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News

IFRS - IASB Image

IASB discusses investors’ reactions to IFRS 17

Nov 20, 2017

On November 20, 2017, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued an article by IASB board member Nick Anderson that discusses the top five question investors and analysts have on the IASB’s new insurance contracts standard, IFRS 17.

The five questions discussed include:

  1. Will IFRS 17 affect dividend payouts?
  2. How can a principle-based Standard like IFRS 17 improve comparability between insurers?
  3. Will IFRS 17 bring global comparability to the insurance sector?
  4. What are the main differences between IFRS 17, regulatory reporting and embedded value reporting?
  5. How will removing insurance premiums from the income statement improve comparability?

Review the article on the IASB’s website.

IFRS - IASB Image

IFRS 17 Transition Resource Group meeting summary and podcast - November 2017

Nov 17, 2017

On November 17, 2017, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released a summary of its meeting held on November 13, 2017.

The TRG is intended to support implementation by providing a public forum to discuss questions raised on implementation of the new Standard IFRS 17, Insurance Contracts.

The TRG discussed Agenda Paper 1, which included an overview and operating procedures.

Review the meeting summary and podcast on the IASB's website.

IFRS - IASB Image

Updated IASB work plan — Analysis

Nov 16, 2017

On November 16, 2017, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) updated its work plan following its November 2017 meeting. Changes mostly relate to a new project on management commentary and the fact that the direction of the Board project addressing issues identified during the PIR of IFRS 8 needs to be decided.

Below is an analysis of all changes made to the work plan since our last analysis on October 27, 2017.

Major projects

  • A new project Management commentary (Wider corporate reporting) has been added to the IASB's agenda. The aim of the project is to review and update the Management Commentary Practice Statement issued in 2010 to help address the lack of alignment and integration between wider corporate reporting and financial reporting. The next project step will be an exposure draft, however, the Board is still considering the timetable for the publication of the ED.
  • Definition of material - feedback on the ED is now expected in February 2018.

Main­te­nance projects

  • Improvements arising from the post-implementation review of IFRS 8 — The feedback received on the ED revealed that respondents had mixed views on the proposals, and Board member views were also mixed. It was suggested during the Board's discussions at the November meeting that if the proposals ended up creating more problems, then the Board should consider not finalizing them. If it was decided to reject only some of the proposals, the staff should then assess the costs and benefits of proceeding with finalizing the remaining proposals. A decision on the project direction is expected in January 2018.

Other projects

  • IFRS Taxonomy update for the annual improvements 2017 — new entry added to work plan. A proposed update is expected in November 2017.

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

United States Image

Financial Reporting’s Logical Next Step: Blockchain

Nov 12, 2017

On November 12, 2017, Financial Executives International (FEI) released an article on how the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) is collaborating with Deloitte to explore how blockchain is currently being adopted in the financial reporting community, the potential for industry disruption and the realistic next steps for the technology to be embraced.

In a video discussion, FEI Managing Editor Olivia Berkman discusses the evolution of blockchain on financial reporting with Will Bible, Audit & Assurance Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Jake Benson, CEO, of Libra, a New York-based blockchain financial reporting start-up.

They discuss how blockchain is being implemented incrementally in financial reporting and right now it's being used in specific applications for business processes, such trading, consortiam, or supply chain management. But blockchain could really have an impact on every single line item on the balance sheet or income statement, because it is a recordkeeping technology. 

View the video on FEI's website.

PCAOB (US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) (dark gray) Image

PCAOB Publishes Staff Inspection Brief Previewing 2016 Inspection Findings

Nov 10, 2017

On November 10, 2017, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) published a staff inspection brief that previews the results of 2016 inspections of auditors of public companies and other issuers.

The brief highlights certain observations from 2016 inspections, including three recurring areas where audit deficiencies were most frequently identified:

  • Assessing and responding to risks of material misstatement
  • Auditing internal control over financial reporting
  • Auditing accounting estimates, including fair value measurements

The brief also highlights other audit areas with continued audit deficiencies, including areas affected by certain economic risks, auditing of certain financial reporting areas, audit work regarding multinational audits, and certain aspects of a firm's system of quality control.

Review the press release and the staff inspection brief on the PCAOB's website.

PSAS - PSAB Image

New Project – PSAB to Review its International Strategy

Nov 10, 2017

On November 10, 2017, as part of its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) approved a new project that may change the role the Board plays in setting standards in Canada.

Preliminarily, the Board has identified four options it could apply:

  • continue to apply Public Sector Accounting Standards as enacted;
  • develop future Public Sector Accounting Standards based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards;
  • apply International Public Sector Accounting Standards by exception; or
  • apply International Public Sector Accounting Standards as issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.

The PSAB expects to release a Concultation Paper in the second quarter of 2018.

Review the new project on the PSAB's website.

IFRS - IASB Image

Summary of the September 2017 ASAF meeting now available

Nov 09, 2017

On November 9, 2017, the staff of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) made available a summary of the discussions of the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) meeting held in London on September 28, 2017.

The topics covered during the meeting included:

  • Primary financial state­ments 
  • Rate-regulated activities
  • Definition of a business
  • Goodwill and impairment
  • Project updates and agenda planning

Review the press release and the summary of the meeting on the IASB's website.

IFRS - IASB Image

IASB Chairman comments on the IASB's role in wider corporate reporting

Nov 09, 2017

On November 9, 2017, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released a speech by IASB Chairman, Hans Hoogervorst, given at a Brazilian international accounting seminar held on November 9. In his speech, Mr. Hoogervorst discussed the IASB's present initiative on better communication in financial reporting, support of implementation and application of IFRSs, and the IASB’s role in reporting that goes beyond the financial statements.

On better communication Mr. Hoogervorst offered no new insights, but confirmed that the IASB feels that it now has a good set of standards that covers the vast majority of transactions and would therefore prioritize better presentation and formatting of the information in the financial statements in the coming years, rather than developing new, big standards with focus on recognition and measurement. Similarly, on support of implementation and application, he mainly stressed the importance of the work of the IFRS Interpretations Committee, but offered no detailed insights.

Turning then to wider corporate reporting, Mr. Hoogervorst stated that the IASB is often asked questions about its role in this space and that some constituents would like the IASB to play a more central role in trying to create more uniformity in the multitude of sustainability standards. He admitted:

[T]he IASB knows that financial reporting in the narrow sense has its limitations. There are many elements of value creation which are important to the investor but which are not adequately captured in the financial statements. Investors need to understand a company’s business model and its strategy for long-term value creation. They need to understand the intangibles that are vital to their business model. And, yes, sustainability issues can also be important for long-term value creation in certain industries, just think of mining and car manufacturing.

And yet he also stated:

Let me be clear; we do not plan to get into environmental and sustainability reporting. That is not our area of expertise. There are many other players. Our remit is, and will remain, financial reporting—with focus on the participants in the capital markets. That is investors and potential creditors.

In conclusion, Mr. Hoogervorst offered that there has been a lot of development in this area since 2010 when the IASB published its Management Commentary Practice Statement and therefore, the IASB "is considering" whether to update the practice statement to capture the developments. This topic has been included on the IASB's agenda for its next meeting.

Review the full speech on the IASB's website.

CPAB - Assurance Image

Monitoring Group Consultation Paper Released

Nov 09, 2017

On November 9, 2017, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) posted the consultation paper issued by the Monitoring Group (MG). The consultation paper, "Strengthening the Governance and Oversight of the International Audit-related Standard-setting Boards in the Public Interest", sets out various options to enhance the governance, accountability and oversight of the international audit standard setting process. Comments are requested by February 9, 2018.

The Monitoring Group is a group of international financial institutions and regulatory bodies committed to advancing the public interest in areas related to international audit standard setting and audit quality. This group includes the following entities:

  • International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)
  • European Commission (EC), the Financial Stability Board (FSB)
  • International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and
  • World Bank Group (WBG)

This group has worked with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) with the objective of restoring confidence that standard-setting by IFAC’s independent boards is responsive to the public interest.

The consultation paper elicits the views of stakeholders on how best to safeguard the independence of the standard-setting process and its responsiveness to the public interest. In developing options to reform the standard setting process, the MG has reflected on some key overarching principles that standard setting should observe: public interest, independence, credibility, cost effectiveness, relevance, transparency and accountability.

The consultation includes options which consider changes to the number of standard setting boards, their composition, their strategic focus, geographical balance and remit; the process to nominate their members; and their current oversight arrangements, among other elements.  The consultation requests stakeholder views on which of those options would best achieve the MG’s objectives to enhance their independence and public accountability.

Review the consultation paper and the call for comments on CPAB's website.

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Lessons learned from SEC comment letters on the new revenue standard

Nov 09, 2017

On November 9, 2017, Financial Executives International (FEI) released an update where it identified 21 companies that received comment letters from the SEC related to the new revenue standard and summarized the key observations and potential pitfalls to avoid during the adoption of ASC 606 and other new accounting standards.

The new revenue standard is effective for all public entities for annual periods beginning January 1, 2018 for calendar year-end public entities. The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance selectively reviewed filings to monitor and enhance compliance with applicable disclosure and accounting requirements of the new standard. FEI reviewed revenue-related comment letter correspondence between the SEC and filers, and found the following trends:

  • Early adopters have been asked to clarify considerations made for operationalizing different aspects of the standard
  • The SEC began requesting more robust SAB 74 disclosures for periods ending December 31, 2016
  • Several companies have disclosed incorrect effective dates for ASC 606 in their SAB 74 disclosures

Review the press release and the update on FEI's website.

Correction list for hyphenation

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