In his introductory message, IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst notes that the agenda consultation is linked to the review of the structure and effectiveness of the organisation the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation launched in July 2015. The Trustees' questions with respect to the relevance of IFRS (including a possible extension of the IASB's remit beyond the current focus either in terms of the types of entity covered or the types of reporting) and consistent application are pertinent to any discussion of the IASB's agenda, and the IASB encourages stakeholders to consider both consultations jointly.
The IASB's approach to standard-setting
The first part of the agenda consultation paper is dedicated to the IASB’s approach to standard-setting since it has evolved significantly since the last agenda consultation. The IASB now pursues a standard-setting process that more clearly based on evidence. A detailed description is provided of the research phase, standards-level projects, maintenance and post-implementation reviews.
Current position and questions on the IASB’s work plan 2016–2020
The scope of the 2015 agenda consultation, which covers the IASB's work programme from mid-2016 to mid-2020, is limited by the expected level of standard-setting activity during that period. Therefore, the first section of the Request for Views (RfV) published today details the current situation. It describes the message received from the agenda consultation 2011 that stakeholders thought that the IASB should dedicate additional resources to the implementation and maintenance of IFRS. It also offers an overview of all projects currently on the IASB's agenda including expected completion.
The IASB concludes that the 2015 agenda consultation process is constrained by both the capacity of the IASB to take on additional technical projects and by the stakeholders' ability to deal with the change that results from standard-setting activities. Against this backdrop the IASB asks in the RfV whether constituents believe that the IASB's current balance of projects (major/implementation/research) is right, whether any additional projects should be added to the major projects work programme, whether enough implemenation support is provided, and whether the pace current of change is right.
A substantive part of the RfV is dedicated to the interplay of research with the work programme. The research programme, initiated as a response to the agenda consultation 2011, was established as a broad-based programme with a relatively low threshold for adding projects. Most of the projects now on the research programme were added at that time. The IASB has since introduced a more disciplined approach to the research programme and assigned the projects to exploratory, assessment and development phases. Still the research agenda is very full.
The IASB wants to ensure that all projects on the agenda fill an existing gap in IFRS, increase the relevance of IFRS, and/or support the consistent application of IFRS. It therefore asks respondents what priority they would ascribe to each topic on the research programme, whether there are there any topics that should be added to the research programme, and whether there are any topics that should be deleted from the research programme.
Frequency of agenda consultations
In the third section of the RfV, the IASB asks respondents whether a three-yearly agenda consultation process is appropriate in view of the fact that the time frame for developing and issuing standards is a long one. The IASB proposes that a five year interval between agenda consultations is more appropriate than the three year interval currently required.
The IASB makes the agenda consultation document and several supporting documents and links available on its website:
Deloitte's IFRS Global Office has published an IFRS in Focus newsletter outlining the contents of the Request for Views: Agenda Consultation 2015.
Comments on the consultation document are required by 31 December 2015.