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News

Finance for the future 2021 Image

Finance for the Future Awards - open for entries

30 Mar 2021

The Finance for the Future Awards 2021 are now open for entries to all organisations, globally, whether listed, small, charities, a social enterprise or public sector, and to individuals who drive change in this area.

One of the awards is for ‘Communicating integrated thinking’, and is open to organisations that are demonstrating clearly, through communicating to their providers of financial capital, how sustainability is embedded into their overall strategy and decision making process, and how this integrated thinking is contributing to a sustainable business model which delivers long-term value.

Other categories recognise organisations who embed an integrated approach into their decision making; innovative projects; organisations who are leading change to the financial markets; and individuals who drive change through education, training and academia. In line with the rescheduled COP26, judges will also be selecting entries that demonstrate exceptional Climate Leadership, which will be selected from the finalists from across all the categories.

Founded by Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), and in partnership with Deloitte, these global awards recognise financial leadership in driving sustainable economies.

The 2019 finalists included Tesco (UK), ABN AMRO (Netherlands), Harvard Business School (US), Contact Energy (New Zealand) and PIMCO (US).

Find out more information about the Awards, including details on the judging process and how to enter (by 28 May), as well as case studies of last year’s winners at http://www.financeforthefuture.org/

IASB document (blue) Image

IASB launches third agenda consultation on its future work programme

30 Mar 2021

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) launched today its third public consultation to seek broad public input on the strategic direction and overall balance of its future work programme by publishing a request for information. The deadline for submitting comments is 27 September 2021.

 

Introduction

The request for information includes an introductory section that states the objective of the request for information and describes how responses will help the Board in determining its future work programme. The introduction also explains the difference between the IFRS Foundation's five-yearly review of structure and effectiveness that is currently underway and that includes a consultation on sustainability reporting and the IASB's agenda consultation. The IASB's agenda consultation seeks feedback on the priorities of activities within the current scope of the Board’s work, whereas the Trustees’ consultation seeks feedback on a potential expansion in the role of the IFRS Foundation. The IASB is currently working on its management commentary project and could do more on sustainability aspects, should stakeholders wish so, as long as this is connected to financial statements. While there is some connecting middle ground, respondents should not confuse the two initiatives. As the IFRS Foundation Trustees move forward quickly with their initiative, their decisions would be available before the Board makes decisions on its future agenda.

 

Request for information

The request for information consists of three parts: (1) strategic direction and balance of the Board's activities, (2) criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan, and (3) financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan.

Strategic direction and balance of the Board's activities

Part one of the request for information regarding the strategic direction and balance notes that the IASB's work is currently following six lines:

  • New IFRS Standards and major amendments to IFRS Standards
  • Maintenance and consistent application of IFRS Standards
  • The IFRS for SMEs Standard
  • Digital financial reporting and the IFRS Taxonomy
  • Understandability and accessibility
  • Stakeholder engagement

In this part of the request for views the IASB is seeking stakeholders’ views on whether the Board should increase, leave unchanged or decrease its current level of focus on each line of work. And while there is a little room for additional work, respondents are asked to assume that the Board’s overall level of resources will remain substantially unchanged during the 2022 to 2026 period.

Criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan

Part two of the request for information regarding criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan notes that the Board will use a specified list of seven criteria to assess the potential financial reporting issues that could be added to its work plan to develop new IFRS Standards and major amendments to IFRS Standards. They are:

  • The importance of the matter to investors
  • Whether there is any deficiency in the way companies report the type of transaction or activity in financial reports
  • The type of companies that the matter is likely to affect, including whether the matter is more prevalent in some jurisdictions than others
  • How pervasive or acute the matter is likely to be for companies
  • The potential project’s interaction with other projects on the work plan
  • The complexity and feasibility of the potential project and its solutions
  • The capacity of the Board and its stakeholders to make timely progress on the potential project

The criteria are derived from the Due Process Handbook and the 2015 Agenda Consultation. The relative importance of any specific criterion will vary depending on the particular circumstances. Generally, the Board will evaluate potential project for its work plan primarily on the basis of whether the project will meet investors’ needs, while also taking into account the costs of producing the information.

Financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan

Finally, part three of the request for information regarding financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan refers to 22 projects that have frequently been suggested to the Board for consideration. The request for information seeks stakeholders’ views on what priority they would give each of the potential projects — high, medium or low — and whether their prioritisation refers to all or only some aspects included in the project description. Respondents are also invited to suggest additional issues that they believe the Board should add to its work plan for 2022 to 2026.

 

Appendices

For reasons of readability, some of the information referred to in the request for information has been relegated to appendices:

  • Appendix A describes the active projects on the Board’s work plan as of March 2021
  • Appendix B describes the 22 financial reporting issues that were frequently suggested to the Board for potential potential inclusion in its work programme
  • Appendix C describes additional financial reporting issues that were suggested to the Board by only a small number of stakeholders

 

Comment deadline and next steps

Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on the request for information by 27 September 2021. The Board expects to discuss the feedback in the second half of 2021 and to publish a feedback statement summarising the feedback and announcing the work plan for 2022 to 2026 in the first quarter of 2022.

 

Additional information

The following additional information is available on the IASB website and on IAS Plus:

 

IASB document (blue) Image

IASB launches third agenda consultation on its future work programme

30 Mar 2021

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) launched today its third public consultation to seek broad public input on the strategic direction and overall balance of its future work programme by publishing a request for information. The deadline for submitting comments is 27 September 2021.

 

Introduction

The request for information includes an introductory section that states the objective of the request for information and describes how responses will help the Board in determining its future work programme. The introduction also explains the difference between the IFRS Foundation's five-yearly review of structure and effectiveness that is currently underway and that includes a consultation on sustainability reporting and the IASB's agenda consultation. The IASB's agenda consultation seeks feedback on the priorities of activities within the current scope of the Board’s work, whereas the Trustees’ consultation seeks feedback on a potential expansion in the role of the IFRS Foundation. The IASB is currently working on its management commentary project and could do more on sustainability aspects, should stakeholders wish so, as long as this is connected to financial statements. While there is some connecting middle ground, respondents should not confuse the two initiatives. As the IFRS Foundation Trustees move forward quickly with their initiative, their decisions would be available before the Board makes decisions on its future agenda.

 

Request for information

The request for information consists of three parts: (1) strategic direction and balance of the Board's activities, (2) criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan, and (3) financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan.

Strategic direction and balance of the Board's activities

Part one of the request for information regarding the strategic direction and balance notes that the IASB's work is currently following six lines:

  • New IFRS Standards and major amendments to IFRS Standards
  • Maintenance and consistent application of IFRS Standards
  • The IFRS for SMEs Standard
  • Digital financial reporting and the IFRS Taxonomy
  • Understandability and accessibility
  • Stakeholder engagement

In this part of the request for views the IASB is seeking stakeholders’ views on whether the Board should increase, leave unchanged or decrease its current level of focus on each line of work. And while there is a little room for additional work, respondents are asked to assume that the Board’s overall level of resources will remain substantially unchanged during the 2022 to 2026 period.

Criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan

Part two of the request for information regarding criteria for assessing the priority of projects that could be added to the work plan notes that the Board will use a specified list of seven criteria to assess the potential financial reporting issues that could be added to its work plan to develop new IFRS Standards and major amendments to IFRS Standards. They are:

  • The importance of the matter to investors
  • Whether there is any deficiency in the way companies report the type of transaction or activity in financial reports
  • The type of companies that the matter is likely to affect, including whether the matter is more prevalent in some jurisdictions than others
  • How pervasive or acute the matter is likely to be for companies
  • The potential project’s interaction with other projects on the work plan
  • The complexity and feasibility of the potential project and its solutions
  • The capacity of the Board and its stakeholders to make timely progress on the potential project

The criteria are derived from the Due Process Handbook and the 2015 Agenda Consultation. The relative importance of any specific criterion will vary depending on the particular circumstances. Generally, the Board will evaluate potential project for its work plan primarily on the basis of whether the project will meet investors’ needs, while also taking into account the costs of producing the information.

Financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan

Finally, part three of the request for information regarding financial reporting issues that could be added to the Board’s work plan refers to 22 projects that have frequently been suggested to the Board for consideration. The request for information seeks stakeholders’ views on what priority they would give each of the potential projects — high, medium or low — and whether their prioritisation refers to all or only some aspects included in the project description. Respondents are also invited to suggest additional issues that they believe the Board should add to its work plan for 2022 to 2026.

 

Appendices

For reasons of readability, some of the information referred to in the request for information has been relegated to appendices:

  • Appendix A describes the active projects on the Board’s work plan as of March 2021
  • Appendix B describes the 22 financial reporting issues that were frequently suggested to the Board for potential potential inclusion in its work programme
  • Appendix C describes additional financial reporting issues that were suggested to the Board by only a small number of stakeholders

 

Comment deadline and next steps

Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on the request for information by 27 September 2021. The Board expects to discuss the feedback in the second half of 2021 and to publish a feedback statement summarising the feedback and announcing the work plan for 2022 to 2026 in the first quarter of 2022.

 

Additional information

The following additional information is available on the IASB website and on IAS Plus:

 

EFRAG (European Financial Reporting Advisory Group) (dk green) Image

EFRAG announces new Board members

30 Mar 2021

The EFRAG’s General Assembly has announced the appointment of five new EFRAG Board members and the ppointment of a new EFRAG Board Vice-President.

The new Board members are Olivier Scherer (accountancy profession se​​​at, French); Michael Fechner (corporate sector seat, German); Roman Sauer (insurance sector seat, German); Serge Pattyn (user seat, Belgian); and Gerhard Prachner (AFRAC, Austria). Serge Pattyn has also been appointed EFRAG Board Vice-President.

The new members will begin their three-year terms on 1 May 2021. They replace Hans Buysse (EFRAG Board Vice-President), Luca Cencio​​​ni, Benoit Jaspar, Claes Norberg, Laurence Rivat and Mark Vaessen.

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

FRC Image

FRC requests views to inform the next periodic review of FRS 102

29 Mar 2021

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is starting the next periodic review of FRS 102 (and other UK and Ireland accounting standards). The last periodic review of the standard was in December 2017 as part of the triennial review of the standard.

Part of the process involves seeking views from stakeholders on those areas that might be considered as part of the review.  In addition to stakeholder feedback the review will consider recent developments in financial reporting (such as changes in IFRS) and relevant developments in the wider reporting framework.  Any changes to accounting standards that are proposed as a result of the periodic review will be subject to public consultation at a later date, not expected to be before 2022.  The effective date for any amendments is currently expected to be 1 January 2024. 

Stakeholders are asked to provide comments by 31 October 2021.  The FRC expects to hold roundtable events for stakeholders to provide their views and will be issuing further information in due course.

Further information is available on the FRC website.

IFRS Foundation (blue) Image

IFRS Foundation seeks Trustee applications

29 Mar 2021

The IFRS Foundation announces that it is seeking two applications for the role of Trustee.

The IFRS Foun­da­tion is seeking two Trustees: one from the Americas and one from the Asia-Oceania. Trustees’ re­spon­si­bil­i­ties include oversight of the organisation in the public interest, its strategic direction, ap­point­ments to the Board, the IFRS In­ter­pre­ta­tions Committee and the IFRS Advisory Council, and ensuring the financing of the organisation and approving its budget. The role de­scrip­tion notes:

Qualified candidates should have top-level experience in an organisation with an interest in accounting standards. They should demonstrate a firm commitment to serving the public interest, to the work of the Foundation and to the Board as a high quality global standard-setter. They should be financially knowledgeable and be able to meet the time commitment, which includes, but is not limited to, at least three three-day meetings each year. Trustees should have an understanding of, and be sensitive to, the challenges associated with the adoption and application of high-quality global accounting standards developed for use in the world’s capital markets as well as to relevant current issues such as the impact of new technologies on corporate reporting, the development of non-financial reporting and changes in investors' and markets' demands. Trustees are aware of the increasing focus on sustainability reporting by major companies and would welcome applications from candidates with a knowledge and interest in sustainability reporting.

Please click to access the press release on the IASB website.

IASB podcast (blue) Image

IASB issues podcast on latest Board developments (March 2021)

29 Mar 2021

The IASB has released a podcast featuring IASB Chair Hans Hoogervorst and IASB Vice-Chair Sue Lloyd discussing deliberations at the March 2021 IASB meeting as well as the 10 March supplementary meeting on IFRS 16 and covid-related rent concessions.

The podcast discusses:

  • Extensions to comment periods for three of the Board’s current consultations.
  • Goodwill and Impairment project.
  • Primary Financial Statements project.
  • Request for Information Comprehensive Review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard.
  • Equity Method research project.

The podcast (14 minutes) can be accessed through the press release on the IASB website.

Please click to view the detailed notes taken by Deloitte observers for the IASB regular meeting and supplementary meeting.

Deloitte document (mid gray) Image

Deloitte comments on the IASB's proposal on lease liability in a sale and leaseback

29 Mar 2021

We have commented on IASB exposure draft ED/2020/4 ‘Lease Liability in a Sale and Leaseback’, which was published by the IASB on 27 November 2020. The exposure draft aims at clarifying how a seller-lessee should apply the subsequent measurement requirements in IFRS 16 to the lease liability that arises in a sale and leaseback transaction.

We do not support the proposals in the ED for reason cited by Ms Flores in her alternative view. We are concerned that the method proposed results in recognition of a lease liability for the expected variable payments not based on an index or rate, which is inconsistent with the general requirements in IFRS 16 and that the ED will be difficult to implement. In addition, we propose that a practical alternative would be to require that the “deferred gain” that results from the mechanical application of the existing requirements in IFRS 16:100 be recognised in profit or loss over the lease term on a straight-line basis (or another systematic basis) and presented as a reduction of the lease expense and suggest that no amendment be made at this time to specify the method that should be used by a seller-lessee to measure the proportion of the previous carrying amount of the lease asset that relates to the right of use retained.

Please click to download our full comment letter.

Leaf - sustainability (green) Image

World Economic Forum calls for global standardisation and coordination in ESG reporting

29 Mar 2021

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released a letter to fellow CEOs calling for support for global ESG reporting standards as the private sector could only make its full contribution to creating a sustainable society through global standards.

The letter notes the developments of the last few months beginning with the WEF publication Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation, then citing the IFRS Foundation consultation on setting up a global sustainability standards board and the statement of intent of CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC, and SASB to work together towards a comprehensive corporate reporting system.

The letter states that the same global standardisation and coordination as is already in place for financial reporting is needed for ESG reporting as well so that that companies of any industry or country are comparable and can be held accountable to investors. The letter outlines three steps for achieving this:

  1. An independent global standard setting body should develop ESG standards that can be adopted worldwide. The letter notes that the IFRS Foundation is well positioned to do this and that the WEF supports the proposal to establish a Sustainability Standards Board (SSB) that would sit alongside the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
  2. For the standards to be enforced in individual capital markets, regulatory authorities must endorse their use. The letter cites the support of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) for the IFRS Foundation initiative and the suggested "building blocks" approach and welcomes the statements.
  3. For the IFRS Foundation standard setting process to best succeed, it should build on the main reporting initiatives already in use. The letter points at the work of CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC, and SASB and notes that the WEF's work has included helping to facilitate the collaboration among the five organisations and that the WEF looks forward to working even more closely with them in support of creating sustainability reporting standards through the SSB.

The WEF, which is also a member of the recently announced IFRS Foundation sustainability working group, concludes its letter by stating:

These, then, are the steps we need to complete to get to system change on ESG metrics. We support this process and the organizations that are working to achieve it. Concretely, we look forward to supporting the IFRS’s Sustainability Standards Board, as appropriate, during its establishment and as it delivers on its mandate. We will promote opportunities for high-level public-private dialogue to strengthen strategic alignment on these objectives and will mobilize corporate support at the chief executive level in the global business community. We also encourage capital market regulatory bodies to work with the IFRS Foundation and IOSCO to support the Sustainability Standards Board.

Please click to access the full letter on the WEF website.

Book badge (green) Image

HM Treasury publishes best practice examples from its review of 2019-20 annual reports and accounts

28 Mar 2021

HM Treasury has published best practice examples from its review of 2019-20 annual reports and accounts (ARAs).

The aim of the publication is to highlight what it sees as best practice for account preparers to access when planning their annual reporting. As part of the Government Financial Reporting Review in 2019, HM Treasury committed to continue to support ongoing improvements in financial reporting and committed to producing an annual best practice report. This latest report follows the publication of best practice examples taken from the 2017-2018 central government ARAs, published at the time of the Government Financial Reporting Review, and those contained within 2018-2019 ARAs published as part of a review in 2020.

The report is divided into three sections that broadly follow the structure of a departmental ARA required by the Financial Reporting Manual (FReM):

  • Performance reporting;
  • Accountability; and
  • Financial statements.

Further information and links to the examples are available on the HM Treasury website.

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