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IPSASB publishes four chapters of its public sector conceptual framework

11 Jan 2013

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has published the first four chapters of its 'Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities'. This completes Phase 1 of the IPSASB's Conceptual Framework Project.

These four chapters lay the groundwork for (1) developing consistent and useful IPSASs and Recommended Practice Guidelines (RPGs) and (2) completing the other three phases of the Conceptual Framework project.

Specifically, the chapters discuss:

  • The role and authority of the Conceptual Framework.
  • The objectives and users of general purpose financial reporting, providing information useful to users for accountability and decision making purposes.
  • Qualitative characteristics of (and constraints on) information included in GPFRs.
  • The key characteristics of a public sector reporting entity.

Other chapters of the Conceptual Framework will be added when they are completed.

Click to view the IPSASB's Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities (link to IFAC website).

GRI launches new 'Focal Point' in South Africa

10 Jan 2013

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has opened a new 'Focal Point' in South Africa, which is designed to act as a regional hub with the main aim of facilitating and promoting the active engagement of African organisations in the development of sustainability reporting regionally and globally.

The Focal Point will be hosted by ACCA South Africa (ACCA SA), and joins other Focal Points in Australia, Brazil, China, India and the United States.

To measure and monitor the success of GRI’s presence in South Africa and to show how the application of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework contributes to changes in companies’ sustainability reporting and performance, GRI will conduct a baseline study from the start of January 2013 to June 2015.

Click for press release (link to GRI website).

Leading European national standard-setters submit joint comment letter on the proposed ASAF

09 Jan 2013

The IFRS Foundation has posted to its website a joint letter received late last year from the national standard-setters of Germany (DRSC e.V), France (Autorité des normes comptables), the United Kingdom (Financial Reporting Council) and Italy (Organismo Italiano di Contabilitá) commenting on the proposed creation of an Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF). The standard-setters believe that the current suggested size and composition of the ASAF will require continued bilateral relationships between the IASB and national standard-setters.

The IFRS Foundation issued the proposals for the creation of the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) on 1 November 2012. Creation of such a forum was recommended by the Trustees' strategy review to provide technical advice and feedback to the IASB from the standard-setting community.

As such, the European national standard-setters support the IFRS Foundation's proposal to establish a stable and formalised working relationship between the IASB and the national accounting standard-setters. However, they maintain that the current proposals regarding the form of the ASAF falls short of their needs and expectations. Among other points, the standard-setters comment that it is not clear from the proposals how members of the ASAF will be appointed. They also criticize the suggested composition of the ASAF: There is a) no distinction between jurisdictions with mandatory IFRS application and non-adopters, and b) a preference given to regional bodies while these (in most cases) "do not set standards and fulfil different roles".

The standard-setters implicitly conclude that the form and size currently envisaged by the IFRS Foundation "runs the risk of [...] requiring continued bilateral relationships with the IASB, therefore defeating one of the aims of the proposal".

Please click for access to the joint comment letter on the IFRS Foundation website.

Third Global IFRS Banking Survey — Still far from land?

07 Jan 2013

Deloitte has issued its ‘Third Global IFRS Banking Survey – Still far from land?’. The survey highlights the views of 70 of the world’s major banking groups and global systemically important financial institutions (G-SIFIs) on accounting change.

Key findings are:

  • Whilst there is still significant support  for the convergence process amongst banks, the majority surveyed consider the IASB and FASB are no longer on track to achieve this;
  • Banks are putting their implementation efforts on standby as the process continues to be subject to delay;
  • There is uncertainty about the ultimate outcome of financial instruments accounting change with an increase in the number of banks considering that the new requirements cannot be implemented in a way that will increase comparability between banks internationally; and
  • The capital and pricing impacts of changes such as impairment, debt valuation adjustments and the treatment of liquidity portfolios will be significant.

Please click to download Third Global IFRS Banking Survey – Still far from land?

    Earlier survey in the series aimed at capturing the views of the banking industry:

    To accompany the survey, Deloitte will hold an interactive webcast on 20 February 2013 at 12:00pm GMT. This webcast will provide attendees with an opportunity to further explore the findings of the survey and discuss current developments and their implications. Register here for this webcast.

    IASB updates on the current state of the insurance project

    04 Jan 2013

    At its December 2012 meeting, the IASB discussed unlocking the residual margin, proposals from preparers on a ‘floating residual margin’ and impairment of reinsurance assets held by an insurer. The IASB has updated its website to reflect decisions made at this meeting.

    Updates include:

    • A high level summary presenting the current status of the insurance contracts project.
    • A high level summary of the IASB's tentative decisions, showing where those decisions would affect the proposals in the Exposure Draft (ED) Insurance Contracts.
    • A detailed summary of how and where the proposals in the ED would change as a result of the IASB's and FASB's tentative decisions.
    • A podcast by Darrel Scott, IASB member and Andrea Pryde, Technical Principal on the developments made in the insurance contracts project during the meetings held in November 2012 and December 2012.

    More information on the insurance contracts project can be found on our IAS Plus project page.

    EFRAG draft comment letter on limited amendments to IFRS 9

    01 Jan 2013

    The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has issued a draft comment letter on the IASB's Exposure Draft ED/2012/4 'Classification and Measurement: Limited Amendments to IFRS 9 (proposed amendments to IFRS 9 (2010))' which was published on 28 November 2012.

    EFRAG welcomes the IASB’s decision to consider making limited amendments to IFRS 9 that are intended to address accounting mismatches arising from the application of different measurement models to financial assets and insurance liabilities. However, EFRAG also makes several suggestions regarding further improvements aiming at more clarity and at more useful information.

    Regarding the main point of the IASB proposals, the introduction of a 'fair value through other comprehensive income' (FVOCI) measurement category for particular financial assets, EFRAG members did not reach a consensus:

    With regards to the introduction of a third business model in IFRS 9, EFRAG TEG members have divergent views on the IASB’s proposals in the ED. Some EFRAG TEG members agree with the IASB’s proposals, whereas some other members believe that the measurement category at fair value through other comprehensive income (FV-OCI) should rather be introduced in IFRS 9 as an option at initial recognition for companies to avoid accounting mismatches like those arising from the interaction between the classification and measurement requirements in IFRS 9 and the future IFRS on insurance contracts. Some EFRAG TEG members are also concerned that the application of the new requirements is unclear. These members believe that there are uncertainties both with the dividing line between amortised cost and FV-OCI and between fair value through profit or loss and FV-OCI.

    Comments on the letter are invited by 18 March 2013.

    Click for:

    • EFRAG press release with link to the draft comment letter (link to EFRAG website).
    • Our previous story on the Exposure Draft ED/2012/4 Classification and Measurement: Limited Amendments to IFRS 9 (proposed amendments to IFRS 9 (2010)).
    • Deloitte's IFRS in Focus newsletter on the proposals for limited amendments to IFRS 9.

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