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News

SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) Image

Public comment period extended for SASB governance documents

Nov 30, 2020

In November 2020, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) announced that they extended the deadline of the Conceptual Framework and Rules of Procedure public comment period from November 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

In late August, the SASB released two key governance documents, the Conceptual Framework and Rules of Procedure. Since late August, there have been substantial developments in the sustainability disclosure space. Among these developments is the IFRS Foundation’s consultation period, which also closes on December 31, 2020. A blog summarizing SASB’s perspective on the IFRS consultation period can be found here.

As a reminder, both the Conceptual Framework and Rules of Procedure exposure drafts can be found here.  All comment letters should be submitted to SASB’s Public Comment Portal or emailed to comments@sasb.org by December 31, 2020, and all comments submitted will be on the public record and posted on the SASB website. While the SASB Standards Board may not provide specific responses to each public comment, the Standards Board will acknowledge receipt of, review, and summarize all public comments received.

IFRS - IASB Image

IASB publishes proposed amendment to IFRS 16

Nov 27, 2020

On November 27, 2020, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published an exposure draft "Lease Liability in a Sale and Leaseback (Proposed amendment to IFRS 16)" that aims at clarifying how a seller-lessee should apply the subsequent measurement requirements in IFRS 16 to the lease liability that arises in a sale and leaseback transaction. Comments are requested by March 29, 2021.

 

Background

The IFRS Interpretations Committee received a submission about IFRS 16 Leases and a sale and leaseback transaction with variable payments that do not depend on an index or rate and came to the conclusion (and the IASB agreed) that it would be beneficial to amend IFRS 16 to specify how a seller-lessee should apply the subsequent measurement requirements in IFRS 16 to the lease liability that arises in the sale and leaseback transaction.

The IASB has now published an exposure draft (ED) of a proposed clarifying amendment.

 

Suggested changes

The IASB proposes in ED/2020/4 Lease Liability in a Sale and Leaseback (Proposed amendment to IFRS 16) to improve the sale and leaseback requirements in IFRS 16 by specifying how to apply paragraphs 36–38 of IFRS 16 in subsequently measuring the lease liability that arises in a sale and leaseback transaction. Specifically, the ED proposes that a seller-lessee

  • when applying the IFRS 16 requirements for measuring the right-of-use asset and lease liability arising from the leaseback, determines the proportion of the asset sold that relates to the right of use retained by comparing the discounted present value of the expected payments for the lease to the fair value of the asset sold and
  • subsequently measures the lease liability by reducing the carrying amount to reflect the expected payments for the lease.

A seller-lessee would apply the proposed amendment retrospectively in accordance with IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors, except when such application to sale and leaseback transactions with variable lease payments would be possible only with the use of hindsight.

The amendment would also add two illustrative examples to IFRS 16

Comments on the proposed changes are requested by March 29, 2021.

 

Effective date

The exposure draft does not contain a proposed effective date as the IASB intends to decide on this after exposure. Early application would be permitted.

 

Additional information

 

Securities - CSA Image

Canadian securities regulators outline recent developments on interest rate benchmarks

Nov 26, 2020

On November 26, 2020, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published a staff notice to ensure that market participants are aware of recent developments regarding interest rate benchmarks and can consider their impact.

On November 12, 2020, Refinitiv Benchmark Services (UK) Limited (RBSL), the administrator of Canadian Dollar Offered Rate (CDOR), announced that the six-month and 12-month tenors of CDOR will cease to be published effective May 17, 2021 (the effective date). The one, two and three-month tenors of CDOR will continue to be published after the effective date.

The staff notice also outlines international developments to replace key inter-bank offered rates (IBORs) with nearly risk-free reference rates (RFRs). In particular, the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries are currently working to replace the London inter-bank offered rate (LIBOR) with alternative RFRs before the end of 2021.

The CSA encourages market participants affected by these changes to make appropriate transition arrangements well in advance of the effective date of any change, to avoid potential business or market disruptions.

Review the press release and staff notice on the CSA's website.

SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) Image
IIRC (International Integrated Reporting Committee) Image

IIRC and SASB intend to merge

Nov 25, 2020

On November 25, 2020, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) have announced their intention to merge into the Value Reporting Foundation, a unified organization intended to provide investors and corporates with a comprehensive corporate reporting framework across the full range of enterprise value drivers and standards.

The merger is aimed at advancing the work of CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC and SASB who in September 2020 released a statement of intent to work together towards comprehensive corporate reporting in a comprehensive corporate reporting system.

The press release notes that Value Reporting Foundation will maintain the IIRC integrated reporting framework that describes all relevant value creation topics and the approach to integrating them in corporate reporting while the SASB standards provide the precise definitions of the data that should be reported for these topics in each industry. The framework and the standards will remain complementary tools with the Value Reporting Foundation facilitating the use of both together.

The merger responds to the ever increasing calls from global investors and corporates to simplify the corporate reporting landscape by having a globally aligned reporting system. The press release stresses that the Value Reporting Foundation, which will be formed by mid-2021, stands ready to work with the IFRS Foundation, IOSCO, EFRAG, CDP, CDSB, and GRI, and others to work towards a set of global and globally accepted standards.

Review the press release on the SASB’s website (an identical press release is available on the IIRC website).

IFRS - IASB Image

IFRS Foundation publishes proposed IFRS Taxonomy update

Nov 24, 2020

On November 24, 2020, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published PTU/2020/5 "IFRS Taxonomy 2020 — General Improvements and Common Practice — IAS 19, Employee Benefits". Comments are requested by January 26, 2021.

The proposed update includes elements to reflect common reporting practice and new and amended labels to clarify the accounting meaning and intended use of some existing elements.

Review the press release and proposed update on the IASB’s website.

PSAS - PSAB Image

Incoming chair and strategies help shape future vision for PSAB

Nov 23, 2020

On November 23, 2020, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) released a video by new PSAB chair Clyde MacLellan where he provides an update on five key initiatives stakeholders can watch for starting in 2021, including the Board's international strategy and forthcoming strategic plan.

Watch the video on the PSAB's website.

US_SEC Image

Disclosure considerations for China-Based issuers

Nov 23, 2020

On November 23, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released guidance that provides the Division of Corporation Finance’s views regarding certain disclosure considerations for companies based in or with the majority of their operations in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or “China”).

Although China-based Issuers that access the U.S. public capital markets generally have the same disclosure obligations and legal responsibilities as other non-U.S. issuers, the Commission’s ability to promote and enforce high-quality disclosure standards for China-based Issuers may be materially limited. As a result, there is substantially greater risk that their disclosures may be incomplete or misleading. In addition, in the event of investor harm, investors generally will have substantially less access to recourse, in comparison to U.S. domestic companies and foreign issuers in other jurisdictions.

This guide discusses some of the potential risks associated with investments in China-based Issuers. It also highlights related disclosure considerations that these issuers should consider as they seek to fulfill their disclosure obligations under the federal securities laws.

Review the guidance on the SEC's website.

Leaf - sustainability (green) Image
IFRS - IASB Image

Educational material on applying IFRS Standards to climate-related matters

Nov 20, 2020

On November 20, 2020, the IFRS Foundation released a publication that shows how existing IFRS requirements require companies to consider climate-related matters when their effect is material to the financial statements.

The publication mainly consists of a non-exhaustive list of examples illustrating when IFRS Standards may require companies to consider the effects of climate-related matters in applying the principles in a number of standards.

The examples in the list refer to the following standards:

  • IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements
  • IAS 2, Inventories
  • IAS 12, Income Taxes
  • IAS 16, Property, Plant and Equipment and IAS 38 Intangible Assets
  • IAS 36, Impairment of Assets
  • IAS 37, Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets and IFRIC 21, Levies
  • IFRS 7, Financial Instruments: Disclosures
  • IFRS 9, Financial Instruments
  • IFRS 13, Fair Value Measurement
  • IFRS 17, Insurance Contracts

The publication also notes that in addition to the specific requirements outlined in the table, IAS 1 contains some overarching requirements that could be relevant when considering climate-related matters.

In an article published in November 2019, IASB Board member Nick Anderson had already explained how IFRS requirements can be used to report on climate and other emerging risks.

Review the press release and Effects of climate-related matters on financial statements on the IASB's website.

IFRS - IASB Image

Updated IASB work plan — Analysis (November 2020 meeting)

Nov 20, 2020

On November 20, 2020, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) updated its work plan following its November 2020 meeting.

Below is an analysis of all changes made to the work plan since our last analysis on October 31, 2020.

Standard-setting projects

  • Disclosure initiative — Subsidiaries that are SMEs — the decision of whether to issue a discussion paper or an exposure draft is now expected in January 2021 (previously December 2020)
  • Management commentary — the issuance of an exposure draft is now expected in the second quarter of 2021 (previously first half of 2021)
  • Rate-regulated activities — the issuance of an exposure draft is now expected in January 2021 (previously first quarter of 2021)

Maintenance projects

Research projects

  • Dynamic risk management — the feedback on the core model is expected to be discussed in the second quarter of 2021 (previously first half of 2021)
  • Extractive activities — a decision on the project direction is now expected in the first quarter of 2021 (previously first half of 2021)
  • Post-implementation review of IFRS 9 — newly added to the work plan; next step in the project will be the issuance of a request for information (no date given)

Other projects

  • IFRS Taxonomy Update — Amendments to IAS 1, IAS 8 and IFRS Practice Statement 2 — the issuance of a proposed IFRS Taxonomy Update is now expected in the first quarter of 2021 (previously December 2020)
  • IFRS Taxonomy Update — Common practice (IAS 19)the expected date for the issuance of a proposed IFRS Taxonomy Update has been dropped, however, the IASB announced in a press release that the proposed IFRS Taxonomy Update will be issued on 24 November 2020
  • IFRS Taxonomy Update — Interest Rate Benchmark Reform — Phase 2 — the feedback on the proposed IFRS Taxonomy Update has been discussed and a final IFRS Taxonomy Update is now expected in December 2020

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

Securities - ASC Image

Alberta and Saskatchewan securities regulators seek comment on proposed new exemption designed to facilitate access to capital

Nov 20, 2020

On November 20, 2020, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) and the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) announced that they are seeking input on a proposed new prospectus exemption designed to provide greater access to capital for Alberta and Saskatchewan businesses and broaden investment opportunities for Alberta and Saskatchewan investors.

The proposed new self-certified investor prospectus exemption would allow investment by investors who certify to having certain financial and investing experience and education, and acknowledge certain investment considerations and risks. To reduce the risks to investors, investments would be limited in a 12-month period to $10,000 in any one business and $30,000 across multiple businesses.

Details of the proposal are set out in CSA Multilateral Notice 45-327 Proposed Prospectus Exemption for Self-Certified Investors available on the websites of the ASC and the FCAA. The comment period for the proposed new prospectus exemption is open until December 23, 2020.

Review the press release on the ASC's website.

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