Research update

Date recorded:

Agenda Paper 8: Research Programme: General Update

The Senior Director for Technical Activities said that he had heard concerns about the high number of projects on the research agenda. He said that the paper summarised those projects, their scope and their timing to address this concern.

The Vice-Chairman expressed concern that the category “projects expected to lead to new or substantially amended Standards within one or two years” was too ambitious. The Senior Director for Technical Activities said that, for example, with business combinations under common control, the question was clear and that the research project was about the solution. He said that if the feedback on the upcoming Discussion Paper would be positive, this could quickly lead to an Exposure Draft.

One Board member asked whether the agenda paper would be the core of the agenda consultation document or whether it should be left to constituents to name the projects that were most important to them. The Senior Director for Technical Activities replied that some projects should be pursued regardless of the outcome of the agenda consultation, for example, business combinations under common control.

Another Board member said that business combinations under common control interacted with an issue around the perspective of separate financial statements. The issue was around whether separate financial statements should be seen as a portion of the group or a separate legal entity. On the equity method of accounting project, she expressed concern that the proposed short-term project could head in a different direction than the long-term project so she would like to see the scope of both projects. With pensions, she said, hybrid schemes were an issue that needed to be prioritised. She also would like to see the process for the performance reporting project clarified.

The Senior Director for Technical Activities acknowledged the interaction between business combinations under common control and separate financial statements. With regard to the equity method, he said that a proposal to split the project would be presented in detail to the Board in its April meeting. He also acknowledged the urgency of the pension project but said that the solution was not simple so it would take some time.

One Board member asked what staff expected from the agenda consultation. The Senior Director for Technical Activities replied that the Board would be given the opportunity to prepare the agenda consultation over the next months. He said that it would also have to be decided how the research agenda and the agenda consultation interacted.

A Board member said that the project on contingent liabilities was more than an application issue in his view. The Senior Director for Technical Activities replied that he had not wanted to prejudge the issue and it was planned to discuss this issue in the May IASB meeting.

With reference to the project summary on foreign currency, one Board member said that lowering the project to enable the IASB and the Interpretations Committee to interpret the issue freely could cause inconsistencies if there was no conceptual basis for the interpretation.

No further comments were made.

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