Summary of the December 2017 ASAF meeting now available

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08 Feb, 2018

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 7 and 8 December 2017.

The topics covered during the meeting were the following (numbers in brackets are references to the corresponding paragraphs of the summary):

  • Primary financial statements (1–15): ASAF members discussed (1) introducing additional defined subtotals in the statement(s) of financial performance ('profit before investing, financing and income tax’ and ‘profit before financing and income tax’), (2) an ‘income and expenses from investments’ category presented between these two subtotals and a ‘finance income and expenses’ category presented below the ‘profit before financing and income tax’ subtotal, and (3) better ways to communicate other comprehensive income (OCI). Most ASAF members were generally supportive of introducing additional defined subtotals in the statement(s) of financial performance. As regards OCI, ASAF members noted that relabelling OCI without clarifying the distinction between profit or loss and OCI, and without clarifying the principles for recycling, would only cause confusion.
  • Disclosure initiative — Definition of material (16–22): ASAF members commented on the September 2017 Exposure Draft. Most of them expressed concerns with the reference to ‘obscuring’ information in the proposed definition of material. Some members also made additional suggestions to improve the application of the definition of material.
  • Disclosure initiative — Principles of disclosure (23–35): ASAF members discussed the feedback received on the Priciples of Disclosure Discussion Paper and provided feedback on: (1) technology and digital reporting considerations, (2) development of disclosure principles, (3) standards-level review of disclosures, and (4) project direction and focus.
  • Post-implementation Review of IFRS 13 (36–41): ASAF members received an overview of the feedback received in response to the request for information, which they generally agreed with (especially the fact that IFRS 13 is perceived to be working well). ASAF members provided advice on how the Board could respond to that feedback.
  • Wider Corporate Reporting (42–47): ASAF members commented on the Wider Corporate Reporting project the Board has added to its agenda. Most ASAF members supported the Board’s decision to revise and update the Practice Statement Management Commentary and also provided suggestions for the Board to consider in moving the project forward.Several ASAF members commented on the current nonmandatory status of the statement.
  • Academic liaison (48–50): ASAF members explained about their experience in liaising with academics, and offered their views on whether the activities they engaged in with academics would work in the broader international context of the Board.
  • Information deficiencies and consolidated financial statements (51–53): Andreas Barckow, German ASAF member, presented on the perceived information deficiencies of consolidated financial statements, in particular, the loss of information about subsidiary entities through the elimination procedures in preparing consolidated financial statements (see our earlier announcement of his paper in November 2017).
  • Proposed improvements to IFRS 8 (54–70): The IASB staff summarised the feedback on the March 2017 Exposure draft, which had been mixed. Therefore, the staff sought ASAF members’ views on some ideas on how the proposals in the Exposure Draft could be improved.
  • Business Combinations Under Common Control (71–91): ASAF members received an update on the Board’s discussions in this research project and commented on: (1) clarifications of the scope of the project and (2) methods of accounting for transactions in the scope of the project. ASAF members supported the clarification of the scope of the project made by the Board in October 2017.
  • Project updates and agenda planning (92–93): ASAF members were updated on the IASB technical projects and how the IASB used the ASAF advice from previous meetings.

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

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