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June 2018

FRC Lab report on reporting performance metrics

Jun 22, 2018

In June 2018, the Financial Reporting Lab of the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) released a report that includes a framework and set of questions for companies and their boards to consider when deciding on how they report their performance.

The report points out that investors are calling on companies to reassess how they report their performance metrics. The metrics chosen by companies to report their performance should be clearly aligned to the company’s strategic goals, be transparent on how they are calculated and provide sufficient information that allows comparisons to be made to previous years’ performance.

The questions companies and their boards should consider when deciding on how they report their performance focus on:

  • alignment to strategy,
  • transparency,
  • context,
  • reliability, and
  • consistency.

The report build on the guidance on alternative performance measures issued by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in October 2015 but provides an investor perspective on the reporting of all types of metrics (including wider metrics that are not covered by ESMA’s guidelines).

Review the report on the FRC's website.

Hyperinflationary economies - updated IPTF watch list available

Jun 08, 2018

On June 8, 2018, the Centre for Audit Quality (CAQ) released the discussion document "Monitoring Inflation in Certain Countries".

IAS 29, Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies defines and provides general guidance for assessing whether a particular jurisdiction's economy is hyperinflationary. But the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) does not identify specific jurisdictions. The International Practices Task Force (IPTF) of the CAQ monitors the status of "highly inflationary" countries. The Task Force's criteria for identifying such countries are similar to those for identifying "hyperinflationary economies" under IAS 29.

The IPTF's discussion document for the May 16, 2018 meeting is now available and states the following view of the Task Force:

Countries with three-year cumulative inflation rates exceeding 100%:

  • Angola
  • South Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela

Countries with projected three-year cumulative inflation rates exceeding 100%:

  • Argentina
  • Democratic Republic of Congo

Countries where the three-year cumulative inflation rates had exceeded 100% in recent years:

  • Sudan

Countries with recent three-year cumulative inflation rates exceeding 100% after a spike in inflation in a discrete period:

  • Ukraine

Countries with projected three-year cumulative inflation rates between 70% and 100% or with a significant (25% or more) increase in inflation during the current period

  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Yemen

Review the full list, including exact numbers, detailed explanations of the calculation of the numbers, and observations of the Task Force are available on the CAQ website.

IASB chair provides update on current activities

Jun 28, 2018

At the IFRS conference in Frankfurt, IASB Chair Hans Hoogervorst provided an update on the use of IFRS Standards around the world and the current thinking of the IASB.

Mr. Hoogervorst mentioned that despite the resurgence of protectionism and threats to the rule based trade system of the World Trade Organization, the use of IFRS Standards has progress well. However, there are still some gaps to be filled in the adoption of IFRS Standard in certain jurisdictions.

Next, Mr. Hoogervorst provided an update on the developments in IFRS Standards. The topics he covered included primary financial statements, the implementation of IFRS 17, and wider corporate reporting as well as financial instruments with characteristics of equity, where the IASB has recently issued a discussion paper on this research project.

Review the speech transcript on the Board’s website.

IFRS Foundation issues illustrative examples in XBRL for the IFRS Taxonomy 2018

Jun 20, 2018

On June 20, 2018, the IFRS Foundation published the IFRS Taxonomy Illustrative Examples 2018.

The purpose of these examples is to il­lus­trate the use of the IFRS Taxonomy 2018 elements by tagging the illustrative examples that accompany IFRS Standards.

Review the press release and the illustrative examples on the International Accounting Standards Board's website.

IFRS Foundation Trustees propose tenure increases for Chair and Vice-Chair

Jun 19, 2018

On June 19, 2018, the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation issued narrow-scope amendments to the IFRS Foundation Constitution that will increase the maximum tenure of the Trustees’ Chair and Vice-Chair. Comments on the proposal are due by September 17, 2018.

Specifically, the proposed amendments would:

  • Increase the maximum tenure of the Trustee Chair and Vice-Chair to nine years.
  • Allow the option to appoint a Chair from either internally within the Trustees or externally.
  • Clarify the requirements for Trustee reappointments.

Review the press release on the International Accounting Standards Board’s website.

Observations on Culture at Financial Institutions and the SEC

Jun 18, 2018

On June 18, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a speech by Chairman Jay Clayton, where he discusses the importance of developing, improving and reinforcing positive culture in our financial institutions.

In his speech, Mr. Clayton covered the following topics:

  • Culture is not an option
  • Know your culture
  • Culture is a collection of countless internal and external actions
  • Preserving and enhancing culture through a clear and constant mission
  • Culture beyond the law and regulation
  • We do not expect perfection; we do expect commitment and action

Review the full speech on the SEC's website.

Progress Is Being Made: Continued Focus on Addressing Implementation Matters

Jun 07, 2018

On June 7, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a speech by SEC’s Deputy Chief Accountant, Sagar Teotia, where he reminded companies that the clock is ticking on finalizing disclosures relating to the impact of tax reform. Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 was issued in December 2017.

SAB 118 permits companies to assess, record provisional amounts and ultimately finalize disclosure of the financial impact of tax reform over a “measurement period” of up to one year from the date of the legislation’s enactment.  However, Mr. Teotia clarifies that SAB 118 does not allow companies to defer reporting of tax reform’s impact.

The measurement period ends when an entity has completed the process necessary to finalize its assessment of tax reform’s impact – and for certain income tax effects, that could be well before the one year mark.

Review the full speech on the SEC's website.

Ready or not, IFRS 9 is here for derivatives

Jun 13, 2018

On June 13, 2018, Accounting Today published an article on how the new International Financial Reporting Standard for financial instruments, IFRS 9, diverges in several key elements and introduces concepts that don't exist under U.S. GAAP.

While the Securities and Exchange Commission expects the two standards to coexist, challenges remain for U.S. companies that have international subsidiaries that will need to report under IFRS 9 for statutory purposes and for U.S. subsidiaries of international companies.

What are turning out to be the most disruptive changes? The areas of divergence that will likely have the largest impact are twofold: the new time value election, and the related requirement to calculate “aligned time value.”

Review the full article on Accounting Today's website.

Reporting Performance Measures – Enhancing the Relevance of Financial Reporting

Jun 01, 2018

On June 1, 2018, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) announced that it will issue a Draft Framework for Reporting Performance Measures to enhance the relevance of financial information for all entities. The Framework will be issued June 14, 2018.

This Framework is the first step in responding to the needs of stakeholders – such as investors, contributors, lenders and other resource providers – about the performance measures reported by entities.

The AcSB wants to discuss and improve financial and non-financial performance measures reported outside of financial statements.

The concerns they want to address include:

  • The quality of performance measures being reported.
  • The lack of consistency, transparency and comparability of performance measures reported period to period.
  • The “expectation gap” about the governance practices of entities over how performance are developed and reported, and whether those measures are subject to assurance.
  • The limited guidance available on how to develop and report performance measures not usually subject to assurance.

Review the press release and reference materials on the AcSB's website.

SEC amends the definition of smaller reporting company

Jun 28, 2018

On June 28, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a new rule that amends the definition of a “smaller reporting company” to expand the number of companies that qualify for this classification and are therefore able to take advantage of the scaled disclosures in Regulation S-X and Regulation S-K that apply to such companies.

Under the final rule, smaller reporting companies “include registrants with a public float of less than $250 million, as well as registrants with annual revenues of less than $100 million for the previous year and either no public float or a public float of less than $700 million.” In view of this new definition of smaller reporting company, the final rule also revises other definitions, such as those for “accelerated filer” and “large accelerated filer,” in an effort to “preserve the existing thresholds in those definitions.”

Review the press release and final rule on the SEC’s website.

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