Before beginning his technical remarks, however, Mr Hoogervorst said a few words on the recently passed away Director of International Activities at the IASB and Chairman of the IFRS Interpretations Committee, Wayne Upton. He reminded the audience that Mr Upton was, at different times, Research Director, Chair of the IFRS Interpretations Committee, Chair of the Emerging Economies Group, and Coordinator of the Islamic Finance Consultative Group. Mr Hoogervorst then led the audience in a few moments of silence remembering Wayne Upton.
IASB developments in the last 12 months
Looking back on the year that has passed since the last WSS meeting, Mr Hoogervorst noted that technically it had been a very busy year. He mentioned the issuance of IFRS 16 in January 2016 that finally brought most leases onto the balance sheet as a highlight. He also noted that this standard is the first to have benefitted from the recommendations of the Effects Analysis Working Group.
Regarding progress towards global standards, Mr Hoogervorst stressed that the year had been Asia's year. He noted the quickly increasing number of Japanese companies voluntarily applying IFRSs, China's reaffirmed commitment to achieve full convergence with IFRSs, India's move to Ind AS as an important step towards full convergence, and the fact that Saudi Arabia is currently moving to IFRSs.
The Board's priorities for 2017 and beyond
Mr Hoogervorst noted that the top priorities for 2017 and beyond would of course include the completion of the remaining major projects: Conceptual Framework, where completion of redeliberations is expected by the end of the year, and insurance contracts, where the issuance of a final standard is currently expected in March 2017. He also noted the overriding priority of "better communication" the IASB will be focusing on going forward and explained that this does not mean that the IASB intends to cut back the information provided, nor to dramatically increase it. Rather, this focus aims at better presentation of information, better grouping of information together, and additional consideration of the form information is made available. As projects and developments that are expected to contribute to better communication Mr Hoogervorst mentioned primary financial statements, the disclosure initiative, digital reporting, and non-financial reporting.
Cooperation between national standard-setters and the IASB
As regards the cooperation with national standard-setters, Mr Hoogervorst explained how the relationship between the standard-setters and the IASB had matured and mentioned WSS, ASAF (including AOSSG, EFRAG, GLASS, and PAFA), IFASS. He stressed, however, that it continued to be important for the IASB to hear from the standard-setting community how cooperation could be deepened even more. Suggestions he made included supporting consistent application and closer cooperation through the research agenda.
Please note that the IASB is not intending to publish a transcript of Mr Hoogervorst's speech on its website.