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Summary of the September ASAF meeting now available

  • Meeting (dk green) Image

Oct 30, 2014

The IASB has published a summary of the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum’s (ASAF’s) September 25–26, 2014, meeting in London. Topics discussed include leases; discount rates; the post-implementation review of IFRS 3, “Business Combinations”; the conceptual framework; the disclosure initiative; insurance contracts; financial instruments with the characteristics of equity; the IFRS taxonomy; and the IASB's agenda.

Details of the meeting include the following:

  • Leases — Participants discussed the IASB's leases project and feedback from a report on additional outreach by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group. Mixed views were expressed on various aspects of the report as well as on the definition of a lease (including defining a lease as a financing arrangement). Participants also noted the importance of achieving convergence between the IASB and FASB.
  • Discount rates General support was expressed for the IASB's intended scope and approach related to research in this project. Participants also made a number of suggestions about topics to be considered and emphasized the importance of interaction between this project and the IASB's projects on the conceptual framework and insurance contracts.
  • Post-implementation review of IFRS 3 — Participants discussed a number of updates and reports and highlighted critical issues related to the subsequent accounting for goodwill (about which they had mixed views) and the definition of a business.
  • Conceptual framework — While participants expressed support for the direction being taken by the IASB in this project, they noted a number of concerns. They also discussed tentative decisions made by the IASB on measurement and the implications of long-term investment for the conceptual framework.
  • Disclosure initiative — Discussion included the purpose and order of notes to the financial statements, the role of materiality with respect to disclosures, the nature of significant accounting policies, and improving accounting policy disclosures.
  • Insurance contracts —The IASB sought feedback from ASAF members on accounting for contracts with participating features and transition (most noting that they preferred retrospective application as of the date of transition).
  • Financial instruments with characteristics of equityParticipants discussed whether the project could proceed as a fundamental review of IAS 32, Financial Instruments: Presentation, or whether IAS 32 should be maintained with improvements to presentation and disclosure requirements. Many ASAF members noted the necessity of a fundamental review to provide a better foundation that focuses on identifying the objectives of the distinction between liabilities and equity. One participant noted, however, that the IASB "should not necessarily start from an entirely blank sheet of paper."

A full report of the meeting is available on the IASB's Web site.

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