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July

EFRAG announces composition of the working groups for insurance and financial instruments

29 Jul 2016

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has announced the new composition of their Insurance Working Group and Financial Instruments Working Group.

The composition of the working groups contains a balance of different backgrounds and geographical origins. The compositions are as follows:

EFRAG Insurance Accounting Working Group (effective 1 September 2016):

  • Ambrogio Virgilio, Chairman, EFRAG TEG member, auditor
  • Sebastien Arnault, auditor
  • Alexander Dollhopf, actuary
  • Luca D'Ofronio, user
  • Hugh Francis, insurance industry
  • Joachim Kölschbach, auditor
  • Jasper Kolsters, auditor
  • Malin Löfbom, insurance industry
  • Sophie Massol, insurance industry
  • Richard Olswang, actuary
  • Jean-Michel Pinton, insurance industry
  • Sabrina Pucci, academic
  • Thomas Ringsted, auditor and actuary
  • Roman Sauer, insurance industry
  • Massimo Tosoni, insurance industry
  • Gail Tucker, auditor
  • Carsten Zielke, user

EFRAG Financial Instruments Working Group (effective 1 September 2016):

  • Andrew Spooner Chairman, auditor
  • Jens Berger, auditor
  • Lisa Bomba, banking
  • David Bradbery , banking
  • Riccardo Bua Odetti, auditor
  • Alan Chapman, auditor
  • Pierre-Henri Damotte, banking
  • Chiara Del Prete, banking 
  • Karin Eisenhut, banking
  • Fabio Goia, banking
  • Laure Guegan, auditor
  • Vincent Guillard, auditor
  • Rastislav Kovácik, banking
  • Selma Marte, banking
  • Colin Martin, auditor
  • Raoul Vogel, auditor

For more information, see the press release on the EFRAG’s website.

IPSASB publishes new IPSAS 39 and amendments to IPSAS 21 and IPSAS 26

29 Jul 2016

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board has published IPSAS 39 'Employee Benefits' and 'Impairment of Revalued Assets (Amendments to IPSAS 21 and IPSAS 26)'.

IPSAS 39 Employee Benefits will replace IPSAS 25 Employee Benefits on 1 January 2018 with earlier application encouraged. IPSAS 39 is the result of Exposure Draft ED 59 Amendments to IPSAS 25, however, during redeliberation the IPSASB decided it was more user friendly to reflect the revisions proposed in ED 59 in a new format.

IPSAS 25 is based on IAS 19 Employee Benefits, which was later revised. The changes between IPSAS 39 and IPSAS 25 converge the IPSASB guidance with the updated IAS 19 to the extent appropriate for the public sector. The main changes:

  • Remove an option that allows an entity to defer the recognition of changes in the net defined benefit liability (the “corridor approach”);
  • Introduce the net interest approach for defined benefit plans;
  • Amend certain disclosure requirements for defined benefit plans and multi-employer plans; and
  • Simplify the requirements for contributions from employees or third parties to a defined benefit plan when those contributions are applied to a simple contributory plan that is linked to service.

The update also removes the requirements for composite social security programmes, which the IPSASB concluded to be no longer necessary in practice.

Impairment of Revalued Assets brings property, plant, and equipment and intangible assets on the revaluation model within the scope of the IPSASB’s two standards on impairment: IPSAS 21 Impairment of Non-Cash-Generating Assets and IPSAS 26 Impairment of Cash-Generating Assets.

Please click for the following additional information on the IPSASB website:

19th ESMA enforcement decisions report released

28 Jul 2016

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published further extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions taken by European national enforcers. This batch deals with decisions in relation to IAS 8, IAS 12, IAS 18, IAS 19, IAS 21, IAS 38, IAS 39, IAS 41, IFRS 2, IFRS 3, IFRS 8, IFRS 11, IFRS 13, IFRIC 14, IFRIC 17, and IFRIC 21.

The European national enforcers of financial information monitor and review financial statements published by issuers with securities traded on a regulated European market and who prepare their financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law.

ESMA has developed a confidential database of enforcement decisions taken by individual European enforcers as a source of information to foster appropriate application of IFRS.

The publication of enforcement decisions is designed to inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS, i.e. whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. ESMA considers the publication of the decisions, together with the rationale behind them, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the European Union.

Topics covered in the latest batch of extracts, covering the period from February 2014 to April 2016, include:

 

Standard Topic

IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement

Inflation-related index derivative embedded in a host lease contract

IFRS 11Joint Arrangements

Classification of a separate vehicle as joint operation based on ‘other facts and circumstances’

IAS 21 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates

Selection of the appropriate exchange rate when multiple exchange rates are available

IAS 38 Intangible Assets

Presentation of gains arising from the sale of an intangible asset

IFRS 13Fair Value Measurement

Identification of unobservable inputs

IFRS 3 Business Combinations
IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors
IFRS 2Share-based Payment

Reverse acquisition of a listed shell company

IAS 18Revenue
IFRS 8Operating Segments

Disclosure of the amounts of significant categories of revenue

IAS 38 Intangible Assets

Determination of whether a dealer network acquired in a business combination is an intangible asset with indefinite useful life

IFRS 13Fair Value Measurement
IFRIC 17Distributions of Non-cash Assets to Owners

Exchange of a business for an interest in a subsidiary and subsequent distribution of the acquired subsidiary to owners

IAS 19Employee Benefits
IFRIC 14IAS 19 – The Limit on a Defined Benefit Asset, Minimum Funding Requirements and their Interaction

The determination of the maximum economic benefits available from a pension plan and the measurement of the defined benefit asset

IAS 12Income Taxes
IAS 41Agriculture

Measurement of a deferred tax liability relating to biological assets when income tax rates are changing over the assets’ useful lives

IFRIC 21Levies

Accounting for contributions to a deposit guarantee fund in the interim financial report

Click for access to the full report (link to ESMA website). The ESMA has also published an updated overview of all enforcement decisions ever published.

IPSASB consults on public sector specific financial instruments

28 Jul 2016

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has released for comment 'Public Sector Specific Financial Instruments'.

Neither International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) nor International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) specifically address some financial instruments that are unique to the public sector such as:

  • special drawing rights;
  • currency in circulation; and
  • monetary gold.

As a consequence, there is inconsistent reporting between entities and users may not have the information they need for accountability and decision-making purposes.

As a first step to developing specific guidance the IPSASB has released a consultation paper seeking feedback on some preliminary views on accounting for the three public sector financial instruments highlighted above. The objective of the paper is to initiate a debate abou the types of instruments considered to be in scope of the project and approaches to recognition and measurement of those items included in the project.

Comments on the consultation paper are due to the IPSASB by 31 December 2016.

Please click for the following additional information on the IPSASB website:

Executive Remuneration Working Group report provides recommendations to rebuild trust in executive pay

27 Jul 2016

The Executive Remuneration Working Group, established by the Investment Association, has published a report which provides ten recommendations to “rebuild trust in executive pay structures in the UK”.

The report indicates that “there is growing concern from both companies and investors with the current levels of executive pay and its complexity”.  The report also highlights that “a central cause of this complexity is that companies feel they are forced to adopt a one-size-fits-all LTIP model”.  This system, the report highlights “while intended to link long-term performance with shareholder experience, does not always reflect how a business works, or allow for the fact that it may not be possible to set meaningful long-term targets in all businesses”. 

In order to address these concerns, the Executive Remuneration Working Group, believes that there should be greater flexibility for companies to choose the most appropriate remuneration structures to suit their business needs and strategy.  They state that “remuneration structures need to be appropriate to the executives, company context and the business strategy”.  The report includes possible alternatives to illustrate what such flexibility might mean in practice.  The report stresses that these alternative approaches should not be seen as an exhaustive list or an approved list of alternatives to the current framework but should be seen as examples “designed to explore the practicalities of a more flexible system”.  

The report makes ten recommendations which consider how a more flexible system can be implemented.  The recommendations “encompass a range of behavioural and structural changes that are needed to improve the system and allow more flexibility”.  The recommendations fall under five areas: 

  • Increasing flexibility.  Within this area, the report recommends that remuneration committees should have greater flexibility to choose appropriate remuneration structures suited to the company’s strategy and business needs.
  • Strengthening remuneration committees and their accountability.  This area includes a proposal to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) that the UK Corporate Governance Code should be updated to reflect “best practice” that Non-Executive Directors should serve on the remuneration committee for at least a year before taking over the chairmanship of the committee.  It also includes a recommendation that the company chairman and the whole board “are appropriately engaged in the remuneration setting process”.
  • Improving shareholder engagement.  This area includes a recommendation that shareholders should focus on the “strategic rationale” for remuneration structures and should make it clear as to their level of support on proposals made.   
  • Increasing transparency around target setting and use of discretion.  This area includes recommendations for increased disclosure by remuneration committees including the process for setting bonus targets and how the committee has exercised its use of discretion and how such discretion has impacted the remuneration levels.
  • Addressing the level of executive pay.  This area includes a recommendation that “the board explain why the chosen maximum remuneration level as required under the remuneration policy is appropriate for the company using both external and internal relativities”. 

Click for:

FRC publishes revised Audit Firm Governance Code

27 Jul 2016

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has today published a revised version of the UK Audit Firm Governance Code (“the Code”). It is applicable for financial years beginning on or after 1 September 2016.

The Code, the revision of which was consulted on in December 2015, “provides a benchmark of good governance practice against which firms which audit listed companies can report”.  It has the following objectives:

  • To promote audit quality.
  • To help the firm secure its reputation more broadly, including its non-audit businesses.
  • To reduce the risk of firm failure, which in relation to the largest firms would be of systemic significance. 

The Code has been updated to “further promote good governance of audit, align more with the UK Corporate Governance Code, enhance transparency and improve engagement between firms, investors and Independent Non-Executives”. 

Click for:

EFRAG draft comment letter on proposed amendments on the application of the definition of a business

27 Jul 2016

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has issued a draft comment letter on the IASB exposure draft ED/2016/1 'Definition of a Business and Accounting for Previously Held Interests '.

EFRAG welcomes the IASB proposal and supports the following:

  • A more comprehensive framework and reduces the workload when distinguishing business combinations from asset acquisitions compared to the current guidance in IFRS 3.
  • Inclusion of a ‘screening test’ with some suggested improvements to accommodate more borderline cases.
  • Different sets depending on whether the set of activities and assets has outputs.
  • The use of illustrative examples but with a greater focus on guidance that requires significant judgement.
  • The clarification of the accounting for previously held interests to align with the definition of a business.

Further, the EFRAG encourages a converged approach by the IASB and FASB regarding the proposals.

Comments on EFRAG's draft comment letter are requested by 18 October 2016. For more in­for­ma­tion, see the press release and the draft comment letter on the EFRAG website.

IVSC posts responses to first set of exposure drafts of proposed new IVSs

27 Jul 2016

In April 2016, the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) issued a first set of exposure drafts of proposed new International Valuation Standards (IVSs).

Responses to these exposure drafts are now available on the IVSC website. The exposure drafts that are intended to form the remaining chapters of the 2017 IVS were released in early June and are still open for comment until 31 August 2016.

EBA consults on guidance on accounting for expected credit losses

27 Jul 2016

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has launched a consultation on draft guidelines on credit institutions' credit risk management practices and accounting for expected credit losses.

The EBA draft guidelines build on the guidance by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) in December 2015 on the same matter and feature a detailed section on the application of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments. The draft guidance notes:

The EBA welcomes the move from an incurred loss model to an ECL model under IFRS 9. IFRS 9 is, overall, an improvement compared to IAS 39 in the accounting for financial instruments and the changes on credit loss provisioning should contribute in addressing the G20’s concerns about the issue of ‘too little, too late’ recognition of credit losses and improve the accounting recognition of loan loss provisions by incorporating a broader range of credit information. IFRS 9 is therefore expected to address some prudential concerns and contribute to financial stability. However, the application of IFRS 9 also requires the use of judgement in the ECL assessment and measurement process which could potentially affect the consistent application of IFRS 9 across credit institutions and the comparability of credit institutions’ financial statements.

The EBA notes that the objective of the proposed guidelines is to be in line with the BCBS guidance. The EBA guidelines would also not prevent credit institutions from meeting the impairment requirements in IFRS 9.

Comments on the draft guidance are requested by 26 October 2016. The EBA aims to finalise the proposed guidelines during the fourth quarter of 2016 or first quarter of 2017, taking into account the comments received during the consultation. The guidelines should be implemented by 1 January 2018.

Please click for the following additional information on the EBA website:

IASB posts webcast on IFRS 9 forward-looking information

25 Jul 2016

The IASB has made available a webcast discussing forward-looking information in the application of the expected credit loss impairment requirements in IFRS 9.

The webcast, which features IASB member Sue Lloyd, Technical Director Kumar Dasgupta, and Practice Fellow Uni Choi, covers the following topics:

  • “when multiple scenarios are relevant and the concept of non-linearity;
  • consistency of scenarios;
  • probability-weighted assessment of significant increase in credit risk; and
  • approaches to incorporating forward-looking scenarios”

The webcast is available on the IASB’s website.

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