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Updated IPSAS-IFRS alignment dashboard

26 May 2020

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), which develops the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for financial reporting by governments and other public sector entities, has released an updated IPSAS-IFRS alignment dashboard showing how far individual IPSAS are aligned with corresponding IFRSs.

Please click to access the updated alignment dashboard prepared for the June 2020 IPSASB meeting on the IPSASB website.

In this context, please also so our 2020 edition of IPSAS in your pocket published in January.

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We comment on the IASB's proposed amendments as a result of the second phase of its project on the IBOR reform

25 May 2020

We have commented on IASB exposure draft ED/2020/1 'Interest Rate Benchmark Reform — Phase 2 (Proposed amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39, IFRS 7, IFRS 4 and IFRS 16)', which was published by the IASB on 9 April 2020.

The ED contains proposed amendments that would address issues that might affect financial reporting after the reform of an interest rate benchmark, including its replacement with alternative benchmark rates.

We are largely supportive of the amendments. In particular, we support the key changes that ensure that entities that apply hedge accounting will continue to do so as they transition to new benchmark interest rates and that the accounting for the modification of hedged items, when those modifications arise directly from the reforms, are reflected on a prospective basis via the application of IFRS 9:B5.4.5. We consider these as being the two most important elements of the proposals.

Please click to download our full comment letter.

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Updated IASB work plan — Analysis (May 2020 meetings)

25 May 2020

Following the IASB's May 2020 supplementary and regular meetings, we have analysed the IASB work plan to see what changes have resulted from the meetings and other developments since the work plan was last revised in April 2020. Almost all changes result from the numerous exposure drafts and final amendments the IASB has published recently.

Below is an analysis of all changes made to the work plan since our last analysis on 24 April 2020.

Standard-setting projects

  • no changes

Maintenance projects

  • Annual improvements — 2018-2020 cycle — removed from the work plan as the IASB completed this cycle of annual improvements by issuing Annual Improvements to IFRS Standards 2018–2020 on 14 May 2020; projects that were part of this cycle included:
    • Fees in the ‘10 per cent’ Test for Derecognition of Financial Liabilities (Amendments to IFRS 9)
    • Lease Incentives (Amendment to Illustrative Example 13 accompanying IFRS 16)
    • Subsidiary as a First-time Adopter (Amendment to IFRS 1)
    • Taxation in Fair Value Measurements (Amendment to IAS 41)
  • Classification of liabilities — Effective date — an exposure draft ED/2020/3 Classification of Liabilities as Current or Non-current — Deferral of Effective Date (Proposed amendment to IAS 1) was published on 4 May 2020 with comments requested by 3 June 2020; the feedback on the exposure draft will be discussed in June 2020
  • IFRS 16 and COVID-19 — the IASB discussed the feedback on the exposure draft published on 24 April 2020 at its supplementary meeting on 15 May 2020 and expects to issue final amendments "on or around 28 May 2020"
  • IAS 37 — Onerous contracts — removed from the work plan as the IASB issued Onerous Contracts — Cost of Fulfilling a Contract (Amendments to IAS 37) on 14 May 2020
  • IAS 16 — Proceeds before intended use — removed from the work plan as the IASB issued Property, Plant and Equipment — Proceeds before Intended Use (Amendments to IAS 16) on 14 May 2020
  • IFRS 3 — Updating a reference to the Conceptual Framework — removed from the work plan as the IASB issued Reference to the Conceptual Framework (Amendments to IFRS 3) on 14 May 2020

Research projects

  • Dynamic risk management — core model outreach has been clarified to take place in fourth quarter of 2020 (previously second half of 2020)

Other projects

  • IFRS Taxonomy update — Amendments to IFRS 17 and IAS 16 — a project newly added to the work plan; a proposed taxonomy update is expected in July 2020
  • IFRS Taxonomy update — Covid-19-related rent concessions (Amendment to IFRS 16) — a project newly added to the work plan; a proposed taxonomy update is expected in May 2020

The above is a faithful comparison of the IASB work plan at 24 April 2020 and at 25 May 2020. For access to the current IASB work plan at any time, please click here.

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May 2020 IASB meeting notes posted

24 May 2020

The IASB met via video conference on 20–21 May 2020 to discuss six topics. We have posted our comprehensive Deloitte observer notes for all projects discussed during the meeting.

Amendments to IFRS 17 Insurance ContractsThe amendments to IFRS 17 are being finalised by the staff. During this process the staff identified five (sweep) issues for which the Board decided to make additional changes to the Standard, along with two other matters that were identified after the staff paper had been distributed.

Maintenance and consistent application — Sale and leaseback with variable payments: At its April 2020 meeting, the Board decided to amend IFRS 16 for sale and leaseback transactions when the lease has variable payments. At this meeting the Board decided that the proposed amendment be applied retrospectively in accordance with IAS 8, except when hindsight is required, and that early application be permitted.  

Disclosure initiative — Accounting policies: The Board supported the staff recommendations towards finalising the proposal to require entities to disclose ‘material’ accounting policies instead of ‘significant’ accounting policies. However, given the importance of the wording, the staff have been asked to bring revised drafting back for the Board to consider. The finalisation should not be delayed to align with any changes arising from the ED General Presentation and Disclosures. However, the staff will consider whether to align the effective date of this amendment with the amendments to IAS 8 under the Accounting policies and accounting estimates project.

Management commentary: The Board supported the staff recommendations for the disclosure objectives and the type of information that would support those objectives in relation to risk and the external evironment.

Research programme update: The staff updated the Board on the research programme, including recent changes to the timetable and priorities.

There was also an oral update of IBOR Reform and the Effects on Financial Reporting: Based on informal discussions, the overall feedback of the ED is supportive and positive. The comment letter analysis and potential changes will be discussed in the June 2020 meeting.

Please click to access the detailed notes taken by Deloitte observers for the entire meeting.

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ICAEW and ICAS produce guidance for SME businesses on going concern and COVID-19

22 May 2020

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) have prepared a guide to assist owners and directors of SME businesses in assessing going concern in light of COVID-19.

The publication explains the importance of assessing going concern and outlines some factors to consider when making this assessment.

The full publication is available on the ICAEW website.

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AAOIFI statement on COVID-19 accounting implications for Islamic financial institutions

22 May 2020

The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) has published a statement 'Accounting implications of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic'.

The objective of the statement is to provide clarifications to Islamic financial institutions for the application of AAOIFI financial accounting standards (FASs) and the AAOIFI's Conceptual Framework considering certain pertinent issues arising due to economic factors and regulatory interventions in the wake of the COVID-­19 pandemic. AAOIFI is of the view that the FASs are robust and flexible enough to address the challenges posed by the prevalent uncertainty in the environment, but emphasises that institutions are encouraged to provide additional disclosures on voluntary basis to enable the users of the financial statements to better understand the financial position and performance of the institutions.

Please click to access the statement on the AAOIFI website.

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IASB announces webinars of PFS ED and on Goodwill DP

22 May 2020

In December 2019, the IASB published the exposure draft of a new standard 'General Presentation and Disclosures' that is intended to replace IAS 1 'Presentation of Financial Statements' and in March 2020 a discussion paper 'Business Combinations — Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment' was published. Both consultation documents will see live webinars in early June.

On Wednesday 10 June 2020 at 11am (BST) the live webinar on the Board’s exposure draft General Presentation and Disclosures will be held and will explain the Board’s detailed proposals for subtotals and categories in the statement of profit and loss. The webinar will last approximately 45 minutes and will include a question-and-answer session. More information is available here.

On Friday 5 June 2020 at 11am (BST) the live webinar on the Board’s discussion paper Business Combinations — Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment will be held and will provide an overview of the discussion paper. The webinar will last approximately 45 minutes and will include a question-and-answer session. More information is available here.


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IIRC publishes consultation draft of its revised Framework

22 May 2020

In February 2020, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) launched the revision of the International <IR> Framework and called for market feedback on specific themes to inform the nature and direction of the revision. A consultation draft of the revised Framework has now been released for a 90 day comment period.

The consultation draft has been informed by the 300 responses the IIRC received on three topic papers published in February, ongoing observation of market practice internationally, as well as the detailed deliberations of the IIRC’s Framework Panel, a diverse group of reporting experts from the business, investor and accountancy communities. Feedback on the draft is requested through an online survey and via participation in one of over 20 virtual roundtables hosted by the IIRC’s partners globally.

Please click for more information, access to the draft and access to a companion document setting out the basis for the proposed Framework revisions on the IIRC website.

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FRC updates its COVID-19 guidance for companies to include reporting of exceptional items and APMs

20 May 2020

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has updated its COVID-19 guidance for companies to explain how they should report exceptional items and alternative performance measures (APMs) in their reports and accounts in light of COVID-19.

The FRC previously updated its guidance for companies in May 2020 to include going concern considerations for interim reporters. This second May update still covers those areas included in that earlier guidance which include:

  • Key areas of focus for boards in maintaining strong corporate governance and high-level guidance on some of the most pervasive issues that should be considered when preparing annual reports and other corporate reporting.
  • Management information
  • Risk management and internal controls systems
  • Dividends and capital maintenance
  • Corporate reporting
  • Strategic Report and Viability Statement
  • Financial statements – going concern and material uncertainties, significant judgements and estimation uncertainty and events after the reporting date.
  • Interim reporting considerations

Exceptional items

The FRC indicates that companies will need to consider whether any additional items of income and expenditure arising from COVID-19 should be separately disclosed as ‘exceptional’ items in accordance with their existing policies. These might include restructuring costs, impairment charges, incremental health and safety costs and the costs of onerous contracts.  When making such disclosures the FRC highlights that companies should:

  • be even-handed in identifying any gains as well as losses;
  • not describe amounts as ‘non-recurring’ or ‘one-off’ if they are also expected to arise in future periods;
  • not disclose costs (sometimes described as ‘stranded’, ‘sunk’ or ‘excess’) as exceptional solely because of a reduction in, or elimination of, the related revenue streams due to Covid-19; and
  • not identify incremental costs as exceptional if they result in incremental revenue that is not also described as exceptional; for example, additional staff costs related to managing unusually high levels of sales of in-demand items.

Additionally the FRC highlights that where the impacts of COVID-19 are so pervasive and therefore difficult to quantify, additional narrative disclosures should be provided. Companies are discouraged from providing disclosures attempting to quantity the effect of COVID-19 where a split of discrete items has been made on an arbitrary basis. Companies should also consider the requirements of IAS 1 when presenting sub totals on the face of the income statement. Sub-totals based on a hypothetical or ‘pro-forma’ basis (for example adding back an estimate of ‘lost’ revenue) shown as either a line item or in a ‘third column’ would be inconsistent with the requirements of IAS 1.   

Alternative Performance Measures

With respect to APMs the FRC indicates that they should:

  • have clear and accurate labelling;
  • have an explanation of their relevance and use;
  • be reconciled to the closest IFRS measure;
  • not be given more prominence than the equivalent IFRS measures; and
  • be presented consistently year on year.

Where the effects of COVID-19 have led to a change in APMs the FRC highlights that sufficient disclosure should be provided to inform the reader of the change and why the new measures provide more relevant and more reliable information. The FRC warns that it does not expect to see companies disclosing APMs which attempt to provide a measure of ‘normalised’ or ‘pro-forma’ results, excluding the impact of COVID-19 due to their high subjectivity and therefore unreliability.

The updated guidance for companies is available on the FRC website.

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ESMA statement on the implications of the COVID-19 outbreak on the half-yearly financial reports

20 May 2020

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a public statement calling for transparency on COVID-19 effects in half-yearly financial reports.

The statement highlights:

  • the importance of providing relevant and reliable information, which may require issuers to make use of the time allowed by national law to publish half-yearly financial reports while not unduly delaying the timing of publication;
  • the importance of updating the information included in the latest annual accounts to adequately inform stakeholders of the impacts of COVID-19, in particular in relation to significant uncertainties and risks, going concern, impairment of non-financial assets and presentation in the statement of profit or loss; and
  • the need for entity-specific information on the past and expected future impact of COVID-19 on the strategic orientation and targets, operations, performance of issuers as well as any mitigating actions put in place to address the effects of the pandemic.

ESMA also notes that the statement is also applicable to financial statements in other interim periods when IAS 34 Interim Financial Reporting is applied.

Please click to access the statement on the ESMA website.

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