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IASB issues update on the insurance contracts project

16 Mar 2015

The IASB has published a document that provides an overview of the general model for insurance contracts without participation features. The document also includes the tentative decisions reached during deliberations, as well as the reasoning behind those decisions.

On 20 June 2013, the IASB issued a revised exposure draft that establishes the principles that insurers should apply to report the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of cash flows from insurance contracts. The IASB has substantially completed all issues related to the accounting for insurance contracts without participation features. It will review the accounting for insurance contracts with participation features to determine whether addition modifications are needed before it completes the project. A new standard is expected after 2015.

For more in­for­ma­tion, see the document on the IASB’s website. In addition, Deloitte has followed the re­de­lib­er­a­tions of the IASB and all tentative decisions to date; see our insurance contracts project page for details.

Outreach event with international Islamic finance industry

16 Mar 2015

On 9 April 2015, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) together with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) invites to an outreach meeting to discuss issues that Islamic financial institutions may need to address in applying IFRS 9 'Financial Instruments' for their financial reporting.

The Secretary General of AAOIFI stated that the AAOIFI hopes "that collaboration with the IASB will lead to greater uniformity and transparency of financial reporting by Islamic financial institutions across the world". Only recently, a survey of the Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group (AOSSG) had revealed that comparability of Islamic financial institutions' financial statements needs to be improved.

Please click for more information on the outreach event, which will take place in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, on the AAOIFI website.

Document setting out the likely practical effects of the forthcoming standard on leases

16 Mar 2015

The IASB has published a document that provides an overview of (1) the likely practical effects of the new standard on leases and (2) the similarities and differences between the IASB's requirements and those of the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

On 16 May 2013, the IASB and FASB issued a revised exposure draft to improve the accounting for leases. The boards worked closely together on this project, however, the final conclusions are not converged although the boards have reached the same decisions in many areas. Both boards will be ending their redeliberations soon and will be deciding on an effective date within the next few months. The IASB's new leases standard is expected to be issued before the end of 2015.

For more information, see the document on the IASB’s website. In addition, Deloitte has followed the redeliberations of the IASB and all tentative decisions to date; see our leases project page for details.

Hans Hoogervorst speaks about pension accounting

12 Mar 2015

In a speech given at a conference of the UK National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), said realistic numbers about pension liabilities might not make pretty reading but they will lead to informed investment decisions.

In his speech, Mr Hoogervorst went into more detail on three aspects of pension accounting. He first visited the question of whether the IASB relies too much on fair value measurement in its standards and whether this would lead to too much market volatility, which would not serve the long-term perspective of long-term investors. Mr Hoogervorst admitted that "short-termism is rife across the financial markets" but also added that "markets can get things very wrong". He encouraged long-term investors not to be deterred by short-term market fluctuations and investment fads but to use fair values as a means to evaluate continuously how changes in the market may affect the ability to achieve the goals of a long-term investment strategy.

In the same vein, Mr Hoogervorst then turned to recent amendments of IAS 19 Employee Benefits. With reissuing IAS 19 in 2011, the IASB removed the so-called 'corridor method' of deferring the recognition of actuarial gains and losses effective 1 January 2013. Mr Hoogervorst stressed that as a result, the balance sheet pension asset or liability now represented the actual funding position. He claimed that investors generally saw this as an improvement.

Lastly, Mr Hoogervorst commented on the fact that pension schemes were currently being transformed in a very rapid fashion and hybrid pension schemes were on the rise. While these schemes might be more affordable to companies, they make the accounting for them more difficult. The binary approach of IAS 19 (defined benefit vs defined contribution) was difficult to uphold vis-à-vis "this new, infinitely variable pension landscape" Mr Hoogervorst said. He therefore pointed at the IASB's research project on pension accounting that aims at developing an approach to pension accounting that works for all types of schemes.

Please click to download the full text of Mr Hoogervorst's speech from the IASB website.

New guide for disability reporting

12 Mar 2015

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Fundación ONCE, the leading organisation of the European network for corporate social responsibility and disability, have jointly published 'Disability in Sustainability Reporting', a guide to help organisations communicate their commitment to respecting and promoting the rights of people with disabilities.

The guide is designed to help organisations understand what activities can have an impact, whether positive or negative, on the rights of people with disabilities, and which GRI disclosures can be used as the basis for reporting on those impacts. It can enhance organisational understanding of the value of transparency on disability, in terms of creating inclusive workplaces, as well as taking advantage of the business case of disability for the development of new products, services and physical environments. The guide also features a number of case studies from businesses all over the world that are making commitments and working to improve their disability related impacts.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosures are increasingly required by governments and stock exchanges around the world, for example by the new 2014 European Union Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information (the European Social Fund of the European Union is a co-sponsor of the guide). Accordingly, the Disability in Sustainability Reporting also contains a section with additional resources on CSR and human rights reporting.

Please click to download the guide from the GRI website. It is available in English and Spanish.

2015 IFRS XBRL taxonomy issued

11 Mar 2015

The IFRS Foundation has issued its 2015 IFRS Taxonomy. The IFRS Taxonomy is a translation of IFRSs (International Financial Reporting Standards) into XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language).

The 2015 taxonomy is con­sis­tent with IFRSs as issued by the IASB at 1 January 2015 and IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities as issued on 9 July 2009. The IFRS Taxonomy 2015 includes IFRS Taxonomy Interim Release 1 (issued May 2014) and Interim Release 2 (issued November 2014). In addition, the final changes in proposed Interim Release 3 (issued December 2014) have been incorporated into the 2015 taxonomy.

For more information, see the press release and the IFRS Taxonomy 2015 page on the IASB's website.

AOSSG survey finds comparability of Islamic financial institutions' financial statements needs to be improved

11 Mar 2015

The Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group (AOSSG) has released the results of a survey into the financial reporting standards that Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) are legally required to comply with in their jurisdiction and the extent of compliance.

The survey covers financial statements of 132 top IFIs from 31 jurisdictions around the world. In addition to identifying the financial reporting standards that the IFIs are legally required to comply with and the extent of compliance, the survey also noted the accounting treatment of selected Islamic financial transactions where past experience has shown that there are significant differences between the requirements under IFRS and the accounting standards issued by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). Areas of focus were:

  • Lessor accounting for ijarah with an arrangement to transfer ownership;
  • Classification of customer investment accounts; and
  • Recognition and measurement of finance income.

Of the sampled IFIs, more IFIs apply IFRSs than AAOIFI standards: 46% stated compliance with IFRSs or IFRS as adopted for their jurisdiction (for example, IFRSs as adopted for the use in the EU), while only 18% stated compliance with the standards issued by AAOIFI. A large portion of IFIs (34% of the sample) complied with a local reporting framework.

However, regardless of the standards complied with, the study noted differing treatments in three main areas: ijarah, customer investment accounts and recognition and measurement of finance income. Reasons behind this were differing interpretation of the requirements and/or a market regulator or central bank may over-riding a requirement determined by an accounting standard-setter.

The study's overall conclusion is that the AOSSG may need to engage with regulators and central banks to promote the use of IFRS by IFIs.

Please click for access to the study on the AOSSG website. It offers a general survey of the standards applied and the treatment of the three areas of focus for the whole sample as well as findings listed by jurisdiction. Jurisdictions covered are Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Brunei, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Yemen.

A4S publishes four sustainability guides for accounting and finance

10 Mar 2015

The Prince of Wales' Accounting for Sustainability project (A4S) has published four guides to help the finance and accounting community address the issues of integrating sustainability into their business processes and decisions.

The guides have been developed by the A4S Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network, which was launched in December 2013. The Network brings together a select group of leading CFOs from large European businesses seeking to embed the management of environmental and social issues into business processes and strategy. Therefore, each guide is supported by case studies from Network members to demonstrate practical applications of the approaches and techniques set out in the guides. The guides are:

  • Natural and social capital accounting. This guide explains the key terms of natural and social capital accounting, the benefits of broadening accounting frameworks, and the challenges of converting natural and social capital impacts and dependencies into financial figures.
  • Enhancing investor engagement. This guide is intended to assist with investor relations and covers ideas such as moving away from quarterly reporting of financial results and instead incorporating sustainability information into investor presentations.
  • Managing future uncertainty. This guide offers an introduction to integrating risks resulting from macro sustainability trends into business decision making and explains how to overcome some of the uncertainty associated with the impact of these risks.
  • CAPEX. This guide outlines how businesses can adapt their existing capital investment appraisal processes to integrate social and environmental issues and shows how traditional investment decisions can be broadened and made more cost-effective and resilient.

The four guides can be downloaded from the A4S website. The CFO Network plans to publish further case studies and to develop additional guidance, including on integrated management reporting and on embedding sustainability into budgeting and forecasting.

Overview of global CSR disclosure

10 Mar 2015

The Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI) has compiled an overview of recent requirements by governments and stock exchanges related to corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure.

The overview offers information for 44 jurisdictions and includes developments from as early as the eighties and nineties until 2014 and 2015. Examples of newest developments covered are the European Union Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information, the Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) Sukuk framework of the Malaysian Securities Commission, and the Corporate Governance Rating System of the Nigerian Stock Exchange that will rank NSE-listed companies based on their corporate governance practices and anti-corruption policies.

The IRI, located at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard Kennedy School, was founded to provide institutional support for catalytic activity for responsible investment with a strong focus on creating a foundation of research activity around the field. To do this, it conducts research and releases publications on the metrics, theory and evolving practices of responsible investors.

Please click to access the overview on the IRI website. It builds on a working paper that offers more detailed descriptions of the various initiatives, a comprehensive resource section as well as a brief list of some important developments that are expected to materialize in the near future.

Agenda for the March 2015 IASB meeting

07 Mar 2015

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) will meet at its offices in London on 17–19 March 2015. Part of the meeting will be held jointly with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to discuss revenue recognition. Additionally, the IASB will discuss leases, research projects, the disclosure initiative, the Conceptual Framework, fair value measurement, dynamic risk management, and insurance contracts.

The full agenda for the meeting, dated 6 March 2015, can be found here.  We will post any updates to the agenda, and our Deloitte observer notes from the meeting, on this page as they are available.

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