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Report from October 2012 IFASS meeting released

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Jan 17, 2013

A report has been issued summarizing the discussions at the meeting of the International Forum of Accounting Standard Setters (IFASS, formerly the NSS) held in Zurich on October 22 and 23, 2012. The meeting covered a broad range of topics, including the future relationships between the IASB and regional and national standard setters, topical issues in financial reporting, reports from regional groups, and administrative matters.

The meeting was attended by representatives of standard setters from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peoples Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Representatives of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), the IFRS Foundation, the IASB, and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) also attended.

Highlights from the meeting include:

  • There was much discussion on the relationship between the IASB and national and regional standard setters, and the forthcoming proposals for the creation of an Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF). There were mixed views, but overall, there was widespread support for the creation of the ASAF.
  • Notwithstanding the ASAF proposals, there appeared to be consensus that the IFASS should continue "at least in the near term" but that IFASS's future role would be considered at the next meeting.
  • In relation to technical issues discussed:
    • There was general consensus that a complete overhaul of IAS 12, Income Taxes, was not an immediate requirement.
    • There was a clear interest that work should continue on the issue of business combinations under common control.
    • Various views were expressed on the IPSASB Consultation Paper on public sector combinations.
    • It was agreed that the group's project on unit of account should continue.
    • Various topics related to disclosures were discussed, with views expressed such as "preparers and users are unhappy with the state of affairs regarding disclosure."
    • Reports on the standard-setter led projects on intangible assets acquired in a business combination, goodwill amortization and impairment, accounting for greenhouse gas emission rights, investment tax credits, and the discount rate to be applied in IAS 19, Employee Benefits, were received and debated.
  • Ian Mackintosh (IASB vice chairman) gave a summary of the IASB's work plan and participated in various discussions about the projects and priorities going forward. Many of the matters discussed are similar to the matters noted in the IASB's Feedback Statement on its Agenda Consultation 2011.
  • Reports from the various regional groups (AOSSG, EFRAG, GLASS, and PAFA) were received.
  • Various administrative matters were discussed.

The next meeting of the IFASS will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 17 and 18, 2013.

Click for the full report (link to Australian Accounting Standards Board website).

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