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News

Are IFRSs in Canada's future? New developments

28 Feb 2005

In our News Story of 9 September 2004 titled Are IFRSs in Canada's future?, we reported on an invitation to comment that was issued by the Accounting Standards Board of Canada (AcSB) as part of the AcSB's development of a five-year standard-setting plan.

Possible outcomes of that plan, set out in the invitation to comment, are to maintain separate Canadian GAAP or to adopt either US GAAP or IFRSs for use in Canada. Canadian companies publicly traded in the United States are already permitted to use US GAAP for Canadian reporting purposes. On 10 February 2005, the AcSB made a presentation to its oversight body, the Accounting Standards Oversight Council, outlining its vision of the future of accounting standards in Canada. Broadly described, AcSB's proposal – which must be considered by the AcSB's constituents and by Canadian regulators – would involve adopting IFRSs in full as Canadian GAAP while allowing those entities that want to do so to use US GAAP. The transition to IFRSs would be made over a five-year period. The AcSB proposals would be set out in a new invitation to comment that is expected to be published by 31 March 2005.

Australia to modify IFRS figures for bank regulation

27 Feb 2005

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has released the first of two discussion papers setting out its proposed regulatory response to the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards by APRA-regulated institutions.

APRA is the prudential regulator of the Australian financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, and insurance companies, among others. Australia has adopted national GAAP that starting in 2005 is virtually equivalent to IFRSs. The APRA noted that its objective is to "align its prudential and reporting standards with Australian accounting standards and principles to the extent practicable.... In certain circumstances, however, APRA's prudential framework will depart from accounting standards." Among the areas of departure cited in the discussion paper are:

  • Fair value measurement
  • Non-accrual loans and deferred acquisition costs
  • Treatment of hedges
  • Available for sale financial assets
  • Property
  • Excess of market value over net assets
  • Loan loss provisioning
  • Defined benefit pension plans
APRA also states that it will wait until after implementation of A-IFRSs to assess other areas, including leases, impairment, business combinations, share-based payment, joint ventures, and provisions. Click to download:

SOX 404 compliance challenges for foreign private issuers

27 Feb 2005

In the United States, public companies large and small have labored over the requirements of section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Accelerated filers with international operations are now finalising their assessment of internal control over financial reporting. Foreign Private Issuers (FPIs), beginning with year-ends on or after 15 July 2005, are required to include an internal control report from management in their annual report. Although the SEC has delayed the effective date of section 404 several times, Deloitte highly recommends that FPIs do not change the timing or scope of their section 404 work. Deloitte's new publication, (PDF 287k), summarises the experiences of FPIs and highlights key challenges that your company may face as part of your section 404 readiness activities.

IASCF Chairman Volcker's remarks to ARC

26 Feb 2005

IASC Foundation Chairman Paul A.

Volcker spoke to the European Commission's Accounting Regulatory Committee about the Trustees' current Review of the Constitution under which the Foundation and the Board operate. Among the points that Mr. Volcker made:

  • The underlying reality in my view is that good progress is being made toward achieving a common set of respected accounting standards applicable in all significant markets. That is the grand prize that should not be lost.
  • The only way to do that is to achieve a high degree of confidence in the process by which the IASB reaches agreement on internally consistent, effective, realistic and, I hope, simpler standards.
  • In the constitution review, it has not been the Trustees' intent to revisit the entire debate five years ago about the organisation of the IASB and our Constitution. The central idea that emerged from that debate, and will remain, is to foster the independence of judgement of a highly professional, decision-making Board, appropriately protected from particular national or special interest pleading.
  • The IASCF proposals released in November directly addressed a large number of the concerns raised by various commentators, in particular those in Europe, including more Board consultation with representative groups, the process for agenda decisions, Board appointments, and Board voting requirements.
  • The decision of the European Union to enforce IFRSs by law provided bold and constructive leadership toward the concept of international, rather than national or regional, standards. It does not, however, logically lead to a decision to overweight European representation on the Board or the Trustees. The 'end game', after all, is the acceptability of international standards right around the world.
Click to download the IASC Foundation Press Release (PDF 45k) and the Text of Mr. Volcker's Remarks (PDF 21k).

IFAC seeks two public members for the IAASB

26 Feb 2005

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is seeking two public members for the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

Individuals and organisations may submit nominations for these public member positions by 15 April 2005. Click for More Information.

Ya está disponible la nueva Guía Rápida de IFRS

25 Feb 2005

Deloitte (Spain) has published (PDF 261k, 112 pages).

This is the third edition of the Spanish language equivalent of (PDF 810k).

Esta tercera edición de Gu�a Rápida IFRS considera los cambios y nueva normativa que se han incorporado a las NIIF durante 2004, constituye una excelente herramienta que le servirá para conocer y comprender las NIIF, facilitar su implantación y saber cómo se están aplicando estas normas de información en todo el mundo.

SEC implications outside the United States

25 Feb 2005

US SEC Commissioner Cynthia A.

Glassman's remarks before the ninth annual conference on The Practical Implications of SEC Regulation Outside the United States (24 February 2005, London) may be of interest to IAS Plus visitors.

Asia-Pacific jurisdiction pages updated

25 Feb 2005

We have updated the following pages to reflect standard setting activity during the last quarter of 2004: Australia China Hong Kong New Zealand Malaysia Philippines Singapore Taiwan Thailand .

We have updated the following pages to reflect standard setting activity during the last quarter of 2004:

EFRAG appoints a technical director

24 Feb 2005

With its present Secretary General Paul Rutteman stepping down at the end of March 2005, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has appointed Paul Ebling to the newly created position of full-time Technical Director.

At the same time, EFRAG has promoted Reinhard Biebel to the role of Assistant Technical Director. Paul Ebling has been a project director with the UK Accounting Standards Board for seven years, focusing most recently on financial instruments and insurance contracts.

We comment on proposed IASCF Constitution changes

24 Feb 2005

We have posted (PDF 27k) in response to the IASCF's November 2004 Invitation to Comment titled Review of the IASC Foundation Constitution: Proposals for Change.

Click here for a Summary of the Proposed Constitution Changes. Here is an excerpt from our response:

The IASC Foundation has a vital role to play in achieving the goal of one set of high-quality global accounting standards. In protecting the independence of the International Accounting Standards Board, while ensuring its public accountability, it must balance the legitimate demands of constituents for access and responsiveness against the Board's need to develop high-quality accounting standards that serve the interests of those making economic decisions in an atmosphere that is free of political interference. However, the IASC Foundation must also work to achieve greater accountability and transparency in its own affairs, especially in the oversight of the IASB and its sub-groups (including the appointment, assessment and reappointment of Board Members) as well as the appointment and reappointment of the Trustees. We are disappointed that the proposals in the Invitation to Comment make such modest proposals for change and have not responded to many of the comments made by us in our comment letter of 11 February 2004 and our written evidence before the Trustees' Constitution Committee submitted on 20 May 2004, as well as by other respondents.

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