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Recent developments – Primary Financial Statements Project

  • IFRS - IASB Image

Nov 14, 2018

At its meeting on November 14, 2018, the International Standards Board (the Board) met to discuss: (i) earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA); (ii) whether to develop templates and examples to assist preparers of financial statements; and (iii) possible amendments to the presentation requirements in IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements, for minimum line items in the statement(s) of financial performance. The Board tentatively decided not to require presentation of EBITDA in the statement(s) of financial performance, and not to require its disclosure in the notes. The Board also tentatively decided (a) to develop illustrative examples (including for different types of entities) to assist preparers of financial statements; and (b) to clarify that certain line items are required to be presented separately in the statement(s) of financial performance.

The IASB’s Primary Financial Statements Project is part of the Board’s plan to promote Better Communication in Financial Reporting. A discussion paper or exposure draft is currently expected in the second half of 2019.

Noting that companies use different performance measures in their financial statements, often without clarifying what information is included in or excluded from such measures, the purpose of the project to  develop new presentation requirements for the statement(s) of financial performance. The Board is also reducing presentation choices for items in the statement(s) of financial performance and statement of cash flows to make it easier for investors to compare companies’ performances and future prospects.

At its meeting on November 14, 2018, the Board tentatively decided not to require presentation of EBITDA in the statement(s) of financial performance, and not to require its disclosure in the notes. The Board also tentatively decided (a) to develop illustrative examples (including for different types of entities) to assist preparers of financial statements and (b) to clarify that certain line items are required to be presented separately in the statement(s) of financial performance.

Previously at its meeting on October 24, 2018, the Board discussed the descriptions of three subtotals that the Board is proposing for the statement(s) of financial performance. The Board tentatively decided: that the first of the three proposed subtotals should be described as ‘operating profit or loss’; that the second one should be described as ‘operating profit or loss and share of profit or loss of integral associates and joint ventures’; and that the third one should be described as "profit or loss before financing and income tax’"

For further details of these and other developments, refer to the project on the Board’s website. A cumulative list of tentative decisions made by the Board up to its October 2018 meeting is included as Appendix A to this November 2018 Board Paper.

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