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News

IFRS - IASB Image

IASB posts webcast on IFRS 15

Feb 14, 2019

On February 14, 2019, the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) posted a webcast, by Board member Nick Anderson and investor engagement member Sid Kumar, that provides an overview on IFRS 15, "Revenue from Contracts with Customers".

In addition, the webcast discusses performance obligations, value transferred, when to recognize revenue, contract asset and liability, and disclosure requirements.

View the webcast on the Board's website.

United States Image

Where does XBRL go from here? SEC Commissioner Jackson shares his vision on structured data

Feb 13, 2019

On February 13, 2019, Toppan Merrill published its latest issue of "Dimensions", which included an article where Robert J. Jackson Jr., one of the three SEC commissioners appointed in 2018, recently added his voice in support of expanding the use of XBRL in disclosure and improving XBRL quality in SEC filings.

He was the keynote speaker at the Investor Forum 2018: Powering Fintech. To outline his vision for the future of structured data, Mr. Jackson presented three specific paths for improving or expanding the role of XBRL data in financial disclosure:

  1. fix the incomprehensible public data;
  2. expand the use of XBRL;
  3. encourage data analysis, not extraction.

Notably, his recurring theme was a collaborative approach in which the market guides the SEC on where to focus.

The commissioner told the audience that “we’re making a mistake as an investing public about what kinds of data we actually have.” A conventional view would recognize two types of corporate financial data: private data—especially about privately owned companies—that must be purchased; and data from public SEC filings. He identifies a third type: data that is “public but completely incomprehensible.” Much of the publicly available data in filings accessible on the SEC’s website is essentially hidden, because mining it is “costly, time-consuming, and error-prone.” With this understanding, one of his goals “for the SEC and for all of you in the XBRL community is that we are going to eliminate that third kind of data.”

Review the full article on Toppan Merrill's website.

All - AcSB Image

AcSB Chair’s Term Extended

Feb 13, 2019

On February 13, 2019, the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC) announced the extension of the term of the Chair of the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB).

Linda F. Mezon, FCPA, FCA, CPA (MI), CGMA has been the AcSB’s Chair since July 1, 2013. Her second term, which was originally set to end March 31, 2021, has been extended to June 30, 2023. This means that Ms. Mezon will serve ten years as Chair of the AcSB, ensuring continuity at a time of significant activity in accounting standard setting, both globally and in Canada.

Review the press release on the AcSB's website.

IFRS - IASB Image

Updated IASB work plan — Analysis

Feb 11, 2019

On February 11, 2019, the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) updated its work plan following its February 2019 meeting.

Below is an analysis of all changes that were made to the work plan since our last analysis on January 25, 2019.

Stan­dard-set­ting projects

  • No changes

Main­te­nance projects

  • 2019 Comprehensive Review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard — This project has been added to the work plan. A request for information is expected in H2 2019.

Research projects

  • No changes

Other projects

  • Due Process Handbook Review — This project has been added to the work plan. An exposure draft is expected in the second quarter of 2019.

The revised IASB work plan is available on the Board's website.

AASB Image

In Brief Podcast – The impact of the AASB’s Exposure Draft on Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization on Practitioners reporting in both Canada and the United States

Feb 11, 2019

On February 11, 2019, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) released a podcast that provides an overview, in light of the recently released exposure draft, of key considerations for practitioners required to report on controls at a service organization under both Canadian and U.S. standards.

Practitioners required to report under both Canadian and U.S. standards need to understand how their approach to these engagements will change should the proposed standard become effective.

There are two key changes that practitioners should be aware of:

  • The AICPA introduced two new overarching standards required to be applied by practitioners, in addition to their standalone service organization standard.
  • There are some areas within proposed CSAE 3416 where the AASB concluded that additional requirements, beyond those in the AICPA equivalent standard, are necessary.

Listen to the podcast and review the transcript on the AASB's website.

IFRS - AcSB Image

AcSB Research Update – Extractive Activities

Feb 08, 2019

On February 8, 2019, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) published an overview of the results of their research on the accounting challenges faced in the extractive sector.

The AcSB also outlines developments since the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Discussion Paper, Extractive Activities, was published in 2010. Their findings are to assist the IASB in identifying topics it should consider as it starts research on extractive activities.

Key research findings include:

  • A weak commodity price environment and pipeline capacity constraints are placing additional pressures on the extractive sector.
  • The decline in commodity prices reduces the profitability prospects and attractiveness of the sector.
  • These pressures have caused a decrease in the number of publicly traded entities as a result of mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies.
  • Other than that, there have been no significant changes or developments in the Canadian extractive sector since 2010.
  • Many preparers, practitioners and regulators say that there are areas of accounting complexity both within and outside of the scope of IFRS 6.
  • However, non-authoritative guidance on many of these challenges are available, e.g. by CPA Canada Mining and the CPA Canada Oil and Gas Task Forces.

Review the press release and overview on the AcSB's website.

IFRS - IASB Image

IASB member discusses returns, reinvestment opportunities and dividend distribution

Feb 08, 2019

On February 8, 2019, the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) released an article by Board member Nick Anderson, which discusses corporate performance and how investors seek to understand the quality of the profit number, not just the amount of earnings.

When assessing the sustainability of future profits of an entity, Mr. Anderson notes that investors will consider questions such as:

  • How much capital has the business deployed to generate its level of profit?
  • How persistent are earnings likely to be into the future?
  • Does net profit include gains or expenses that are unlikely to reoccur?
  • Is the pattern of future profits likely to exhibit volatility or cyclicality?
  • To what extent are profits supported by cash flow generation?
  • What are the long-term risks faced by the business, including material environmental and social factors?

And while they draw on the financial statements, management commentary and multiple other information sources, "no number in isolation can adequately capture corporate performance".

He goes on to discuss cash flows, dividend regulations, and accounting requirements, noting that while accounting is an important piece of information it is just "one piece of the jigsaw". Dividend policy reflects many other factors such as reinvestment opportunities, financing needs, the risks faced by the company, legal constraints and incentive arrangements - and all of these factors differ by company, by jurisdiction and over time. Therefore, Mr. Anderson notes, responsibility to determine whether dividend payments are appropriate is beyond the remit of the Board. But he concludes:

However, there is no impediment to complementing high quality financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS® Standards by providing additional disclosures about dividend policies and dividend payments, including any disclosures needed to meet jurisdiction requirements.

Review the full article on the Board's website.

IFRS - IASB Image

IASB issues podcast on IFRS 17 discussions at the February IASB meeting

Feb 08, 2019

On February 8, 2019, the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) released a podcast recorded by Darrel Scott, Board member, and Laura Kennedy, technical staff, reporting on the discussion at the February 2019 meeting of the Board about IFRS 17, "Insurance Contracts".

Listen to the 11-minute podcast on the Board's website.

IAASB - Assurance Image

Global Consultation on Quality Management for Firms and Engagements Now Open

Feb 08, 2019

On February 8, 2019, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) released several Exposure Drafts that propose to bring important changes to the way professional accountancy firms are expected to manage quality—for audits, reviews, and other assurance and related services engagements. Comments are requested by July 1, 2019.

The proposed standards include a new proactive risk-based approach to effective quality management systems within firms that establish the foundation for consistent engagement quality. The new approach improves the scalability of the standards because it promotes a system tailored to the nature and circumstances of the firm and its engagements.

The IAASB proposals are intended to improve engagement quality through:

  • Modernizing the standards for an evolving and increasingly complex environment, including addressing the impact of technology, networks, and use of external service providers;
  • Increasing firm leadership responsibilities and accountability, and improving firm governance;
  • More rigorous monitoring of quality management systems and remediating deficiencies;
  • Enhancing the engagement partner’s responsibility for audit engagement leadership and audit quality; and
  • Addressing the robustness of engagement quality reviews, including engagement selection, documentation, and performance.

Given the significance of the changes and the need for firms to adjust how they manage quality, the IAASB has also developed draft guidance and tools, such as examples and frequently asked questions. These materials will help firms understand the proposals, including how to apply them in different circumstances.

Exposure Drafts

Review the press release on the IAASB's website.

IFRS - IASB Image

IASB decides on further potential amendments to IFRS 17

Feb 07, 2019

At its meeting on February 7, 2019, the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) discussed IFRS 17, "Insurance Contracts" and 4 of the 25 concerns regarding the standard that were identified in October 2018 as candidates for potential amendments.

Applying the criteria for evaluating proposed amendments agreed on in October 2018, the Board came to the following conclusions:

Issue identified at the October IASB meeting

Agenda paper with detailed description (link to IASB website)

Staff recommendation

Board decision

1 — Loans that transfer significant insurance risk

Agenda paper 2A

  1. To amend the scope of IFRS 17 and IFRS 9 for insurance contracts for which the only insurance in the contract is for the settlement of some or all of the obligation created by the contract to enable an entity to apply either IFRS 17 or IFRS 9 to such contracts

13/14 support staff recommendation (on portfolio basis)

23 — Transition: Optionality and comparative information

Agenda paper 2B

  1. To retain the IFRS 17 transition requirements without amendment that would reduce the optionality
  2. To retain the IFRS 17 requirement to present restated comparative information

14/14 support both staff recommendations

25 (and some aspects of 8) — Transition: Risk mitigation option and amounts accumulated in other comprehensive income on transition

Agenda paper 2C

  1. To retain the requirements in IFRS 17 relating to the prohibition of retrospective application of the risk mitigation option
  2. To retain the requirements in IFRS 17 with respect to the cumulative amounts included in other comprehensive income

13/14 support staff recommendation 1 (the staff will do further research and bring back the issue at a future meeting); 14/14 support staff recommendation 2

24 — Transition: Modified retrospective approach

Agenda paper 2D

  1. To retain the requirements in IFRS 17 that an entity:
    • (a) cannot use a specified modification in the modified retrospective approach to the extent that the entity has reasonable and supportable information to apply the related IFRS 17 requirement retrospectively
    • (b) can only use a specified modification in the modified retrospective approach when the entity has reasonable and supportable information to apply that modification
  2. To
    • (a) not amend IFRS 17 to permit an entity to develop its own modifications
    • (b) amend the transition requirements in IFRS 17 for a liability that relates to the settlement of claims incurred before an insurance contract was acquired as follows:
      • (i) to add a specified modification to the modified retrospective approach to require an entity to classify such liabilities as a liability for incurred claims
      • (ii) to permit an entity applying the fair value approach to choose to classify such liabilities as a liability for incurred claims
    • (c) not amend the specified modification in the modified retrospective approach related to the use of cash flows that are known to have occurred
    • (d) not amend IFRS 17 to permit an entity to apply the specified modifications related to groups of insurance contracts without direct participation features to determine the contractual service margin for groups of contracts with direct participating features

14/14 support both staff recommendations (additional guidance to be included)

The staff notes that the only outstanding topics are now the level of aggregation of insurance contracts and a question about a risk mitigation option for general model contracts related to the December 2018 Board discussion on risk mitigation. The staff intend to present papers on the remaining topics and on possible sweep issues at the March 2019 Board meeting.

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