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IPSASB publishes COVID-19 guidance

Apr 06, 2020

On April 6, 2020, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) published "COVID-19: Relevant IPSASB Accounting Guidance". The questions and answers publication was issued by the staff of the IPSASB to provide insight into the financial reporting issues associated with COVID-19 government responses.

The objective of the document is to indicate the accounting implications of COVID-19-related government initiatives, including how IPSAS and other IPSASB guidance deal with transactions and events which arise because of the pandemic. The publication does not constitute an authoritative pronouncement of the IPSASB, nor does it intend to amend, or override the requirements of existing IPSAS or provide further implementation guidance.

Review the guide on the IPSASB's website.

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Why audit committees are so important during the COVID-19 crisis?

Apr 06, 2020

On April 6, 2020, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) released a blog on how now may be the time to shift some of the audit committee’s risk oversight responsibilities to the full board.

However, to effectively oversee financial reporting, the audit committee would still need to have access to all relevant risk management information—but maybe some of the detailed oversight can shift to allow the audit committee more time to focus on its core role.

Review the blog on the NACD's website.


IOSCO statement on the application of accounting standards during the COVID-19 outbreak

Apr 03, 2020

On April 3, 2020, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released a statement on consistent application and enforcement of high-quality accounting standards which are of critical importance to the proper functioning of the capital markets — especially in times of uncertainty.

The statement notes that the responsibility for developing and maintaining high quality standards resides with the IASB and welcomes the IASB's recent educational material that addresses the application of accounting for expected credit losses in accordance with IFRS 9, Financial Instruments during the period of economic uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. IOSCO also notes that the related financial instruments principles-based disclosure requirements in IFRSs (i.e. IFRS 7, IAS 1) should result in disclosure that considers the impact of the important emerging issues.

Review the statement on the IOSCO's website.

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IAASB enhances ISRS 4400 to respond to evolving needs of stakeholders

Apr 03, 2020

On April 3, 2020, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) released International Standard on Related Services (ISRS) 4400 (Revised), its revised standard for performing agreed-upon procedures engagements.

In an agreed-upon procedures engagement, the practitioner performs the procedures that have been agreed upon by the practitioner and the engaging party, and the practitioner communicates those procedures and the related findings in the agreed-upon procedures report. A wide range of stakeholders use agreed-upon procedures reports for a variety of reasons; for example, regulators, funding bodies, creditors and others ask for agreed-upon procedures reports to support or complement information, such as audited financial statements or loan or grant applications.

In addition to having been redrafted using the clarity drafting conventions to be consistent with other IAASB International Standards, some of the significant enhancements to ISRS 4400 (Revised), Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements, include:

  • Responding to the needs of stakeholders – Broadening the scope of the standard to meet demand for agreed-upon procedures engagements and introducing requirements and application material to address evolving engagement circumstances, such as the use of a practitioner’s expert in an agreed-upon procedures engagement.
  • Providing transparency in the AUP report – Introducing requirements and application material to clarify whether or not the practitioner is required to comply with independence requirements and, if so, the determination and disclosure of the relevant independence requirements.
  • Enhancing consistency in the performance of AUP engagements – Clarifying how professional judgment is exercised in an agreed-upon procedures engagement and introducing requirements and application material on engagement acceptance and continuance conditions and documentation.

ISRS 4400 (Revised) will be effective for AUP engagements for which the terms of engagement are agreed on or after January 1, 2022.

Review the press release and revised standard on the IAASB's website.

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PCAOB staff provides reminders for audits nearing completion in light of COVID-19

Apr 02, 2020

On April 2, 2020, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) released a staff Spotlight document, "COVID-19: Reminders for Audits Nearing Completion", to provide important reminders to auditors of issuers and broker-dealers for audits nearing completion.

"The COVID-19 crisis is having a significant impact on investors, issuers, and auditors alike," said Chairman William D. Duhnke III. "This Spotlight is intended as a reminder that adherence to our standards takes on added importance as investors depend now, more than ever, on the integrity of financial statements."

Review the following on the PCAOB's website:

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AcSB endorses Classification of Liabilities as Current or Non-Current (Amendments to IAS 1)

Apr 02, 2020

On April 2, 2020, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) announced that the amendments, which clarify how to classify liabilities as current or non-current, are now in Part I of the CPA Canada Handbook – Accounting, and are effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2022. Earlier application is permitted.

Review the press release on the AcSB's website.


Comment deadline extended AcSB Exposure Draft, Combinations – Initial Measurement and Related Disclosures

Apr 01, 2020

On April 1, 2020, in light of the evolving uncertainties created by the global COVID-19 crisis and its effects in Canada, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) announced that it has extended the deadline to submit a comment letter from April 14 to May 14, 2020.

This is an interim decision and will be discussed in more depth at the April 15, 2020 AcSB meeting.

Review the Exposure Draft on the ACSB's website.

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COVID-19: SEC filings are a communication platform

Apr 01, 2020

On April 1, 2020, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) released a blog on how boards need to ensure that their companies’ filings not only accurately identify and reflect the impact of the pandemic on their businesses, but also effectively communicate with investors.

In speaking about future developments, companies can deprioritize issues and engagement not related to COVID-19, which is the topic most important to investors in this moment. As stated by one major investor group, such engagement “should be postponed where not related to COVID-19 to allow management and boards the ability to focus on crisis management.”

To help directors and their management teams understand the current landscape of COVID-19 risk disclosure, NACD mined data from MyLogIQ—Multidimensional Public Company Intelligence to identify trends in 10-K filings from January 1 to March 30, 2020 using the search terms “coronavirus” and “COVID-19.”

Review the blog on the NACD's website.

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IESBA Meeting Highlights March 16-18, 2020

Mar 31, 2020

On March 31, 2020, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released the highlights of its March 16-18, 2020 meeting.

Discussion points included:

  • Role and Mindset
  • IFAC Accountancy Education Initiative
  • Tax Planning and Related Services
  • eCode Phase 2
  • Engagement Team-Group Audits Independence
  • IAASB-IESBA Coordination
  • Technology
  • PIE

Review the highlights and podcast on the IESBA's website.

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CPAB access to foreign jurisdictions

Mar 31, 2020

On March 31, 2020, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) released a list of the foreign Jurisdictions where it has Memorandums of Understanding agreements currently in place or under negotiation.

Review the list on the CPAB's Web Site.

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