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News

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Group of CEOs sees realistic public reporting as integral part of good corporate governance

02 Aug 2016

A group of CEOs has issued a set of commonsense corporate governance principles for public companies, boards of directors, and shareholders. The principles are intended to provide a basic framework for sound, long-term-oriented governance. Among the topics discussed is also public reporting with a focus on earnings guidance and non-GAAP measures.

The principles state that a company should take a long-term strategic view and explain clearly to shareholders how material decisions and actions are consistent with that view. Required quarterly reporting should reflect this view and provide an outlook for trends and metrics that reflect progress on long-term goals. The principles note that making short-term decisions to beat guidance is "likely to be value destructive in the long run".

According to the priciples, companies should not feel obligated to provide earnings guidance, but if they decide to so so, they should first determine whether it “does more harm than good”. Also, the guidance “should be realistic and avoid inflated projections”.

Finally, the priciples stress that companies are required to report their results in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). While the group of CEOs believes that "it is acceptable in certain instances to use non-GAAP measures to explain and clarify results for shareholders" they also stress that "such measures should be sensible and should not be used to obscure GAAP results". They also stress that all compensation expenses, including equity compensation, should be reflected in any non-GAAP measures of earnings as they are plainly a cost of doing business.

For more information, see the press release and principles on the website especially set up for this purpose.

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EFRAG announces composition of the working groups for insurance and financial instruments

29 Jul 2016

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has announced the new composition of their Insurance Working Group and Financial Instruments Working Group.

The composition of the working groups contains a balance of different backgrounds and geographical origins. The compositions are as follows:

EFRAG Insurance Accounting Working Group (effective 1 September 2016):

  • Ambrogio Virgilio, Chairman, EFRAG TEG member, auditor
  • Sebastien Arnault, auditor
  • Alexander Dollhopf, actuary
  • Luca D'Ofronio, user
  • Hugh Francis, insurance industry
  • Joachim Kölschbach, auditor
  • Jasper Kolsters, auditor
  • Malin Löfbom, insurance industry
  • Sophie Massol, insurance industry
  • Richard Olswang, actuary
  • Jean-Michel Pinton, insurance industry
  • Sabrina Pucci, academic
  • Thomas Ringsted, auditor and actuary
  • Roman Sauer, insurance industry
  • Massimo Tosoni, insurance industry
  • Gail Tucker, auditor
  • Carsten Zielke, user

EFRAG Financial Instruments Working Group (effective 1 September 2016):

  • Andrew Spooner Chairman, auditor
  • Jens Berger, auditor
  • Lisa Bomba, banking
  • David Bradbery , banking
  • Riccardo Bua Odetti, auditor
  • Alan Chapman, auditor
  • Pierre-Henri Damotte, banking
  • Chiara Del Prete, banking 
  • Karin Eisenhut, banking
  • Fabio Goia, banking
  • Laure Guegan, auditor
  • Vincent Guillard, auditor
  • Rastislav Kovácik, banking
  • Selma Marte, banking
  • Colin Martin, auditor
  • Raoul Vogel, auditor

For more information, see the press release on the EFRAG’s website.

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New data on voluntary IFRS adoption in Japan

29 Jul 2016

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) has released data showing that 141 companies listed on the TSE, accounting for almost 30 per cent of the market capitalisation, have adopted or plan to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). In addition, over 200 further companies are actively considering adoption.

The TSE report shows the following development:

June 2014 December 2014 March 2015 August 2015 March 2016 June 2016
Companies that have adopted IFRS 27 38 38 68 74 85
Companies that have decided to adopt IFRS 15 14 35 23 32 30
Companies planning to adopt IFRS and have publicly stated the fact 21 22 26
Total 42 52 73 112 128 141

Please click to access the full analysis on the TSE website.

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IPSASB publishes new IPSAS 39 and amendments to IPSAS 21 and IPSAS 26

29 Jul 2016

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board has published IPSAS 39 'Employee Benefits' and 'Impairment of Revalued Assets (Amendments to IPSAS 21 and IPSAS 26)'.

IPSAS 39 Employee Benefits will replace IPSAS 25 Employee Benefits on 1 January 2018 with earlier application encouraged. IPSAS 39 is the result of Exposure Draft ED 59 Amendments to IPSAS 25, however, during redeliberation the IPSASB decided it was more user friendly to reflect the revisions proposed in ED 59 in a new format.

IPSAS 25 is based on IAS 19 Employee Benefits, which was later revised. The changes between IPSAS 39 and IPSAS 25 converge the IPSASB guidance with the updated IAS 19 to the extent appropriate for the public sector. The main changes:

  • Remove an option that allows an entity to defer the recognition of changes in the net defined benefit liability (the “corridor approach”);
  • Introduce the net interest approach for defined benefit plans;
  • Amend certain disclosure requirements for defined benefit plans and multi-employer plans; and
  • Simplify the requirements for contributions from employees or third parties to a defined benefit plan when those contributions are applied to a simple contributory plan that is linked to service.

The update also removes the requirements for composite social security programmes, which the IPSASB concluded to be no longer necessary in practice.

Impairment of Revalued Assets brings property, plant, and equipment and intangible assets on the revaluation model within the scope of the IPSASB’s two standards on impairment: IPSAS 21 Impairment of Non-Cash-Generating Assets and IPSAS 26 Impairment of Cash-Generating Assets.

Please click for the following additional information on the IPSASB website:

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European Union Image

19th ESMA enforcement decisions report released

28 Jul 2016

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published further extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions taken by European national enforcers. This batch deals with decisions in relation to IAS 8, IAS 12, IAS 18, IAS 19, IAS 21, IAS 38, IAS 39, IAS 41, IFRS 2, IFRS 3, IFRS 8, IFRS 11, IFRS 13, IFRIC 14, IFRIC 17, and IFRIC 21.

The European national enforcers of financial information monitor and review financial statements published by issuers with securities traded on a regulated European market and who prepare their financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law.

ESMA has developed a confidential database of enforcement decisions taken by individual European enforcers as a source of information to foster appropriate application of IFRS.

The publication of enforcement decisions is designed to inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS, i.e. whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. ESMA considers the publication of the decisions, together with the rationale behind them, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the European Union.

Topics covered in the latest batch of extracts, covering the period from February 2014 to April 2016, include:

 

Standard Topic

IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement

Inflation-related index derivative embedded in a host lease contract

IFRS 11Joint Arrangements

Classification of a separate vehicle as joint operation based on ‘other facts and circumstances’

IAS 21 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates

Selection of the appropriate exchange rate when multiple exchange rates are available

IAS 38 Intangible Assets

Presentation of gains arising from the sale of an intangible asset

IFRS 13Fair Value Measurement

Identification of unobservable inputs

IFRS 3 Business Combinations
IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors
IFRS 2Share-based Payment

Reverse acquisition of a listed shell company

IAS 18Revenue
IFRS 8Operating Segments

Disclosure of the amounts of significant categories of revenue

IAS 38 Intangible Assets

Determination of whether a dealer network acquired in a business combination is an intangible asset with indefinite useful life

IFRS 13Fair Value Measurement
IFRIC 17Distributions of Non-cash Assets to Owners

Exchange of a business for an interest in a subsidiary and subsequent distribution of the acquired subsidiary to owners

IAS 19Employee Benefits
IFRIC 14IAS 19 – The Limit on a Defined Benefit Asset, Minimum Funding Requirements and their Interaction

The determination of the maximum economic benefits available from a pension plan and the measurement of the defined benefit asset

IAS 12Income Taxes
IAS 41Agriculture

Measurement of a deferred tax liability relating to biological assets when income tax rates are changing over the assets’ useful lives

IFRIC 21Levies

Accounting for contributions to a deposit guarantee fund in the interim financial report

Click for access to the full report (link to ESMA website). The ESMA has also published an updated overview of all enforcement decisions ever published.

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IPSASB consults on public sector specific financial instruments

28 Jul 2016

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has released for comment 'Public Sector Specific Financial Instruments'.

Neither International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) nor International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) specifically address some financial instruments that are unique to the public sector such as:

  • special drawing rights;
  • currency in circulation; and
  • monetary gold.

As a consequence, there is inconsistent reporting between entities and users may not have the information they need for accountability and decision-making purposes.

As a first step to developing specific guidance the IPSASB has released a consultation paper seeking feedback on some preliminary views on accounting for the three public sector financial instruments highlighted above. The objective of the paper is to initiate a debate abou the types of instruments considered to be in scope of the project and approaches to recognition and measurement of those items included in the project.

Comments on the consultation paper are due to the IPSASB by 31 December 2016.

Please click for the following additional information on the IPSASB website:

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EFRAG draft comment letter on proposed amendments on the application of the definition of a business

27 Jul 2016

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has issued a draft comment letter on the IASB exposure draft ED/2016/1 'Definition of a Business and Accounting for Previously Held Interests'.

EFRAG welcomes the IASB proposal and supports the following:

  • A more comprehensive framework and reduces the workload when distinguishing business combinations from asset acquisitions compared to the current guidance in IFRS 3.
  • Inclusion of a ‘screening test’ with some suggested improvements to accommodate more borderline cases.
  • Different sets depending on whether the set of activities and assets has outputs.
  • The use of illustrative examples but with a greater focus on guidance that requires significant judgement.
  • The clarification of the accounting for previously held interests to align with the definition of a business.

Further, the EFRAG encourages a converged approach by the IASB and FASB regarding the proposals.

Comments on EFRAG's draft comment letter are requested by 18 October 2016. For more in­for­ma­tion, see the press release and the draft comment letter on the EFRAG website.

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EBA consults on guidance on accounting for expected credit losses

27 Jul 2016

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has launched a consultation on draft guidelines on credit institutions' credit risk management practices and accounting for expected credit losses.

The EBA draft guidelines build on the guidance by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) in December 2015 on the same matter and feature a detailed section on the application of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments. The draft guidance notes:

The EBA welcomes the move from an incurred loss model to an ECL model under IFRS 9. IFRS 9 is, overall, an improvement compared to IAS 39 in the accounting for financial instruments and the changes on credit loss provisioning should contribute in addressing the G20’s concerns about the issue of ‘too little, too late’ recognition of credit losses and improve the accounting recognition of loan loss provisions by incorporating a broader range of credit information. IFRS 9 is therefore expected to address some prudential concerns and contribute to financial stability. However, the application of IFRS 9 also requires the use of judgement in the ECL assessment and measurement process which could potentially affect the consistent application of IFRS 9 across credit institutions and the comparability of credit institutions’ financial statements.

The EBA notes that the objective of the proposed guidelines is to be in line with the BCBS guidance. The EBA guidelines would also not prevent credit institutions from meeting the impairment requirements in IFRS 9.

Comments on the draft guidance are requested by 26 October 2016. The EBA aims to finalise the proposed guidelines during the fourth quarter of 2016 or first quarter of 2017, taking into account the comments received during the consultation. The guidelines should be implemented by 1 January 2018.

Please click for the following additional information on the EBA website:

KASB (Korean Accounting Standards Board) (lt blue) Image
AASB (Australian Accounting Standards Board) (lt blue) Image

KASB and AASB publish final study on the influence of cultural background and translation on the interpretation of IFRSs

26 Jul 2016

In December 2015, the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and the Korea Accounting Standards Board (KASB) reported on a joint research project on IFRS implementation at the ASAF meeting that month. The final report on the project that explored how cultural background and translation affect the interpretation of the terms that are used in IFRS is now available.

The findings in the final report are consistent with those detailed in December 2015: differences in cultures and languages can lead to different interpretations of terms used in IFRSs - a fact that is not helped by the circumstance that the IASB itself uses a variety of terms for similar fact patterns and not even consistenly across standards. Accordingly, the report emphasises that it will be useful for the IASB to consider narrowing down the number of terms, to give considerable attention to how terms might be interpreted and translated in different jurisdictions when developing a standard, to consider developing principles and guidance that could be applied consistently across the standards, and to use standard-setting outreach and consultative processes to obtain input on translation and interpretation issues in different jurisdictions.

The final report, which forms KASB Research Report No.39 and AASB Research Report No.2, can be accessed through the press release on the KASB website.

 

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IASB posts webcast on IFRS 9 forward-looking information

25 Jul 2016

The IASB has made available a webcast discussing forward-looking information in the application of the expected credit loss impairment requirements in IFRS 9.

The webcast, which features IASB member Sue Lloyd, Technical Director Kumar Dasgupta, and Practice Fellow Uni Choi, covers the following topics:

  • “when multiple scenarios are relevant and the concept of non-linearity;
  • consistency of scenarios;
  • probability-weighted assessment of significant increase in credit risk; and
  • approaches to incorporating forward-looking scenarios”

The webcast is available on the IASB’s website.

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