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IASB launches third agenda consultation on its future work programme

  • IFRS - IASB Image

Mar 30, 2021

On March 30, 2021, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) launched its third public consultation to seek broad public input on the strategic direction and overall balance of its future work programme by publishing a request for information. Comments are requested by September 27, 2021.

 

Introduction

The request for information includes an introductory section that states the objective of the request for information and describes how responses will help the Board in determining its future work programme. The introduction also explains the difference between the IFRS Foundation's five-yearly review of structure and effectiveness that is currently underway and that includes a consultation on sustainability reporting and the IASB's agenda consultation. The IASB's agenda consultation seeks feedback on the priorities of activities within the current scope of the Board’s work, whereas the Trustees’ consultation seeks feedback on a potential expansion in the role of the IFRS Foundation. The IASB is currently working on its management commentary project and could do more on sustainability aspects, should stakeholders wish so, as long as this is connected to financial statements. While there is some connecting middle ground, respondents should not confuse the two initiatives. As the IFRS Foundation Trustees move forward quickly with their initiative, their decisions would be available before the Board makes decisions on its future agenda.

 

Request for information

The request for information consists of three parts: (1) strategic direction and balance of the Board's activities, (2) criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan, and (3) financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan.

Strategic direction and balance of the Board's activities

Part one of the request for information regarding the strategic direction and balance notes that the IASB's work is currently following six lines:

  • New IFRS Standards and major amendments to IFRS Standards
  • Maintenance and consistent application of IFRS Standards
  • The IFRS for SMEs Standard
  • Digital financial reporting and the IFRS Taxonomy
  • Understandability and accessibility
  • Stakeholder engagement

In this part of the request for views the IASB is seeking stakeholders’ views on whether the Board should increase, leave unchanged or decrease its current level of focus on each line of work. And while there is a little room for additional work, respondents are asked to assume that the Board’s overall level of resources will remain substantially unchanged during the 2022 to 2026 period.

Criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan

Part two of the request for information regarding criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan notes that the Board will use a specified list of seven criteria to assess the potential financial reporting issues that could be added to its work plan to develop new IFRS Standards and major amendments to IFRS Standards. They are:

  • The importance of the matter to investors
  • Whether there is any deficiency in the way companies report the type of transaction or activity in financial reports
  • The type of companies that the matter is likely to affect, including whether the matter is more prevalent in some jurisdictions than others
  • How pervasive or acute the matter is likely to be for companies
  • The potential project’s interaction with other projects on the work plan
  • The complexity and feasibility of the potential project and its solutions
  • The capacity of the Board and its stakeholders to make timely progress on the potential project

The criteria are derived from the Due Process Handbook and the 2015 Agenda Consultation. The relative importance of any specific criterion will vary depending on the particular circumstances. Generally, the Board will evaluate potential project for its work plan primarily on the basis of whether the project will meet investors’ needs, while also taking into account the costs of producing the information.

Financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan

Finally, part three of the request for information regarding financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan refers to 22 projects that have frequently been suggested to the Board for consideration. The request for information seeks stakeholders’ views on what priority they would give each of the potential projects — high, medium or low — and whether their prioritisation refers to all or only some aspects included in the project description. Respondents are also invited to suggest additional issues that they believe the Board should add to its work plan for 2022 to 2026.

 

Appendices

For reasons of readability, some of the information referred to in the request for information has been relegated to appendices:

  • Appendix A describes the active projects on the Board’s work plan as of March 2021
  • Appendix B describes the 22 financial reporting issues that were frequently suggested to the Board for potential potential inclusion in its work programme
  • Appendix C describes additional financial reporting issues that were suggested to the Board by only a small number of stakeholders

 

Comment deadline and next steps

Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on the request for information by September 27, 2021. The Board expects to discuss the feedback in the second half of 2021 and to publish a feedback statement summarizing the feedback and announcing the work plan for 2022 to 2026 in the first quarter of 2022.

 

Additional information

Review the following information on the IASB's website:

 

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