present a full set of non-GAAP financial statements in the form of a columnar reconciliation that shows the issuer’s statement of income as presented in the primary financial statements, an additional column with amounts related to equity accounted investees for each financial statement line item, and then a total column for each financial statement line item, which would be appropriately labelled as non-GAAP financial measures for each financial statement line item. This effectively creates the presentation of a full set of non-GAAP financial statements.

When the adjusted presentation is used as a basis for the qualitative discussions and analysis of an entity’s financial performance, financial position or cash flows with greater prominence than financial measures presented in the primary financial statements, this would not be considered to be in compliance with the prominence requirement in paragraph 6(1)(d) of the Instrument.



Companion Policy to NI 52-112 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure
Reasons for changes
Re ss. 6(1)(e)(ii)(D) and 8(c)(iii)(C)

Lexata note: This companion policy is not yet effectve. See Part 5 of NI 52-112 for transition details.

Explanation of the reason for the change in a non-GAAP financial measure or a non-GAAP ratio

If the label or composition of the non-GAAP financial measure or non-GAAP ratio has changed from what was previously disclosed, the requirement of clauses 6(1)(e)(ii)(D) and 8(c)(iii)(C) of the Instrument would apply.

Including additional reconciling items or excluding previously included reconciling items between the non-GAAP financial measure and the most directly comparable financial measure constitutes a change in composition. A clear explanation of the reason for this change is required under clauses 6(1)(e)(ii)(D) and 8(c)(iii)(C) of the Instrument, which would include a restatement of comparatives, when disclosed as required under paragraph 6(1)(f) or 8(d).

A change in magnitude of an individual item would not constitute a change in composition. For example, an issuer may define adjusted earnings as earnings before impairment losses and transaction costs. Transaction costs may only be incurred every three years, such that there may be no adjustment in year two to reflect transaction costs, but there should be an explanation noting that the issuer expects that it will incur transaction costs in the future. In this example, the issuer should continue to include transaction costs in the explanation of the composition under clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(A) or 8(c)(iii)(A) to maintain consistency of the non-GAAP financial measure or non-GAAP ratio.

Given that disclosure of non-GAAP financial measures and non-GAAP ratios is optional, disclosing a particular non-GAAP financial measure or non-GAAP ratio does not create an obligation to continue disclosing that measure in future periods. If, however, an issuer replaces a non-GAAP financial measure or a non-GAAP ratio with another measure or ratio, fraction or similar representation that achieves the same objectives (that is, the usefulness information provided to comply with clauses 6(1)(e)(ii)(B) and 8(c)(iii)(B) of the Instrument was consistent for both measures), the requirement of clauses 6(1)(e)(ii)(D) and 8(c)(iii)(C) of the Instrument would apply.

If the label of a non-GAAP financial measure or non-GAAP ratio has changed, while the explanation for the change may be incorporated by reference, we expect the issuer to make it clear in the document that the label has changed in the current period from that disclosed in the prior period.



Companion Policy to NI 52-112 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure
Comparative information
Re ss. 6(1)(f) and 8(d)

Lexata note: This companion policy is not yet effectve. See Part 5 of NI 52-112 for transition details.

Presenting comparative information for a non-GAAP financial measure or a non-GAAP ratio

Impracticable

Understandably, it is impracticable for an issuer to provide the comparative disclosure required by paragraph 6(1)(f) or 8(d) of the Instrument when the current period is the first period of operations and no comparative period exists. However, when a comparative period exists, we do not consider the cost or the time involved in preparing the comparative information to be sufficient rationale for an issuer to assert that it is impracticable to disclose such information.

Changes in Accounting Standards

We would not consider adoption of a new accounting standard, which would include adoption of amendments to current accounting standards, or a change in accounting policy, to be a basis for not presenting comparative period disclosure, as the composition of the non-GAAP financial measure should continue to be the same.

Adoption of new accounting standards, or changes in accounting policy, may modify measurement and recognition of transactions which will have an impact on line items, subtotals and totals over different financial periods. However, the composition of the non-GAAP financial measure itself should not change. Consider, for example, an issuer that discloses EBITDA as its non-GAAP financial measure, and in the current year adopts a new accounting standard which modifies the classification of certain expenditures from administrative expense to interest expense. While the resulting EBITDA measure will no longer include those transactions, EBITDA will continue to have the same composition, as it will comprise earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Therefore, the issuer would not be subject to the explanation of the reason for the change disclosure under clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(D).

The financial reporting framework used to prepare an entity’s financial statements would determine whether comparative information is restated with adoption of a new accounting standard or change in accounting policy. For example, we expect comparative non-GAAP financial measures to be restated when a new accounting standard or policy is applied retrospectively to each prior reporting period presented. Conversely, if a new accounting standard is applied prospectively or retrospectively without restatement of a prior reporting period presented, the specified financial measures would also not be restated. In such circumstances, the issuer communicates that the comparative non-GAAP financial measures are disclosed under the previous financial reporting framework used to prepare the entity’s financial statements.

In both cases, the composition of the specified financial measure has not changed, and the explanation of the reason for the change disclosure under clause 6(1)(e)(ii)(D) would not be required.



National Instrument 52-112 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure
Part 3 Specified Financial Measure Disclosure
Section 10

Lexata note: This national instrument is not yet effective. See Part 5 for transition details.

Capital management measures

(1) An issuer must not disclose a capital management measure in a document, other than financial statements about the entity to which the measure relates, unless all of the following apply:

(a) the capital management measure is presented with no more prominence in the document than that of similar financial measures disclosed in the primary financial statements of the entity;

(b) in proximity to the first instance of the capital management measure in the document, the document,

(i) if the capital management measure was calculated using one or more non-GAAP financial measures, discloses each such non-GAAP financial measure;

(ii) discloses, directly or by incorporating it by reference as permitted under section 5,

(A) for any capital management measure that is disclosed in the form of a ratio, fraction, percentage or similar representation, an explanation of its composition,

(B) an explanation of how the capital management measure provides useful information to an investor and explains the additional purposes, if any, for which management uses the capital management measure, and

(C) for any capital management measure that is not disclosed as a ratio, fraction, percentage or similar representation, a quantitative reconciliation of the capital management measure for its current and comparative period, if disclosed under paragraph (c), to the most directly comparable financial measure disclosed in the primary financial statements of the issuer;

(c) if the capital management measure is disclosed in MD&A or in an earnings release of the issuer, the capital management measure for a comparative period, determined using the same composition, is disclosed in the document, unless it has not been previously disclosed.

(2) Subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) does not apply if the disclosure required under that subparagraph is made in the notes to the financial statements of the entity to which the measure relates.



National Instrument 52-112 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure
Part 3 Specified Financial Measure Disclosure
Section 9

Lexata note: This national instrument is not yet effective. See Part 5 for transition details.

Total of segments measures

An issuer must not disclose a total of segments measure in a document, other than in financial statements about the entity to which the measure relates, unless all of the following apply:

(a) the document discloses the most directly comparable financial measure disclosed in the primary financial statements of the entity;

(b) the total of segments measure is presented with no more prominence in the document than that of the most directly comparable financial measure referred to in paragraph (a);

(c) in proximity to the first instance of the total of segments measure in the document, the document discloses, directly or by incorporating it by reference as permitted under section 5, a quantitative reconciliation of the total of segments measure for its current and comparative period, if disclosed under paragraph (d), to the most directly comparable financial measure referred to in paragraph (a), in the permitted format referred to in subsection 6(2);

(d) if the total of segments measure is disclosed in MD&A or in an earnings release of the issuer, the total of segments measure for a comparative period, determined using the same composition, is disclosed in the document, unless it has not been previously disclosed.



National Instrument 52-112 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure
Part 3 Specified Financial Measure Disclosure
Section 8

Lexata note: This national instrument is not yet effective. See Part 5 for transition details.

Non-GAAP ratios

An issuer must not disclose a non-GAAP ratio in a document unless all of the following apply:

(a) the non-GAAP ratio is labelled using a term that, given the non-GAAP ratio’s composition, describes the non-GAAP ratio;

(b) the non-GAAP ratio is presented with no more prominence in the document than that of similar financial measures disclosed in the primary financial statements of the entity to which the non-GAAP ratio relates;

(c) in proximity to the first instance of the non-GAAP ratio in the document, the document

(i) explains that the non-GAAP ratio is not a standardized financial measure under the financial reporting framework used to prepare the financial statements of the entity to which the non-GAAP ratio relates and might not be comparable to similar financial measures disclosedby other issuers,

(ii) discloses each non-GAAP financial measure that is used as a component of the non-GAAP ratio,

(iii) discloses, directly or by incorporating it by reference as permitted under section 5, an explanation of

(A) the composition of the non-GAAP ratio,

(B) how the non-GAAP ratio provides useful information to an investor and explains the additional purposes, if any, for which management uses the non-GAAP ratio, and

(C) if the label or the composition of the non-GAAP ratio has changed from what was previously disclosed, an explanation of the reason for the change;

(d) if the non-GAAP ratio is disclosed in MD&A or in an earnings release of the issuer, the non-GAAP ratio for a comparative period, determined using the same means of calculation, is disclosed in the document, unless

(i) the non-GAAP ratio is forward-looking information, or

(ii) it is impracticable to disclose the measure for the comparative period.



National Instrument 52-112 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures Disclosure
Part 3 Specified Financial Measure Disclosure
Section 6

Lexata note: This national instrument is not yet effective. See Part 5 for transition details.

Non-GAAP financial measures that are historical information

(1) An issuer must not disclose a non-GAAP financial measure that is historical information in a document unless all of the following apply:

(a) the non-GAAP financial measure is labelled using a term that,

(i) given the measure’s composition, describes the measure, and

(ii) distinguishes the measure from totals, subtotals and line items disclosed in the primary financial statements of the entity to which the measure relates;

(b) the non-GAAP financial measure is identified as a non-GAAP financial measure;

(c) the document discloses the most directly comparable financial measure that is disclosed in the primary financial statements of the entity to which the measure relates;

(d) the non-GAAP financial measure is presented with no more prominence in the document than that of the most directly comparable financial measure referred to in paragraph (c);

(e) in proximity to the first instance of the non-GAAP financial measure in the document, the document

(i) explains that the non-GAAP financial measure is not a standardized financial measure under the financial reporting framework used to prepare the financial statements of the entity to which the measure relates and might not be comparable to similar financial measures disclosed by other issuers,

(ii) discloses, directly or by incorporating it by reference as permitted under section 5,

(A) an explanation of the composition of the non-GAAP financial measure,

(B) an explanation of how the non-GAAP financial measure provides useful information to an investor and explains the additional purposes, if any, for which management uses the non-GAAP financial measure,

(C) a quantitative reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure for its current and comparative period, if disclosed under paragraph (f), to the most directly comparable financial measure referred to in paragraph (c), and that reconciliation is disclosed in the permitted format, and

(D) if the label or composition of the non-GAAP financial measure has changed from what was previously disclosed, an explanation of the reason for the change;

(f) if the non-GAAP financial measure is disclosed in MD&A or in an earnings release of the issuer, the non-GAAP financial measure for a comparative period, determined using the same composition, is disclosed in the document, unless it is impracticable to do so.

(2) For the purpose of clause (1)(e)(ii)(C), a quantitative reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure is in the “permitted format” if it

(a) is disaggregated quantitatively in a way that would enable a reasonable personapplying a reasonable effort to understand the reconciling items,

(b) explains each reconciling item, and

(c) does not describe a reconciling item as “non-recurring”, “infrequent”, “unusual”, or using a similar term, if a loss or gain of a similar nature is reasonably likely to occur within the entity’s 2 financial years that immediately follow the disclosure, or has occurred during the entity’s 2 financial years that immediately precede the disclosure.