Agenda consultation — Comment letter summary
The IASB staff presented feedback received in response to the Board's request for views Agenda Consultation 2011, as published for public comment in July 2011. Feedback was provided as an education session. No tentative decisions were taken by the Board.
In the conduct of this meeting, Board members provided very little feedback, but rather, limited their questions / comments to requesting clarification of information presented by the staff.
In summarising some of the key messages set forth by the staff, which was provided by way of 245 comment letter responses as well as investor-driven survey queries, the staff noted:
- Many respondents believed the Board should complete the four current projects (financial instruments, insurance contracts, leases and revenue recognition) as a priority.
- Many respondents believed the balance of efforts should be on maintaining IFRSs instead of developing IFRSs. This would include performing post-implementation reviews and providing implementation support processes, among other things.
- The conceptual framework was seen by many respondents as a priority, specifically in the areas of defining assets and liabilities, discussing other comprehensive income, discussing performance reporting and developing a disclosure framework. Investors, in particular, sought an agenda focused on minimising complexity in financial reporting which was discussed in the context of development of a disclosure framework.
- There were many requests for a 'period of calm'. This was seen as a way to assist jurisdictions that are first-time adopters of IFRSs by limiting changes, while also allowing other IFRS preparers time to evaluate and apply recently issued-standards. Feedback also suggested that a period of calm would allow the Board to focus its efforts on the four current projects and to make targeted improvements to existing IFRSs where necessary.
- Many respondents noted that the Board should devolve more of the maintenance of IFRS activities to the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) and the role of the IFRS IC should be redefined. Likewise, local standard-standards and regional groups were seen as resources to assist the IASB in research activities.
- While many respondents advocated a focus on framework projects (e.g., conceptual framework and presentation and disclosure framework), respondents did highlight certain standard-level projects of interest. The 6 projects that were most often cited by respondents as high priority included (1) other comprehensive income and performance reporting, (2) business combinations between entities under common control, (3) agriculture, particularly bearer biological assets (often jurisdictional specific response from Asian region), (4) rate-regulated activities (often jurisdictional specific response from Canada), (5) extractive activities and (6) emission trading schemes. However, many other project priorities were noted, including investor-specific priorities such as a discount rate project.
Acknowledging this feedback, the Board considered possible ways forward. Board suggestions included:
- Performing research. Many Board members requested that the staff perform limited research to scope the nature of prospective projects. Subsequent to identifying the scope of the issues, Board members requested that the staff consider cross-cutting issues to bifurcate projects (e.g., if the scope of Project A and Project B both relate to defining / identifying assets, these projects could be taken to the Board's agenda collectively).
- Searching for 'quick wins'. Many Board members were interested in identifying projects / issues which could be resolved quickly and were likely to yield little disagreement. These projects could potentially be added to the Board's agenda in the nearer term.
- Seeking input from the Advisory Council. The Board noted the need to present comment letter feedback to the Advisory Council to understand their reactions to the feedback received.
- Developing a proposal. Following the performance of the above, and considering any other offline feedback by Board members, Board members suggested that a proposal be brought before the Board for more thorough deliberations at a future meeting.
Board members generally expressed universal support for these suggestions.