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IFRS for SMEs – review and update

Date recorded:

Project plan for the comprehensive review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard (Agenda Paper 30)

Background

The Board has previously decided that the IFRS for SMEs Standard will be reviewed periodically. The first comprehensive review commenced in 2012 and resulted in amendments to the Standard that were effective for period beginning on or after 1 January 2017. The Board has previously decided to start a new review two years after the effective date of amendments resulting from the previous review.

The staff propose to conduct this review in three phases:

  1. Develop and issue a Request for Information (RfI) (February—July 2019)
  2. Analyse the feedback from the RfI and issue an Exposure Draft (ED) (January 2020—February 2021)
  3. Analyse the feedback from the ED and issue amendments to the IFRS for SMEs Standard (July 2021—May 2022)

The focus of the RfI will be to obtain views on whether and how to incorporate IFRS Standards and amendments to IFRS Standards that are not incorporated in the IFRS for SMEs Standard. This includes IFRS 3 and IFRS 10–17.

The SME Implementation Group (SMEIG) will play a significant role in the review.

The Board will have the chance to comment on the timetable and the proposed topics for the review, but will not be asked to make any decisions in this session.

Discussion

One Board member asked if the post-implementation review (PIR) schedule will be taken into consideration when deciding on how to update the IFRS for SMEs Standard. The staff confirmed that for previous updates, the Board had decided to wait for a PIR to be completed, but it is for the Board to decide differently for this update.

One Board member said that as regards which Standards to incorporate into the IFRS for SMEs Standard, the staff would need to assess how the IFRS for SMEs Standard is fulfilling its purpose today. When making decisions, the Board would have to consider the needs of the entities within the scope of the Standard and the needs of their users.

One Board members asked whether the staff will review existing sections of the IFRS for SMEs Standard to see if there are any issues. The staff confirmed that known issues with existing sections would also be taken under review. Similarly, when asked whether there were any known implementation issues with the current Standard, the staff replied that the SMEIG had received relatively few submissions, but the known issues would be considered when updating the Standard.

One Board member reminded the Board that Standards should be effective and implemented before they can be incorporated in the IFRS for SMEs Standard. IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts does not meet that condition.

Several Board members welcomed the staff’s proposal that scope and principles of the Standard would also be reviewed as part of the update.

The Board unanimously agreed with the staff’s proposed timeline and its strategy of updating the Standard.

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