Report on IASB European 'Roadshows'

Date recorded:

The Board received an interim report of the results of the first 14 of 18 presentations involving IASB members and staff taking place in Europe during June and July 2005. Although a common presentation had been prepared, the meetings themselves had been quite different, with some involving active participation of the audience and others less so. A full debrief would be provided once all the visits had been completed, but the following points were noted:

  • The opportunity to speak with Board members and staff on 'home ground' was appreciated.
  • The benefits of switching to IFRS were beginning to be noticed, including better information than under previous GAAP; the need for IFRS to address complex issues (such as concessions) to avoid a loss of comparability; and better disclosure.
  • Obviously, there were some concerns, too, including the pace of change (but some wanted projects completed soon (e.g., segments); the volume and complexity of the standards; the degree of linkage (or lack of it) between management (internal) and external reporting; and local problems with separate financial statements.
  • Users were finding the switch to IFRS very beneficial, with improved comparability and better disclosure.
  • There were concerns expressed over the interpretation and enforcement of IFRS.
  • The push for convergence, in the light of talk of 'equivalence' was questioned.
  • There were often specific comments on Board projects, including the Framework, reporting performance and financial instruments.

The Board discussed how to build on the experience gained from the roadshows in all aspects of its operations, including the IASB Website, improvements to the Board's basis for conclusions and considering future focus meetings such as these.

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