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IASB and the National Standard-setters: towards an Accounting Standards Forum

Date recorded:

The IASB Chairman introduced a preliminary proposal that would see an Accounting Standards Forum established in the next six to nine months (‘as soon as possible’ after proper consultation). Mr Hoogervorst noted that at present, the IASB had established formal bilateral relationships with the US FASB, the Accounting Standards Board of Japan and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group. The current ad hoc arrangements between the IASB and other bodies were fragmented and increasingly inefficient.

The IASB, as part of the implementation of the Trustees’ Strategy Review, was seeking to establish a more formal relationship between national standard-setters (NSS) and regional groups such as EFRAG, the Asia-Oceania Standard-setters Group (AOSSG), the Pan-African Federation of Accountants (PAFA), and the Group of Latin American Standard-setters (GLASS).

The Accounting Standards Forum would be governed by a Memorandum of Understanding, which would establish mutual commitments and expectations, including a commitment to a single set of high-quality global financial reporting standards; would meet about four times a year for 1.5-2 days; and would focus on major technical topics. Membership would be around 12 and would build on the existing bi-lateral relationships and regional bodies. The aim was to balance inclusiveness and efficiency. The preliminary proposal suggests three seats from ah of the Americas, Asia-Oceania and Europe (including non-EU countries); one seat from Africa and two ‘at large’ seats. Forum members would be expected ‘to have the resources and capability to play a full role in the forum’s technical work’ and would be expected to pay their expenses of participation.

Mr Hoogervorst noted that the proposal had been discussed on 22 October 2012 at a meeting of the International Forum of Accounting Standard-setters (IFASS), and would be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of the World Standard Setters. (A more formal, wider consultation is also likely, but the extent and timing has not been announced—Ed.)

Council members expressed broad support for establishing the Forum. Some commented on the proposed size and distribution of the membership with a concern that a significant majority of the members should be expected to come from jurisdictions already using IFRS for domestic companies. The Council also noted that once the Forum had been established and its terms of reference agreed, the Council’s own membership and terms of reference should be reviewed to ensure there was no overlap or redundancies.

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