Our summary of new and revised accounting pronouncements

31 Jul, 2011

A new IAS Plus resource is now available to assist entities with their financial reporting at 30 June 2011. A new dedicated page provides a high level overview of new and revised accounting pronouncements that should be considered for financial reporting periods ending on or after 30 June 2011, indicating which are mandatorily applicable for various quarter ends.

This information can be used to ensure that all new financial reporting requirements have been fully considered in the reporting close process.

Click to access our new page. The information reflects developments to 25 July 2011 and will be updated through to September 2011, after which we'll produce an edition for September 2011 reporting. We'll include a permanent link to the most recent edition of the resource in the left-hand panel of our home page.

ESMA issues statement disclosures related to sovereign debt

29 Jul, 2011

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a public statement on disclosures related to sovereign debt to be included in IFRS financial statements.

In the statement, the ESMA points out the need for enhanced transparency in interim and annual financial statements for European listed issuers' using IFRSs. ESMA believes that "appropriate application of relevant IFRS is essential in order to ensure adequate disclosures by listed companies of their exposure to sovereign debt and related instruments". These disclosures should be provided on a country-by-country basis.

Please click for ESMA press release (link to ESMA website).

Wayne Upton to chair IFRS Interpretations Committee

28 Jul, 2011

The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation, the oversight body of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), today announced that Wayne Upton will take over as Chair of the IFRS Interpretations Committee from Robert Garnett.

The appointment is effective immediately and Mr. Upton will chair his first meeting in September.

Wayne Upton is the IASB's director of international activities. Since international implementation of IFRSs and interpretation are often seen as two sides of the same coin, the Trustees feel that the appointment of Wayne Upton will help the cause of consistent application of IFRSs around the world.

Please click for IASB press release (link to IASB website).

IFRS Foundation updates IFRS XBRL Taxonomy for IFRS 12 and IFRS 13

28 Jul, 2011

The IFRS Foundation has published an eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) IFRS Taxonomy 2011 interim release incorporating the requirements of IFRS 12 Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities and IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement.

Click for more details (link to IASB website). Our dedicated XBRL page is Here.

Further changes to the agenda for the IASB special meeting on 28 July 2011

28 Jul, 2011

The IASB has again updated the agenda for its special meeting being held in London on 28 July 2011.

A session has been added to discuss sweep issues related to the exposure draft of the proposed change in the effective date of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments.
The IASB will consider whether to extend comparative relief to the mandatory effective date of IFRS 9, and consider whether to clarify that the phrase 'beginning of the first reporting period' can mean an interim reporting period.

The meeting time has been extended to be 13:10 to 19:15 (London time). The full agenda for the meeting is available Here.

The Bruce Column — Opening up the agenda to all

27 Jul, 2011

One of the consistent gripes about the IASB in recent years has been that no one on the outside gets to influence its agenda.

Partly this has been the IASB's fault. From a more or less standing start ten years ago it has had to invent its own way of dealing with its role and the way in which it attempts to fulfil it. There had never been an independent global standard-setter before and, from the outset, it simply did what seemed sensible at the time. There was no template, only trial and error.

But the real problem is that the IASB has also been, to an extent, the victim of history. Throughout its first decade it found itself often running to catch up with agendas dumped upon it by other organisations, some well-meaning, others less so.

When it was set up it inherited the efforts of its predecessor body, the IASC, which had been following a very different agenda while creating a mass of standards, including the infamous IAS 39 which dealt, somewhat haphazardly, with financial instruments. That standard, for example, came about just as the practices to which it was trying to bring effective disclosure were taking off at the speed of rockets and heading in an increasingly bewildering range of directions. Small wonder the standard struggled to keep tabs on the resulting developments.

So the first years of the IASB saw pressures from the stock exchange regulator, IOSCO, to bring the old IASC standards up to what IOSCO considered to be scratch.

Then, two years into its efforts, the IASB had the EU arrive on its doorstep to say that it wanted all listed companies in Europe to follow the IASB's standards by 2005. A rapid period of getting the standards into shape and ensuring that they were implemented properly took place.

Then, as part of the move towards acceptance of IASB standards for companies listed on US stock exchanges, a process of attempted convergence of IASB standards with US standards was started. As if that wasn't enough the roof then fell in with the global financial crisis and the IASB was charged with accelerating improvements in a raft of standards, including the old chestnut of IAS 39.

It is small wonder that whenever the dust did settle a bit, and the staff and Board members of the IASB peered out, they didn't necessarily have the time to sit down quietly and muse over the priorities and objectives of their future programme.

But now, ten years into their history, that time appears to have come. The new IASB Chairman, Hans Hoogervorst, is obviously one of those people blessed with being in the right place at the right time. Less than a month after taking over the job he is able to launch the first formal agenda consultation the IASB has ever offered and pen an official letter introducing the initiative and describing it as 'a great opportunity to discuss what next? openly with all those interested in and affected by financial reporting'.

And it also allows Hoogervorst to emphasise the need to internationalise the IASB's efforts. 'After a decade of work', he points out, 'IFRS have become the undisputed international financial reporting language. As the IFRS community continues to grow it is also becoming more diverse'. So mentions of the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board's proposals on financial reporting for bearer biological assets crop up, as do Islamic, Shariah compliant, transactions and instruments. The conceptual framework and the disclosure framework are important but so too is the recognition that there are many emerging issues from jurisdictions around the world now moving onto IFRS.

And it also suggests that the review would 'consider what will be meant by financial reporting ten years from now, and what form financial reporting might take. Given the increased interest in integrated reporting, the growing importance of electronic reporting and the extended use of XBRL, one question would be: in what way should we and IFRS interact with these and other areas of integrated reporting'.

And it is equally important, as the consultation document says, to create 'a channel for formal public input on the broad aspects of our agenda-setting process.' This in turn will further enhance public accountability and legitimacy and so 'deepen the respect for, and viability of IFRS globally'. As Jeroen Hooijer, Head of the Unit on International Accounting, at the European Commission (EC), DG Internal Market and Services, pointed out recently: 'Acceptability of standards is linked to governance. Only a good standard bites'.

This is the first of a rolling programme of consultations on the strategic direction and overall balance of the IASB's agenda which will take place every three years. The years following this first consultation will see a growing importance for the IASB of ensuring the consistency and quality of the application of IFRS as they spread around the world. The degree of perceived openness when it comes to what goes onto future agendas will be a very important part of that.

Robert Bruce
July 2011

Related links



IASB updates work plan to reflect recent decisions

27 Jul, 2011

The IASB has published an updated work plan, reflecting recently issued documents and incorporating the effects of its recent decisions.

With the recent decisions to re-expose of the leases and revenue recognition proposals and developments in a number of other projects, the timetable for completion of many projects has been extended. The previous version of the work plan indicated a targeted completion date of an IFRS for the majority of the projects in the first half of 2012. The revised work plan states the finalisation of the various IFRSs is now expected sometime in 2012, with some projects now having no stated targeted completion date.

The following is a summary of the revised timing of projects:

  • Revenue recognition – re-exposure remains expected in the third quarter of 2011 (as previously announced), final IFRS in 2012
  • Leasesre-exposure is now expected in the fourth quarter of 2011 (previously third quarter), final IFRS in 2012
  • Financial instruments:
    • re-exposure or a review draft of the proposals on impairment remains expected in the second half of 2011, no stated target date for finalisation of an IFRS
    • finalised IFRS on general hedge accounting remains targeted for the fourth quarter of 2011
    • an exposure draft on macro hedge accounting is now expected to be published either late in 2011, or in 2012 (previously expected by the end of 2011), no stated target date for finalisation of an IFRS
    • finalised IFRS on asset and liability offsetting now targeted for the fourth quarter of 2011 (previously third quarter, see also the discussion at the IASB's July meeting on this topic)
    • an exposure draft on the proposed deferral of the mandatory date of IFRS 9 is expected during the third quarter of 2011. The IASB has stated an intention to allow a 60 day comment period on the exposure draft, but no expected date for finalisation of the proposals has been included in the work plan
  • Consolidation – the timetable for the issue of the exposure draft on investment companies has been extended to August (on the same day as the FASB proposals, previously expected in July), no stated target date for finalisation of an IFRS
  • Insurance contracts – the board now expects to re-expose the proposals or issue a review draft, either in the fourth quarter of 2011 or in 2012, no stated target date for finalisation of an IFRS (previously expected in the first half of 2012)
  • Agenda consultation – the work plan has been updated to reflect the comment period for the agenda consultation document issued yesterday. The consultation document indicates the IASB is expected to start discussions in the first quarter of 2012, and expects to publish a comment summary and feedback statement during 2012.


Click for access to the updated workplan (link to the IASB website).

EFRAG reports on the final part of its outreach on the Financial Statement Presentation project

27 Jul, 2011

Between September and December 2010, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the European National Standard Setters jointly organised meetings in ten European cities to assist the IASB in gathering the views of European constituents on the tentative decisions included in the IASB staff draft of the Exposure Draft Financial Statement Presentation.

EFRAG has now issued a letter to the IASB on the comments on the Paper Financial Statement Presentation, which complements the feedback on the meeting with European constituents published in February 2011 and completes the overall picture of the European views on the IASB's tentative decisions in respect of the Financial Statement Presentation project.

Please click for EFRAG press release (link to EFRAG website) which contains a link to the letter.

Changes to the agenda for the IASB special meeting on 28 July 2011

27 Jul, 2011

The IASB has updated the agenda for its special meeting being held in London on 28 July 2011. In addition to the previously announced discussion on Financial Instruments Hedge Accounting, sessions have been added on Revenue Recognition and Asset and Liability Offsetting.

To accommodate the additional topics, the meeting time has been extended to be 13:10 to 18:30 (London time).

The full agenda for the meeting is available Here.

IASB launches a public consultation on its future work programme

26 Jul, 2011

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) launched today a public consultation to seek broad public input on the strategic direction and overall balance of its future work programme.

The IASB has identified five key aspects that should be reflected in the strategic approach towards a future agenda:
  • the IFRS community has become more diverse
  • the market environment has become more complex
  • there are a number of changes that require implementation
  • the quality and relevance of the standards needs to demonstrated
  • the risk that practices related to implementation and adoption will diverge.
Consequently, the IASB thinks that its future work should fall into broad categories: 'Developing financial reporting' and 'Maintaining' existing IFRSs. Below is an excerpt from the agenda consultation document concerning five strategic areas driving the work of the IASB in those categories:


Developing financial reporting
  • Strengthening the consistency of IFRSs by completing the update of the conceptual framework, and improving the usability of financial reports through the development of a presentation and disclosure framework.
  • Investing in research and addressing the strategic issues for financial reporting to aid future standard-setting and to develop further the IASB's vision of the future shape of financial reporting, including exploring the interaction of IFRSs with integrated reporting.
  • Filling gaps in the IFRS literature by undertaking standards-level projects, i.e. developing new IFRSs or making major amendments.
Maintaining existing IFRSs
  • Obtaining a better understanding of operational issues of new IFRSs and major amendments through conducting post-implementation reviews.
  • Improving the consistency and quality of the application of IFRSs by responding to implementation needs arising from the revised set of IFRSs, through the use of targeted, narrow-scope improvements to IFRSs, including consideration of the completeness and consistency of integration of XBRL with IFRSs.

The IASB makes the agenda consultation document and several supporting documents available on its website (all links below to the IASB's website):

There will also be a live webcast on the IASB's agenda consultation on 3 August 2011.

Comments on the consultation document are required by 30 November 2011.

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.