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News

IESBA (International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants) (lt gray) Image

Global Ethics Board proposes changes to promote role, mindset expectations

Jul 31, 2019

On July 31, 2019, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) proposed changes to the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code) to promote the role and mindset expected of all professional accountants. The Exposure Draft, "Proposed Revisions to Promote the Role and Mindset Expected of Professional Accountants", puts forward changes that further strengthen the Code. Comments are request by October 31, 2019.

The proposed revisions respond to stakeholder calls for the IESBA to explore whether and how the Code could contribute to strengthening the application of concepts underlying professional skepticism by all professional accountants.

Among other matters, the proposals:

  • Highlight professional accountants’ wide-ranging role in society and the relationship between compliance with the Code and a professional accountant’s responsibility to act in the public interest;
  • Include enhancements to the robustness of the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity and professional behavior;
  • Further strengthen the Code through requiring professional accountants to have an inquiring mind when applying the conceptual framework; and
  • Highlight the importance of being aware of bias and having the right organizational culture.

Review the press release and Exposure Draft in the IESBA's website.

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Updated IASB work plan — Analysis (July 2019)

Jul 29, 2019

On July 29, 2019, the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) updated its work plan following its July 2019 meeting.

Below is an analysis of all changes that were made to the work plan since our last analysis on June 24, 2019.

Stan­dard-set­ting projects

  • Management commentary — The expected timing of an exposure draft has been moved to the second half of 2020 (previously first half of 2020).
  • Primary financial statements — The expected date of an exposure draft has been narrowed down to the fourth quarter of 2019 (previously second half of 2019).

Main­te­nance projects

Research projects

  • Dynamic risk management — The expected date for the core model has been narrowed down to the fourth quarter of 2019 (previously second half of 2019).
  • Extractive activities — The expected date to review the research has been narrowed down to the fourth quarter of 2019 (previously second half of 2019).
  • Financial instruments with characteristics of equity — A decision on this project’s direction has been narrowed down to the fourth quarter of 2019 (previously second half of 2019).
  • Goodwill and impairment — The expected date of the discussion paper has been narrowed down to the fourth quarter of 2019 (previously second half of 2019).
  • Pension benefits that depend on asset returns — The expected date to review the research has been narrowed down to the fourth quarter of 2019 (previously second half of 2019).
  • Provisions — The expected date to review the research has be narrowed down to the fourth quarter of 2019 (previously second half of 2019).
  • Subsidiaries that are SMEs — The expected date to review the research has be narrowed down to the fourth quarter of 2019 (previously second half of 2019).

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

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AcSB Exposure Draft – Deferred Tax related to Assets and Liabilities arising from a Single Transaction (Proposed Amendments to IAS 12)

Jul 29, 2019

On July 29, 2019, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) issued its Exposure Draft that corresponds to the IASB’s Exposure Draft on this topic. Comments are requested by November 14, 2019.

The AcSB would like input from Canadian respondents on the following additional question regarding the proposed amendments:

The IASB has developed the proposed amendments in accordance with its due process for application around the world. Assuming the Exposure Draft proposals are finalized and approved by the IASB in accordance with its due process, do you think that the proposals are appropriate for application in Canada? If not, please specify which aspects of the proposals, and what circumstances, make the accounting requirements proposed in the Exposure Draft inappropriate.

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

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CAQ releases highlights of June 2019 joint meeting with the SEC staff

Jul 29, 2019

In July 2019, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) published highlights of the CAQ SEC Regulations Committee joint meeting with the SEC staff held on June 25, 2019.

Topics discussed at the meeting include:

  • Use of income averaging for purposes of testing significance when registrant has applied the full retrospective method of adopting ASC 606 but has not revised the earliest two periods.
  • Emerging Growth Company (EGC) Transition Issues.
  • Application of amended MD&A provisions that permit the omission of the earliest period of MD&A in a filing in circumstances where there has been a retrospective change to the financial statements.
  • Interim periods required for changes in stockholders’ equity in a registration or proxy statement.
  • Non-GAAP measures, including individually tailored non-GAAP financial measures.

Review the highlights on the CAQ's website.

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The Bruce Column — Making the future more realistic than rosy

Jul 25, 2019

The Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Hans Hoogervorst, is half way through his second, and final, term as Chairman.

In a video interview with Robert Bruce, he reflects on recent achievements, work still to be finalized, how non-GAAP measures lead to what he terms a ‘rosy’ view in accounts, and work ahead on many issues, including ensuring climate change is reflected in the figures.

The difficulties that have faced the IASB and its Chairman, Hans Hoogervorst, in recent years have all been ones that by their very nature are hard to pin down. Everyone knows that the risks surrounding climate change and market dislocation reflect real financial risks. But often the systems available make it harder for the financial reporting standards, (IFRS), to deal with them.

Hoogervorst looks to future IASB projects to provide at least some of the answers. He talks of the upcoming revision of the Board’s Management Commentary Practice Statement as part of the solution. ‘It would’, he says, ‘be a good vehicle for focusing on financial risks not yet captured in financial statements’. And he also sees it as a solution to issues surrounding the recommendations as to how to deal with climate-related financial disclosure.

While he insists it is not the place of the IASB to get involved with sustainability reporting he said that Management Commentary would be ‘an excellent vehicle’ to convey the disclosures. He said that such disclosures ‘fit perfectly in the annual report’ and that the IASB will write new guidance to cover it. And he is also keen that the IASB project on the nature of Primary Financial Statements should provide the guidance needed to ensure that there is more rigour surrounding the financial information that currently escapes financial statements.

These are the non-GAAP numbers that he suggests are generally more ‘rosy’ than the numbers reported under IFRS. ‘This is one of the most important pieces of work that we are currently working on’, he says. ‘The income statement’, he says, ‘ is the most important piece of information that is used by investors for future cash-flow projections and evaluations’, yet ‘what is currently the case in IFRS is that in the income statement we define revenue and we define profit or loss but in between we define not all that much’. Investors and companies, he suggests, like to look at subtotals like operating profit, or EBIT, or EBITDA, to better understand their own results or to explain it to investors. ‘But’, as Hoogervorst points out, ‘we don’t define any of that’. And into that gap has grown the mass of non-GAAP.

‘Non-GAAP is basically created by companies themselves’, he said, ‘but without the discipline of proper accounting standards. So it is no surprise’, he said, ‘that much of this information tends to be on the optimistic side. 70 to 80% of non-GAAP is more rosy than the IFRS numbers’. Hence the Primary Financial Statements project. ‘We have decided to make a definition for operating income. We have decided to define an EBIT-like subtotal which makes it possible for investors to better compare the performance of companies irrespective of the way that they are financed; by leverage or more by equity. By doing so’, says Hoogervorst, ‘we will provide more anchors in the financial statements for comparison across the board. It is extremely important’, he says. ‘We will also provide guidance and discipline around the use of the common practice of taking unusual items out of the income statement, which is one of the sources of rosiness’. And we will make it very clear that you have to do that symmetrically – if you take out expenses you probably have to take out some unusual sources of income that might not recur every year’.

All of this, and a variety of other measures will, says Hoogervorst ‘provide a lot more structure and order in the income statement’. All this, as ever, will take time, probably a couple of years, as it goes through the IASB process. The same has been true of IFRS 17 on insurance. ‘It has been clear that a lot of investors avoid investing in insurance companies because they cannot understand the accounting’, he says. ‘The existence of the new standard might draw more investors to the business of insurance’. At present he says that ‘it is a bit of a mess’. ‘Quite frankly’, he said, ‘investors rely more on prudential information than on accounting, and on a lot of non-GAAP, and we all know the problems with non-GAAP’. n Nevertheless he forsees an effective date of 2022 for the finalized standard. And looking at the IFRS landscape generally he is optimistic. ‘Accounting cannot prevent crises’, he says, ‘but we should be able to give better transparency about the risks that are building up in the financial system or within a company’.

Across the economy from banks to insurance companies he believes the useful and reliable information will be there. ‘I believe the introduction of IFRS 9, with the introduction of the expected loss model, should give investors a much quicker and better insight into the risks building up on the balance sheet of a bank’. The insurance reforms are also, he says, extremely important for the whole financial system. The update of management commentary will, he says, give investors a better insight into the future risks of a company related to, for example, sustainability issues, but also related to its business model or the technology it is working with. ‘All of these improvements will’, he says, ‘serve investors better in a future period of crisis’.

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Video – Experts talk! New Insurance Standard

Jul 25, 2019

On July 25, 2019, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) released a video featuring Darrel Scott, IASB member, and other experts from the financial reporting community.

Linda Mezon, AcSB Chair, moderated a panel discussion on IFRS 17. Watch the video recording and download the slides to learn more about the conversations around the proposed amendments to the standard.

Review the recording and the slides on the AcSB's website:

IESBA (International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants) (lt gray) Image

Dr. Stavros Thomadakis reappointed as IESBA Chairman

Jul 25, 2019

On July 25, 2019, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) announced the reappointment of Dr. Stavros Thomadakis as IESBA Chairman for a further one-year renewable term commencing January 1, 2020, which was recently approved by the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB).

Dr. Thomadakis has chaired the IESBA since 2015. His dedication to high quality, fit-for-purpose ethics standards for the global accountancy profession is reflected in the IESBA’s ambitious Strategy and Work Plan 2019–2023.

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2019 Toronto and Montreal audit committee forum highlights

Jul 23, 2019

On July 23, 2019, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) released highlights from their forums in Toronto and Montreal that allowed audit committee chairs and CFOs to discuss current audit quality matters and share experiences on common issues. 

The forum covered issues facing audit committees of Canadian reporting issuers, including:

  • Emerging technology for auditors
  • Cybersecurity protection for reporting issuers
  • Expanded auditors report
  • Auditor assessments and Audit Quality Indicators
  • Transparency of CPAB’s inspection findings

Review the highlights on the CPAB's website.

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IFRS - GPF Image

Summary of the June 2019 joint CMAC-GPF meeting

Jul 23, 2019

On July 23, 2019, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released a summary of its meeting with both the Capital Markets Advisory Council (CMAC) and Global Preparers Forum (GPF), which was held in London on June 13 and 14, 2019.

The topics discussed at the meeting included:

  • Disclosure of sensitive information
  • Goodwill and impairment
  • Primary financial statements
  • Business combinations under common control
  • Management commentary
  • Targeted standards-level review

The next GPF meeting will be held on October 8, 2019; the next CMAC meeting will take place on October 10, 2019.

Review the press releasemeeting page and meeting summary on the IASB's website.

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IAASB webinars audits of less complex entities

Jul 23, 2019

On July 23, 2019, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) issued a series of webinars on the challenges and possible actions that the IAASB is exploring it its current Consultation Paper, "Audits of Less Complex Entities".

Listen to the IAASB's webinars on the Consultation Paper, which is open for public comment until September 12, 2019.

  • In English with Prof. Roger Simnett, IAASB Member and Audits of Less Complex Entities Working Group Chair
  • In French with Isabelle Tracq-Sengeissen, IAASB and Working Group Member
  • In Spanish with Fernando Ruiz, IAASB and Working Group Member

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