Pre-meeting summaries for the December 2020 IASB meeting

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09 Dec, 2020

The IASB is meeting on Monday 14, Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 December 2020, by video conference. We have posted our pre-meeting summaries for the meetings that allow you to follow the IASB’s decision making more closely. For each topic to be discussed, we summarise the agenda papers made available by the IASB staff and point out the main issues to be discussed by the IASB and the staff recommendations.

Maintenance and Consistent Application — IFRIC Update: At its December meeting the IFRS Interpretations Committee finalised an agenda decision in relation to supplier financing. At this meeting, the Board will be asked to clear that decision. If four or more Board members object, the decision will not be published. This is the first agenda decision to be subjected to the revised due process.

Disclosure Initiative — Subsidiaries that are SMEs: The IASB is developing a Standard setting out reduced disclosure requirements for subsidiaries that apply IFRS Standards, but meet the definition of an SME. At this meeting, the staff is seeking views on whether the consultation document should include proposed reduced disclosure requirements for IFRS 17; and recommend that IFRS 1 not be amended and that transition provisions are not required. The staff also recommend that if an entity stops applying the reduced disclosure Standard that the comparatives should apply full IFRS; that the reduced disclosures can be applied for the ‘first time’ more than once; and that the Standard is optional and an entity can reverse its decision to apply it.

SME Standard review and update: The IASB published Request for Information (RFI) ‘Comprehensive Review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard' in January. The IASB received 66 comment letters, mainly from accountancy bodies and standard-setting bodies. Overall, respondents expressed support for the IFRS for SMEs Standard to be based on full IFRS Standards. The paper also contains feedback on the specific questions asked in the RFI. The staff recommend that the SME Implementation Group (SMEIG) be asked to develop a set of recommendations for the Board in its review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard. The next meeting of the SMEIG is planned for February 2021.

Disclosure Initiative — Accounting Policies: The Board is amending IAS 1 and its Practice Statement on applying materiality. The staff recommend that the Board does not add transition requirements or an effective date to the amendments to the Practice Statement, as well as a small change to the wording in IAS 1:117B.

Primary Financial Statements: In December 2019, the IASB published Exposure Draft ED/2019/7 General Presentation and Disclosures. The staff have summarised feedback from the 215 comment letters it received, outreach activities, fieldwork and a review of academic literature. There are 11 papers, each summarising an aspect of the feedback. To give a flavour of the feedback, there was support for many aspects of the proposals, such as defined subtotals and categories in the statement of profit or loss and introducing a definition for unusual items. But many respondents thought additional guidance was required and most did not agree with the proposed definition of unusual items. There was broad support for the proposed roles for the primary financial statements and the notes. However, there was almost no support for separating integral and non-integral associates and joint ventures and the proposals related to management performance measures received mixed, and strongly expressed, views. The staff is not asking the Board to make any decisions but are asking for feedback and for the Board to identify areas which would require further research.

Post-implementation review of IFRS 9 — Classification and Measurement: In October 2020, the Board decided to begin the post-implementation review (PIR) of the IFRS 9 classification and measurement requirements. The staff plan to identify and assess the matters to be examined, which will then form the basis for a public Request for Information (RFI). The staff expect the PIR will take around 18-24 months to complete, with the RFI being issued in the third quarter of 2021. The staff will ask the Board if they have any comments on the PIR project objectives or timeline.

Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity: The staff recommend that the Board move the FICE project from the research programme to the standard-setting programme.

Pensions Benefits that depend on Asset Returns: In January, the Board decided to develop examples to illustrate how a proposed capped approach would compare to the outcome of the existing requirements in IAS 19 for defined benefit plans with benefits that vary with asset returns. The staff are asking the Board to provide feedback on an illustrative example.

Our pre-meeting summaries are available on our December meeting notes page and will be supplemented with our popular meeting notes after the meeting.

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