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Call for more EU involvement in IFRS process

06 Dec 2005

Pervenche Beres, Chairwoman of the committee on economics and monetary affairs in the European Parliament, spoke about The Need for Better Involvement of the European Union in the IFRS Process at the FEE Seminar on IFRS Convergence and Consistency held in Brussels on 1 December 2005. An excerpt: Debates on the constitutional review of the IASB and on the (future) role of European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) represent an outstanding opportunity to strengthen the voice and the role of Europe, to improve the IASB corporate governance, and to make the decision making process at IASB level more balanced.

We should fully take advantage of this momentum!

One of the European Parliament's very important concerns relates to the manner in which the EU is present and represented in the IASB, namely on the trustees and on the Board side. A greater transparency towards the European Parliament, especially when it comes to Commission's intended steps in this area, would be a clear asset in ensuring that the EU is represented in the IASB structures in an appropriate way.

Click to Download (PDF 21k). We have previously posted speeches made at the same seminar by , the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services (PDF 74k - see news story of 2 December 2005) and by , Director, Office of International Affairs of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (PDF 71k - see news story of 3 December 2005).
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New UK actuarial standards board under FRC

06 Dec 2005

The Financial Reporting Council, under which the United Kingdom Accounting Standards Board operates, has established a new regime to set actuarial standards and oversee the regulation of the actuarial profession.

The UK government is supporting this effort. The FRC has created a Board for Actuarial Standards (BAS) whose mission is to set high quality actuarial standards independently of the actuarial profession or other interests. The FRC is also extending the remit of the Professional Oversight Board for Accountancy to oversee the regulation of the actuarial profession; and is extending the remit of the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board to cover public interest cases involving actuaries. The FRC has appointed Paul Seymour as Chair of the BAS. Click for . The FRC has added to its website a New Section on Regulation of the Actuarial Profession.
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Three IASB working groups will meet in January

05 Dec 2005

The following meetings of IASB working groups are scheduled for January 2006: 9-10 January 2006 – Working Group on Financial Instruments, London 12-13 January 2006 – Working Group on Insurance, London 30-31 January 2006 – Working Group on Small and Medium-sized Entities, London Meetings of IASB working groups are open to public observation.

For agendas, locations, and observer registration details, please see IASB's Website Meeting Diary.
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Deloitte's Global Economic Outlook 2006

05 Dec 2005

Global Economic Outlook 2006 is a new study from Deloitte Research that examines the various risks to the global economy and offers a point of view as to their future direction.

It suggests possible scenarios about the future direction of interest rates, exchange rates, and commodity prices, all with the aim of offering some useful planning premises for global companies that are exposed to global risks. This report also looks at each of the world's major economies and the issues they face. Of special interest are today's most discussed economies – China and India and the question as to the staying power of their extraordinary growth. Click to download:
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IFAC begins part 2 of compliance programme

03 Dec 2005

In July 2003, IFAC began a Member Body Compliance Programme to monitor and assess compliance with IFAC's membership obligations by IFAC's 163 member bodies.

The programme is being conducted in two parts.
  • Part 1 – information gathering. A questionnaire was distributed in March 2004 to identify the regulatory requirements and standard-setting processes in member body countries with respect to standards for auditing, accounting, ethics, public sector, and education. To date, responses to Part 1 from 78 member bodies have been posted on IFAC's Website.
  • Part 2 – member body self assessment. The goal of this step is to provide information on compliance by member bodies with IFAC's Statements of Membership Obligations. Part 2 was launched in December 2005. Each IFAC member and associate has been sent a package of materials including an instruction guide to Part 2 and confidential access to their self-assessment questionnaire. You can view the questionnaire at IFAC's Website.

Statement of Membership Obligation 7 International Financial Reporting Standards, which took effect in 2004 and applies to both full and associate IFAC members, requires the following:

  • 1. Member bodies of IFAC should support the work of the IASB by notifying their members of every IFRS.
  • 2. The IASB exposes proposed IFRSs for public comment. Member bodies are encouraged to notify their members of all exposure drafts issued by the IASB and to encourage them to comment on behalf of those members that have an interest in accounting standards.
  • 3. Member bodies should use their best endeavors:
    • (a) To incorporate the requirements of IFRSs in their national accounting requirements, or where the responsibility for the development of national accounting standards lies with third parties, to persuade those responsible for developing those requirements that general purpose financial statements should comply with IFRSs, or with local accounting standards that are converged with IFRS, and disclose the fact of such compliance; and
    • (b) To assist with the implementation of IFRSs, or national accounting standards that incorporate IFRSs.
  • 4. Interpretation. A member body has used 'best endeavors' if it could not reasonably do more than it has done and is doing to meet the particular membership obligation.
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The reconciliation and convergence

03 Dec 2005

Ethiopis Tafara, Director, Office of International Affairs of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, discussed the SEC's 'roadmap' of milestones toward elimination of the US GAAP reconciliation requirement for IFRS filers in remarks at FEE's IFRS seminar in Brussels on 1 December 2005. An excerpt: We do not expect full or even a finite degree of convergence before we are willing to eliminate the reconciliation requirement.

What is important is that investors in the United States be able to understand financial statements prepared under IFRS. While convergence between IFRS and US GAAP will certainly help us all in reaching that goal, it is clearly possible for US investors to understand financial statements prepared using a rigorously applied system of IFRS, even if there remain differences between IFRS and US GAAP.

Accordingly, we do not expect an artificially paced standard-setting work targeted at a specific level of convergence before eliminating the reconciliation requirement. That said, before eliminating the requirement, the Commission likely will be keen to see that a robust process for converging IFRS and US GAAP is in place and active. This will help make sure that, going forward, both sets of accounting standards will converge rather than diverge. Of course, the only way to judge the effectiveness of a process is through the results it generates. This means that, before the reconciliation requirement can be eliminated, the Commission will need to review the progress of the IASB/FASB convergence project and will look for convergence of standards that reflect a sense of priority and a measure of efficiency.

Click to download (PDF 71k)
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Report from the December 2005 IFRIC meeting

02 Dec 2005

The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) met at the IASB's offices in London on Wednesday, 1 December 2005. Presented below are the preliminary and unofficial notes taken by Deloitte observers at the meeting.Notes from the IFRIC Meeting1 December 2005 D16 Scope of IFRS 2 – Proposals for final Interpretation At the previous meeting the staff presented a comment analysis of the responses to D16, and the IFRIC decided that the draft should be revised to clarify certain issues.

At this meeting, the staff presented the revised draft, including revisions for the following areas:
  • The scope of the draft Interpretation must be consistent with the scope of IFRS 2, and the types of 'non-reciprocal' arrangements that fall within/outside of the scope of the Interpretation.
  • The draft Interpretation is a clarification of the scope of IFRS 2.
  • The rebuttable presumption in paragraph 13 of IFRS 2 does not apply to unidentifiable goods or services received.
  • Entities would not need to compare the fair value of the equity instrument granted with the fair value of identifiable goods or services received for all non-employee goods or services received.
  • The measurement date for the unidentifiable goods or services received shall be the grant date of the equity instrument. The measurement date for the identifiable consideration will be in accordance with IFRS 2.

IFRIC agreed to include as an example, an illustration of how share-based payment transactions involving close family relationships would be dealt with under the draft Interpretation depending on whether goods or services had been provided to the entity. The words "appears to be less than fair value" were viewed by some as problematic for practical reasons, and the IFRIC agreed to explain the use of those words in the basis for conclusions.

After discussing the above and some drafting issues, none of the IFRIC members indicated an intention to dissent to issuance of the Interpretation.

Interim Reporting and Impairment of Goodwill and of Investments in Equity Instruments

At the previous meeting, the IFRIC tended to the view that the specific guidance with regard to reversals of previously recognised impairment losses of goodwill in IAS 36 and investments in equity instruments in IAS 39 should take precedence over the more general guidance in IAS 34 and decided to proceed with a draft Interpretation.

The staff introduced a draft Interpretation stating an intention to issue it for comment before the end of the year, and to set a 60-day comment period.

The Chairman confirmed that the IASB had been asked about the direction the IFRIC is taking on this project. He indicated that there had been no objections from IASB members.

IFRIC debated whether the draft basis for conclusions should be expanded to discuss, comprehensively, the requirements of IAS 34. The IFRIC was split on this issue, with some favouring a brief basis for conclusions focussing only on the narrow issue dealt with by the draft Interpretation, while others believed it necessary to consider the IAS 34 requirements in more detail in arriving at a conclusion. It was not clear how the IFRIC decided to proceed on this issue.

IFRIC decided to issue a draft Interpretation, with two IFRIC members dissenting. The staff were instructed to finalise the draft and present it to the Board for negative clearance.

Recommendations by the Agenda Committee regarding requests for IFRIC agenda items

The IFRIC decided not to take onto its agenda the following issues. It approved (subject to editorial amendments) rejection wording to be published in the IFRIC Update:

  • Classification of leases of land that do not transfer title.
  • Common control transactions.
  • Scope of IAS 12 Income Taxes.
  • Subscriber acquisition costs in the telecommunications industry.

This summary is based on notes taken by observers at the IFRIC meeting and should not be regarded as an official or final summary.

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Transition to IFRSs in the retailing sector

02 Dec 2005

We have posted On Your Marks–Get Set?, a booklet prepared by Deloitte & Touche LLP (United Kingdom) that identifies issues likely to arise as entities in the retailing sector make the transition to International Financial Reporting Standards.

Specific issues examined include segment reporting (IAS 14); revenue recognition (IAS 18); inventories (IAS 2); impairment of assets (IAS 36); property, plant, and equipment (IAS 16); and goodwill and intangible assets (IFRS 3 and IAS 38). The booklet also summarises the results of a 2004 Deloitte benchmarking study of retailing groups to identify just how ready the retailing sector was to make the transition to IFRSs. Click to download:
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Updated EFRAG endorsement status report

02 Dec 2005

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group has updated its report showing the status of endorsement, under the EU Accounting Regulation, of each IFRS, including standards, interpretations, and amendments.

Click to download the Endorsement Status as of 30 November 2005 (PDF 23k).
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EC financial reporting strategy

02 Dec 2005

Charlie McCreevy, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, spoke about the EC Strategy on Financial Reporting: Progress on Convergence and Consistency at the European Federation of Accountants' (FEE) Seminar on International Financial Reporting Standards in Brussels on 1 December 2005. Here is an excerpt: It is my firm belief that accounting standards should be international and be used across the globe.

We have committed to use IFRS, but other important markets – notably the US – have not yet done so.

Our interest in the acceptance of IFRS in the US is of course not purely altruistic. Today there about 250 EU issuers listed in the US using IFRS. The cost of the current US GAAP reconciliation requirement is enormous. I have heard estimates of between 1 and as much as 10 million dollars for the largest companies. And that is every year. But the story does not end here. There are many companies from other jurisdictions who also have US listings and use IFRS.

That is why I think my agreement earlier this year with the former SEC Chairman, Bill Donaldson, and the SEC roadmap to remove the US GAAP reconciliation requirement is so important. This Roadmap means that IFRS could be accepted in the US no later than 2009, or even sooner.

Click to download (PDF 74k).

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