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CSSB publishes exposure drafts for first Canadian Sustainability Disclosure Standards

Mar 14, 2024

The Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB) has published its proposals for the first Canadian Sustainability Disclosure Standards (CSDSs) based on IFRS S1 and IFRS S2. The consultation period is open until 10 June 2024.

The package comprises three consultation papers:

  • Proposed Criteria for Modification Framework
  • Proposed CSDS 1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information
  • Proposed CSDS 2 Climate-related Disclosures

The proposed Criteria for Modification Framework presents the basis on which the CSSB could introduce changes to the ISSB standards. These criteria ensure that Canadian standards align with international standards while addressing Canadian public interest.

The proposed CSDS 1 and CSDS 2 are based on IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 with the following modifications: 

  • The proposed effective dates for CSDS 1 and CSDS 2 have been extended by one year compared to that of IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 (i.e. the proposed standards would become voluntarily effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2025);
  • The proposed transition relief for disclosures beyond climate-related risks and opportunities has been extended from one year to two years;
  • The proposed requirements to disclose comparative information have been changed to align with the proposed modification for the transition relief; and
  • The proposed transition relief for disclosure of Scope 3 GHG emissions has been extended from one year to two years.

Please click to access the following on the Financial Reporting and Assurance Standards (FRAS) Canada website:

Note: On 10 April 2024, the CSSB offers a webinar on the proposed new standards. Please click for more information here.

 

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CSA issues statements on proposed sustainability disclosure standards and ongoing climate consultation

Mar 13, 2024

On March 13, 2024, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) welcomed the launch of the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board’s (CSSB) consultation on Canadian Sustainability Disclosure Standards 1 and 2.

For Canadian securities legislation to mandate compliance, the CSSB standards need to be integrated into a CSA rule. Following the completion of the CSSB consultation and standardization, the CSA intends to solicit feedback on a revised rule outlining climate-related disclosure obligations. The proposed CSA rule will align with final CSSB standards, possibly with tailored adjustments for Canadian markets, focusing primarily on provisions relevant to climate disclosures.

The CSA continues to monitor and assess international developments in this area, including the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s climate-related disclosures rule approved on March 6, 2024.

Access the press release on the CSA’s website.

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European Parliament adopts the EU Artificial Intelligence Act

Mar 13, 2024

On March 13, 2024, the European Parliament approved the adoption of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act which will affect all companies deploying or using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the EU.

It aims to protect fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and environmental sustainability from high-risk AI, while boosting innovation and establishing Europe as a leader in the field. The regulation establishes obligations for AI based on its potential risks and level of impact.

The new rules ban certain AI applications that threaten citizens’ rights, including biometric categorization systems based on sensitive characteristics and untargeted scraping of facial images from the internet or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases.

The regulation is still subject to a final lawyer-linguist check and is expected to be finally adopted before the end of the legislature. The law also needs to be formally endorsed by the Council. It will enter into force twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal and be fully applicable 24 months after its entry into force, except for bans on prohibited practices, which will apply six months after the entry into force date.

Access the press release on the EU’s website.

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SEC Adopts Rules to Enhance and Standardize Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors

Mar 06, 2024

On March 6, 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted rules to enhance and standardize climate-related disclosures by public companies and in public offerings.

The final rules reflect the Commission’s efforts to respond to investors’ demand for more consistent, comparable, and reliable information about the financial effects of climate-related risks on a registrant’s operations and how it manages those risks while balancing concerns about mitigating the associated costs of the rules.

According to a fact sheet posted by the SEC, the final rules will require a registrant to disclose, among other things:

  • material climate-related risks;
  • activities to mitigate or adapt to such risks;
  • information about the registrant's board of directors' oversight of climate-related risks and management’s role in managing material climate-related risks; and
  • information on any climate-related targets or goals that are material to the registrant's business, results of operations, or financial condition.

In a major change to the proposed rule, the SEC has decided to remove the requirement to disclose Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and only require disclosure of Scope 1 and/or Scope 2 GHG emissions on a phased-in basis by certain larger registrants when those emissions are material.

All domestic and foreign registrants, except for asset-backed issuers, must provide the

disclosures. smaller reporting companies (SRCs), emerging growth companies (EGCs), and nonaccelerated filers are exempt from the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emission disclosure requirements but must provide all other disclosures.

The final rules will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, and compliance will be phased in from 2025 to 2033.

Access the final rule,  fact sheet and  press release on the SEC’s website.

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CAQ releases statement on PCAOB's NOCLAR Roundtable

Mar 06, 2024

On March 6, 2024, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) released a statement regarding the recent roundtable conducted by the PCAOB on its NOCLAR proposal, indicating that the event did not unfold as anticipated.

As per its statement, the CAQ believes that the recent roundtable conducted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) regarding its proposal on company noncompliance with laws and regulations (NOCLAR) fell short of the principles of transparency and accountability essential for effective public policy development.

“Today’s NOCLAR roundtable was a missed opportunity for the PCAOB to further understand the views highlighted in numerous comment letters from engaged stakeholders,” said Julie Bell Lindsay, Chief Executive Officer, CAQ. “Not only did the roundtable surface disagreement as to the actual scope or intention of the proposal, but we are concerned that the lack of diverse stakeholder representation – particularly from investors and audit committees, two important audiences – resulted in dialogue that did not meaningfully address stakeholder concerns. Given the discussion at the roundtable, we believe that the appropriate response is to re-propose the standard, with an economic analysis, to begin to address these concerns.” 

Access the statement on the CAQ website and the roundtable on the PCAOB’s website.

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IVSC releases fifth perspective paper on intangible assets

Mar 04, 2024

On March 4, 2024, the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) published its fifth perspective paper “Data and Valuation” within the framework of its ongoing series “Time to get Tangible about Intangible Assets' that notes that despite the importance of intangible assets to the capital markets, only a small percentage are recognised on balance sheets.

The series on perspectives papers is now as follows:

Access the press release on the IVSC’s website.

 

 

 

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Updated IASB and ISSB work plan — Analysis (February 2024)

Feb 29, 2024

Following the IASB's and ISSB's February 2024 meetings, we have analysed the work plan on the IFRS Foundation website to see what changes have resulted from the meetings and other developments since the work plan was last revised in January 2024.

Below is an analysis of all changes made to the work plan since our last analysis on January 29, 2024

Standard-setting projects

  • Disclosure initiative — Subsidiaries without public accountability: Disclosures — A final standard is now expected in May 2024 (previously April 2024)

Maintenance projects

  • Addendum to the Exposure Draft Third edition of the IFRS for SMEs Accounting Standard — The exposure draft is now expected in April 2024 (previously Q2 2024)
  • Annual Improvements to IFRS Accounting Standards Final amendments of the following projects are expected in Q3 2024:
    • Cost Method (Amendments to IAS 7)
    •  Derecognition of Lease Liabilities (Amendments to IFRS 9)
    • Determination of a ‘De Facto Agent’ (Amendments to IFRS 10)
    • Disclosure of Deferred Difference between Fair Value and Transaction Price (Amendments to Guidance on implementing IFRS 7)
    • Gain or Loss on Derecognition (Amendments to IFRS 7)
    • Hedge Accounting by a First-time Adopter (Amendments to IFRS 1)
    • Introduction and Credit Risk Disclosures (Amendments to Guidance on implementing IFRS 7)
    • Transaction Price (Amendments to IFRS 9)
  •  Climate-related and Other Uncertainties in the Financial Statements — A decision on the project direction is now expected in April 2024 (previously Q2 2024) 
  • Power purchase agreements — The exposure draft is now expected in May 2024 (previously Q2 2024) 
  • Updating the Subsidiaries without Public Accountability: Disclosures Standard — The exposure draft is now expected in Q3 2024 (previously Q2 2024) 
  • Use of a Hyperinflationary Presentation Currency by a Non-hyperinflationary Entity (IAS 21) — The exposure draft is now expected in Q3 2024 (previously H2 2024)

Research projects

Governance 

Other projects

The above is a faithful comparison of the IASB and ISSB work plan on 29 January 2024 and 29 February 2024.

For access to the current work plan at any time, please click here.

 

 

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IASB issues podcast on latest Board developments (February 2024)

Feb 29, 2024

On February 29, 2024, the IASB released a podcast hosted by Executive Technical Director Nili Shah featuring IASB Chair Andreas Barckow and IASB Vice-Chair Linda Mezon-Hutter discussing the deliberations at the February 2024 IASB meeting.

The podcast highlights some of the projects that were discussed during the meeting, including:

  • updates to the work plan;
  • post-implementation review of IFRS 15; 
  • rate-regulated activities;
  • second comprehensive review of the IFRS for SMEsAccounting Standard.

The podcast can be accessed here on the IFRS Foundation website.

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OECD releases reports on International Tax Reform and Carbon Mitigation for G20

Feb 29, 2024

On February 29, 2024, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released two reports presented by the OECD Secretary-General to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors.

One report provides an update on developments in international tax reform, while the other report provides an update on the work of the Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches (IFMCA).

The report on international tax reform covers the following topics:

  • The work on a two-pillar solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalization and globalization of the economy.
  • The implementation of the BEPSminimum standards
  • Tax transparency
  • Inequality and progressivity of tax systems
  • Tax and development
  • Tax and crime
  • Indirect tax

The IFCMA brings together government experts in climate, tax, and economic policy from developing, emerging, and developed economies. The report on the IFCMA provides details on its work, membership, governance, and forthcoming deliverables.

Access the news on the Deloitte’s website.

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IFRS Foundation releases summary of national standard-setters' research on materiality judgment guidance

Feb 27, 2024

On February 27, 2024, the IFRS Foundation issued a comprehensive summary that compiled evidence from national accounting standard-setters concerning the impact of guidance on materiality judgments within IFRS Accounting Standards and related materials.

Materiality judgment demands that companies assess whether information could reasonably influence investor decisions.

In 2017 and 2018, the IASB's refined the definition of materiality and furnish guidance along with case studies to facilitate informed judgments. In 2022, the IFRS Foundation issued a call for research as it was seeking to partner with national standard-setters to gather research and information related to the changes and additions to the IASB’s literature on making materiality judgments.

The findings of the research underscored a robust understanding of materiality's concept. While utilization of the 2017 and 2018 guidance exhibited disparities across regions, where implemented, it proved beneficial. Moreover, the research advocates for sustained efforts to raise awareness among stakeholders regarding the available guidance. Looking ahead, the IASB remains committed to providing further assistance to companies navigating materiality judgments, with insights from its research poised to influence ongoing discussions, including those within projects such as the initiative regarding climate-related and other uncertainties in the financial statements.

The national standard-setters taking part in the research initiative, working in partnership with academics from their jurisdictions, are from Australia, Botswana, China, Malaysia, Mexico and New Zealand.

Access the research summary on IFRS Foundation’s website.

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