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IASB finalises amendments to IAS 7 under its disclosure initiative

  • IASB document (blue) Image

29 Jan 2016

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published amendments to IAS 7 'Statement of Cash Flows'. The amendments are intended to clarify IAS 7 to improve information provided to users of financial statements about an entity's financing activities. They are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2017, with earlier application being permitted.

 

Background

The IASB added an initiative on disclosure to its work programme in 2013 to complement the work being done in the Conceptual Framework project. The initiative is, inter alia, made up of a number of smaller projects that aim at exploring opportunities to see how presentation and disclosure principles and requirements in existing standards can be improved short-term. Among them was a narrow scope project on IAS 7 Statement of Cash Flows to improve information provided to users of financial statements about an entity's financing activities and liquidity. In October 2015, the IASB decided to split the liquidity part of project off, which would need additional and broader analysis, and to proceed only with the liabilities reconciliation for the time being. This part of the project has now been completed.

 

Changes

The amendments in Disclosure Initiative (Amendments to IAS 7) come with the objective that entities shall provide disclosures that enable users of financial statements to evaluate changes in liabilities arising from financing activities.

To achieve this objective, the IASB requires that the following changes in liabilities arising from financing activities are disclosed (to the extent necessary): (i) changes from financing cash flows; (ii) changes arising from obtaining or losing control of subsidiaries or other businesses; (iii) the effect of changes in foreign exchange rates; (iv) changes in fair values; and (v) other changes.

The IASB defines liabilities arising from financing activities as liabilities "for which cash flows were, or future cash flows will be, classified in the statement of cash flows as cash flows from financing activities". It also stresses that the new disclosure requirements also relate to changes in financial assets if they meet the same definition.

The amendments state that one way to fulfil the new disclosure requirement is to provide a reconciliation between the opening and closing balances in the statement of financial position for liabilities arising from financing activities. This is a departure from the December 2014 exposure draft that had proposed that such a reconciliation should be required.

Finally, the amendments state that changes in liabilities arising from financing activities must be disclosed separately from changes in other assets and liabilities.

 

Dissenting opinion

One Board member voted against the publication of the amendments as this Board member believes that (i) the amendments may provide incomplete information about an entity’s management of liquidity, (ii) the amendments do not meet the needs of users of financial statements, and (iii) the costs of preparing the disclosure will be considerable and may outweigh the benefits.

 

Effective date and transition requirements

The amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2017. Earlier application is permitted. Since the amendments are being issued less than one year before the effective date, entities need not provide comparative information when they first apply the amendments.

 

Additional information

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