Summary of the September ASAF meeting now available

  • ASAF meeting (mid blue) Image

30 Oct, 2014

The staff of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have made available a summary of the discussions of the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) meeting held in London on 25-26 September 2014. The meeting saw discussion on leases, discount rates, post-implementation review of IFRS 3 'Business Combinations', conceptual framework, disclosure initiative, insurance contracts, financial instruments with the characteristics of equity, IFRS taxonomy, and the IASB's agenda.

The topics covered during the meeting included:

  • Leases. The meeting considered an update on the IASB's leases project, an overview of the feedback received from an additional consultation undertaken by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG). ASAF members had mixed views on the EFRAG paper and the definition of a lease (including defining a lease as a financing arrangement) and noted the importance of achieving convergence between the IASB and FASB
  • Discount rates. The ASAF members generally supported the IASB's intended scope and research approach in this project, made a number of suggestions on topics to be considered, and emphasised the importance of the interaction of this project with the IASB's projects on the conceptual framework and insurance contracts
  • Post-implementation review of IFRS 3. The meeting received a number of updates and reports and highlighted the critical issues of the subsequent accounting for goodwill (where mixed views were expressed) and the definition of a business
  • Conceptual framework. The meeting received an update on the IASB's progress in this project and expressed support for the direction being taken, whilst noting a number of concerns. The meeting also considered the tentative decisions made by the IASB on measurement and the implications of long-term investment for the conceptual framework
  • Disclosure initiative. The meeting discussed the purpose of notes to the financial statements, the ordering of notes to the financial statements, the role of materiality in addressing the disclosure problem, and the nature of significant accounting policies and improving accounting policy disclosures
  • Insurance contracts. The IASB sought feedback from the ASAF members on accounting for contracts with participating features and transition (most preferring retrospective application at the date of transition)
  • Financial instruments with characteristics of equity. The meeting discussed whether the project could proceed as a fundamental review of IAS 32 Financial Instruments: Presentation, or whether IAS 32 should be maintained with improvements to presentation and disclosure requirements. Many ASAF members noted the necessity of a fundamental review to provide a better foundation focused on identifying the objectives of the distinction between liabilities and equity, but considered that the IASB "should not necessarily start from an entirely blank sheet of paper".

A full report of the meeting is available on the IASB's website.

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