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The Role of the Auditor General in Creating Public Trust and Value

Jan 26, 2016

In this webcast, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Board Member, Carol Bellringer, Auditor General of British Columbia, Canada, discusses the role of the Auditor General and government and public sector financial reporting. She notes the importance of building public trust and economic value and how the work of accountants is critical to these ends.

Listen to the webcast on the IFAC's Web site.

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Recent sustainability reporting developments

Jan 21, 2016

On January 21, 2016, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), together with the Carbon Tracker Initiative released a paper designed to assist the global Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures members in assessing the ‘carbon bubble’ concept and ‘stranded asset’ risks inherent in the business-as-usual strategies of many fossil fuel companies.

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), together with the Carbon Tracker Initiative, has launched proposals for risk reporting by fossil fuel companies. The report, Considerations for reporting and disclosure in a carbon-constrained world, looks at the questions of

  • What should resource companies report on climate change and carbon asset stranding risks?
  • Who should set the reporting requirements and how should the information be used?
  • What are the challenges ahead?
  • What are the opportunities?

Please click to access the report on the CDSB Website.


IASB finalizes amendments regarding the recognition of deferred tax assets for unrealized losses

Jan 19, 2016

On January 19, 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published final amendments to IAS 12 'Income Taxes'. The IASB had concluded that the diversity in practice around the recognition of a deferred tax asset that is related to a debt instrument measured at fair value is mainly attributable to uncertainty about the application of some of the principles in IAS 12. Therefore the amendments consist of some clarifying paragraphs and an illustrating example.

The amendments in Recognition of Deferred Tax Assets for Unrealized Losses clarify the following aspects:

  • Unrealized losses on debt instruments measured at fair value and measured at cost for tax purposes give rise to a deductible temporary difference regardless of whether the debt instrument's holder expects to recover the carrying amount of the debt instrument by sale or by use.
  • The carrying amount of an asset does not limit the estimation of probable future taxable profits.
  • Estimates for future taxable profits exclude tax deductions resulting from the reversal of deductible temporary differences.
  • An entity assesses a deferred tax asset in combination with other deferred tax assets. Where tax law restricts the utilization of tax losses, an entity would assess a deferred tax asset in combination with other deferred tax assets of the same type.

The amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2017. Earlier application is permitted. As transition relief, an entity may recognize the change in opening retained earnings of the earliest comparative period on initial application. The Board has not added additional transition relief for first-time adopters.

Please click for:

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Securities Regulators in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan adopt new investment dealer prospectus exemption

Jan 14, 2016

On January 14, 2016, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) issued a press release in which the securities regulators in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan announced that they are each adopting a prospectus exemption (exemption) that, provided certain conditions are met, will allow issuers listed on a Canadian exchange to more easily raise money by distributing securities without the need for a prescribed offering document.

Under the exemption, an investor must obtain advice regarding the suitability of the investment from an investment dealer. This is a key condition for investor protection, as the investment dealer must meet its know-your-client and know-your-product obligations when determining the suitability of the investment.

Review the press release on the ASC's Web Site.

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IAASB Seeks Feedback On Standard-Setting Activities to Enhance Audit Quality

Dec 17, 2015

On December 17, 2015, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) released an Invitation to Comment, Enhancing Audit Quality in the Public Interest: A Focus on Professional Skepticism, Quality Control and Group Audits (the ITC). This ITC highlights the board’s discussions in these three topic areas and indicates potential standard-setting activities that could enhance audit quality.

The IAASB released a companion document, Overview of the ITC, which summarizes the key areas the IAASB is exploring and the direction it may take.

The IAASB’s Framework for Audit Quality, issued in 2014, explains the important role of auditors and their firms—as well as other stakeholders—in audit quality, and the contextual factors that affect it. It is an important reference document for this consultation.

Download the Invitation to Comment from the IAASB's Web site.

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IASB updates work plan

Oct 26, 2015

On October 26, 2015, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released an updated work plan.

Two projects have been added to the work plan:

  1. Annual improvements 2015–2017
  2. Remeasurement of previously held interests — obtaining control or joint control in a joint operation that constitutes a business

Next steps of several projects have been updated.

The updated IASB work plan is avail­able on the IASB's Web site.


IPSASB publishes two exposure drafts

Oct 14, 2015

On October 14, 2015, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) released for comment two Exposure Drafts (EDs): ED 57 "Impairment of Revalued Assets" and ED 58 "Improvements to IPSASs 2015."

ED 57, Impairment of Revalued Assets proposes to bring property, plant and equipment, and intangible assets on the revaluation model within the scope of IPSAS 21, Impairment of Non-Cash-Generating Assets and IPSAS 26, Impairment of Cash-Generating Assets. This intended to provide users with relevant information on impairments to these assets. The ED also proposes to clarify that an impairment to one or more individual assets within a class of property, plant, and equipment does not necessitate a revaluation of the entire class to which that impaired asset belongs.

ED 58, Improvements to IPSASs 2015 contains proposed minor changes that are consequential amendments arising from the first four chapters of the IPSASB Conceptual Framework, general improvements to IPSAS, improvements to increase consistency with Government Finance Statistics reporting guidelines, and improvements to maintain convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs).

Comments on both EDs are requested by January 15, 2016.

Review press release, ED 57 and ED 58 on the IPSASB's Web Site.


Overview of the IPSASB's consultation paper on social benefits

Oct 12, 2015

On October 12, 2015, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) released a multimedia presentation on its consultation paper on recognition and measurement requirements for social benefits.

The paper was published in July 2015; comments are due by January 31, 2016. The 30-minute presentation highlighting the key issues raised in the consultation paper is available on the IPSASB website.


IPSASB announces strategy for 2015 forward

Sep 18, 2015

On September 18, 2015, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) released its final strategy and work programme for 2015-2018. Among the projects to be taken up is also a revenue recognition project that will consider the extent to which the principles in IFRS 15 are appropriate for transactions in the public sector.

In April 2014, the IPSASB released a consultation document on its long term strategy and work plan.

In addition, the IPSASB approved eight projects to be added to the work plan starting in 2015 and 2016:

  1. Public Sector Measurement;
  2. Heritage Assets;
  3. Infrastructure Assets;
  4. Revenue;
  5. Non-Exchange Expenses;
  6. Limited scope review of the Cash Basis IPSAS
  7. Limited scope review of IPSAS 25, Employee Benefits; and
  8. Consequential amendments arising from Chapters 1-4 of the IPSASB Conceptual Framework.

Review the final strategy document Leading through Change on the IPSASB's Web Site.


IASB issues work plan update, changes presentation

Aug 05, 2015

On July 31, 2015, following its July meeting, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) updated its work plan. It has also changed the presentation so that a direct comparison with the status as at June 30 is not easily possible as the attribution to quarters has been abandoned.

The following changes have been made:

  1. the new IFRS on insurance contracts is not expected until 2016;
  2. an exposure draft on changes in accounting policies and estimates (disclosure initiative) will also be delayed to 2016;
  3. discussion papers on macro hedging and on rate-regulated activities are not to be expected before 2016;
  4. the IASB expects to issue final amendments on the implementation projects on the unit of account (expected not before 2016) and on the recognition of deferred tax assets for unrealized losses (late 2015 or early 2016); and
  5. instead of finalizing the project on the elimination of gains or losses arising from transactions between an entity and its associate or joint venture the IASB intends to issue an exposure draft proposing to defer the effective date of the September 2014 amendments to IAS 28, IFRS 10 and IFRS 12.

The revised IASB work plan is available on the IASB's Web site. The IASB has also published a work plan guide that explains the new presentation format.

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