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News

IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) (lt gray) Image

IFAC 2009 Global Leadership Survey

16 Jan 2010

Over 100 presidents and CEOs of IFAC member bodies responded to IFAC's Third Annual Global Leadership Survey.

Key findings cover a wide-range of topics, including the need to support small and midsize businesses in the current environment and the increasing importance of adoption of international standards. Here is an excerpt regarding international standards:
Confidence in international standards. Respondents believe that it is very important for IFAC to assist investors and other consumers of financial information in better understanding the standards and practices used by the profession. This includes, in particular, building confidence in international standards and developing and promoting adoption of high-quality international standards in auditing and assurance, public sector accounting, ethics, and accounting education. More than half had confidence that international standards would increase in importance over the next three years – and a similar number believe that the auditing and financial reporting standards published by IFAC (International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs)), along with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and IFRS for SMEs, will gain importance.

[On 22 January 2010, IFAC temporarily withdrew this report "to incorporate additional responses and update the list of respondents. The report will be re-issued within the next few weeks."]

IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) (blue) Image

Fair values in emerging and transition economies

15 Jan 2010

The IASB staff team working on Fair Value Measurement is seeking input from practitioners in emerging and transition economies to help them identify any issues that might require additional clarification in the final IFRS on fair value measurements.

The staff would like, in particular, 'examples or case studies of transactions or situations specific to your jurisdiction that would make the fair value measurement guidance as proposed in the exposure draft impractical'. The Board will review the input and consider:
  • amending the proposals in the exposure draft for the final IFRS if they are found to be inadequate in some situations, or
  • publishing educational material to address the practical application of the fair value measurement principles, or
  • a combination of both
Examples should be sent to fvm@iasb.org by 31 January 2010.

Click for our Fair Value Measurement page.

Currency (dk gray) Image

Joint Forum review of financial regulation

14 Jan 2010

The Joint Forum of financial supervisors has published Review of the Differentiated Nature and Scope of Financial Regulation: Key Issues and Recommendations.

This report analyses key issues arising from the differentiated nature of financial regulation in the international banking, insurance, and securities sectors. It also addresses gaps arising from the scope of financial regulation as it relates to different financial activities, with a particular focus on certain unregulated or lightly regulated entities or activities. The Joint Forum prepared this report at the request of the G-20 to help identify potential areas where systemic risks may not be fully captured in the current regulatory framework and to make recommendations on needed improvements to strengthen regulation of the financial system.
Annex 2 of the report (Fundamental Analysis of the Objectives of Financial Regulation) states: The objective of customer or stakeholder protection is not equivalent to the objective to reduce systemic risks. On the one hand, protecting customers may help to reduce systemic risk by for instance preserving market liquidity, while on the other this might increase systemic risks by undermining market discipline. To have financial supervisors put more emphasis on the objective of systemic risk reduction, the G-20 recommends in its 2009 report on Sound Regulation and Strengthening Transparency that 'as a supplement to their core mandate, the mandates of all national financial regulators, central banks, and oversight authorities, and of all international financial bodies and standard setters (IASB, BCBS, IAIS and IOSCO) should take account of financial system stability'.

The Joint Forum is a consortium of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors that addresses issues common to the banking, securities, and insurance sectors, including the supervision of financial conglomerates. Click to Download the Joint Forum Report and Recommendations (PDF 986k).

SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) (dark gray) Image

Common financial reporting issues facing smaller companies

14 Jan 2010

During 2009 the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board hosted a series of Forums on Auditing in the Small Business Environment.

Participants were auditors from smaller registered public accounting firms. At those Forums, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission reviewed common financial reporting issues facing smaller issuers that they have identified during their staff reviews of filings for smaller public companies. Click to download the SEC Staff Slide Presentation (PDF 267k) summarising some of the issues they have noted. Other SEC information for small businesses may be found here on the SEC's Website.

 

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Two Bound Volumes of IFRSs for 2010

13 Jan 2010

The IASB plans to publish two types of Bound Volume (BV) of IFRSs for 2010: One will be the traditional BV including all pronouncements issued at the publication date, including those that do not become mandatory until after 2010 (will have a red cover and nicknamed the "Red Book"). The other will be a BV of only those pronouncements whose application is mandatory as of 1 January 2010 (will have a blue cover and nicknamed the "Blue Book")

To give an example, in November 2009 the IASB issued IFRS 9 Financial Instruments with an effective date of 1 January 2013. This new IFRS, together with its copious amendments to other IFRSs, will be consolidated in the 2010 Bound Volume (the Red Book), as it was issued before 1 January 2010. It will not be included in the new Blue Book, as its effective date means that it is not required for annual reporting periods beginning on 1 January 2010.

The IASB expects to release the Blue Book – titled Consolidated Without Early Application – around 20 January 2010. They expect to have a facility for placing orders for this volume shortly on IASB's Website.

 

European Union (old) Image

Hearing on nomination of Michel Barnier

13 Jan 2010

Two committees of the European Parliament will hold joint hearings on the nomination of Michel Barnier as Commissioner for Internal Market and Services of the European Commission.

Mr Barnier has prepared written responses (PDF 156k) to questions posted in advance by the committees. His comments on accounting include:
In the area of financial information, one of my priorities will be the adoption by all of our partners, including the United States, of high-quality global accounting standards, in line with the recommendations of the G20. I would also like to improve the governance of the IASB significantly. As regards SMEs, I would like to put forward an ambitious proposal for the modernisation of accounting regulations. Lastly, with regard to the statutory audit of accounts, my priorities will be to enhance international cooperation in order to enable mutual recognition of supervisory systems in respect of [auditors], and potential adoption of the international [auditing] standards (ISA).

The EU has set up a special Website for Commissioner Confirmation Hearings. Click for Mr. Barnier's CV (PDF 76k).

FEE (Federation of European Accountants - Fédération des Experts-comptables Européens) (lt green) Image

FEE paper on bank provisioning and reserving

13 Jan 2010

The European Federation of Accountants (FEE) has published a paper Bank Provisioning and Reserving: A Comparison of Alternatives.

The paper is intended to help clarify the meaning of particular terms used by policy-makers, banks, regulators, accountants, and others in respect of bank provisioning and reserving, "since there is not yet a common understanding of what these terms are meant to cover". The paper is also intended to assist the readers of the recently issued joint EFRAG/FEE paper Impairment of Financial Assets: The Expected Loss Model (see IAS Plus News Story of 10 Dec 2009) by providing background information and an outline of the key terms of the various approaches and models that are currently being debated. FEE's announcement also notes that the paper "may also help to better understand the current discussions on impairment in relation to the proposals of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for the impairment of financial assets". Click for:

 

FSB (Financial Stability Board) (lt green) Image

Financial Stability Board welcomes IASB progress

10 Jan 2010

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) met in Basel on 9 January 2010 to take forward its regulatory policy reform agenda and reaffirm the timelines for policy development and implementation in 2010. The meeting also agreed on a framework for strengthening adherence to international standards, and reviewed current conditions and adjustment in the financial system.

Regarding IFRSs, the Report of the Meeting (PDF 42k) states:

Strengthening accounting standards. As requested by the G20 Leaders, the FSB continues to monitor progress in implementing G20 and FSB recommendations for improved, converged accounting standards. FSB members welcomed the IASB's plan to continue its enhanced technical dialogue with prudential authorities and market regulators on financial institution reporting issues, and to conclude its full review of the financial instruments standard by the end of this year.
IFRIC (International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee) (blue) Image

Notes from the January 2010 IFRIC meeting

09 Jan 2010

The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) met at the IASB's offices in London on Thursday and Friday 7 and 8 January 2010. We have posted preliminary and unofficial notes taken by Deloitte observers at the meeting.

The topics discussed were as follows (click through to access detailed Deloitte observer notes for each topic):

 

THURSDAY 7 JANUARY 2010 (10:00-18:15)

Introduction

Active Committee projects

Review of tentative agenda decisions published in November 2009 IFRIC Update

Annual improvements – Deliberation of comments received

 

FRIDAY 8 JANUARY 2010 (09:00-12:30)

Staff recommendations for tentative agenda decisions

Administrative session

 

Click to go to the preliminary and unofficial notes taken by Deloitte observers for the entire meeting.

Webcast (mid blue) Image

Deloitte webcast on year-end reporting

08 Jan 2010

On 13 January 2010, Deloitte (United States) will hold a 90-minute Dbriefs webcast on year-end reporting issues that will cover some IFRS matters.

Specific topics will include:
  • Themes and highlights from the December SEC/AICPA Conference
  • Recent developments related to US registrants' adoption of IFRSs
  • Regulatory views on disclosures related to goodwill impairments and non-GAAP measures
  • Comprehensive updates around the latest financial reporting developments
Details about the webcast:
  • Title: Year-End Reporting Issues: An Update on Current Issues and Items on the Horizon
  • Date and time: 13 January 2010, 2:00pm to 3:30pm US Eastern Standard Time (New York time)
  • Click here for More Information and Registration

 

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