IASB publishes proposed amendments to IAS 8 regarding accounting policies and accounting estimates

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Sep 12, 2017

On September 12, 2017, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published an exposure draft "Accounting Policies and Accounting Estimates (Proposed amendments to IAS 8)" to help entities to distinguish between accounting policies and accounting estimates. Comments are requested by January 15, 2018.


Suggested changes

The changes proposed in ED/2017/5 Accounting Policies and Accounting Estimates (Proposed amendments to IAS 8) are focused on three areas:

  • Relation of accounting policies and accounting estimates to each other.
    • The ED proposes to clarify the exisiting definition of accounting policies by removing the terms "conventions" and "rules" as the Board feels that their meanings are not clear and because these terms are not used elsewhere in IFRSs. Also, the Board proposes to clarify the term "bases" by using "measurement bases" instead.
    • The ED proposes to add a definition of accounting estimates because so far a defintion has not been provided. The definition makes clear that accounting policies are the overall objectives and accounting estimates are the inputs used in achieving that objective by stating that "accounting estimates are judgements or assumptions used in applying an accounting policy when, because of estimation uncertainty, an item in financial statements cannot be measured with precision".
  • Selecting an estimation technique or valuation technique. The ED proposes to clarify that selecting an estimation technique or valuation technique (the ED deliberately uses both terms as both terms are used in IFRSs) used when an item cannot be measured with precision constitutes making an accounting estimate.
  • IAS 2 Inventories. In developing the ED, the Board concluded that that selecting one of the two cost formulas for interchangeable inventories is not an attempt to estimate the actual flow of these inventories, therefore it does not constitute making an accounting estimate but selecting an accounting policy.


Effective date

The exposure draft does not contain a proposed effective date which the IASB intends to decide on after the exposure. However, the Board has already concluded that an entity should apply the amendments only to changes in accounting policies and changes in accounting estimates that occur on or after the start of the first annual period in which the entity applies the amendments.

Review the press release and the exposure draft on the IASB's website.

Correction list for hyphenation

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