Date recorded:

The IASB met on Monday 14, Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 December 2020, by video conference. 

Maintenance and Consistent Application—IFRIC Update: At its December meeting the IFRS Interpretations Committee finalised an agenda decision in relation to supplier financing. At this meeting, the Board cleared that decision. If four or more Board members had objected, the decision would not have been published. This is the first agenda decision to be subjected to the revised due process. The final agenda decision was published immediately after the meeting, on 14 December, and can be accessed at https://www.ifrs.org/news-and-events/updates/ifric-updates/december-2020/#5.

Disclosure Initiative—Subsidiaries that are SMEs: The IASB is developing a Standard setting out reduced disclosure requirements for subsidiaries that apply IFRS Standards, but meet the definition of an SME. At this meeting, the Board decided to seek views on whether the consultation document should include proposed reduced disclosure requirements for IFRS 17; and that IFRS 1 not be amended and that transition provisions are not required. The Board also decided that if an entity stops applying the reduced disclosure Standard that the comparatives should apply full IFRS; that the reduced disclosures can be applied for the ‘first time’ more than once; and that the Standard is optional and an entity can reverse its decision to apply it.

SME Standard review and update: The IASB published Request for Information (RFI) ‘Comprehensive Review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard' in January. The IASB received 66 comment letters, mainly from accountancy bodies and standard-setting bodies. Overall, respondents expressed support for the IFRS for SMEs Standard to be based on full IFRS Standards. The paper also contains feedback on the specific questions asked in the RFI. The Board decided that the SME Implementation Group (SMEIG) be asked to develop a set of recommendations for the Board in its review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard. The next meeting of the SMEIG is planned for February 2021.

Disclosure Initiative—Accounting Policies: The Board is amending IAS 1 and its Practice Statement on applying materiality. The Board decided not to add any transition requirements and that the Practice Statement not include anything that would allow a reader to identify which version of the Practice Statement they were reading. They also decided to change the wording in IAS 1:117B.

Primary Financial Statements: In December 2019, the IASB published Exposure Draft ED/2019/7 General Presentation and Disclosures. The staff have summarised feedback from the 215 comment letters it received, outreach activities, fieldwork and a review of academic literature. There are 11 papers, each summarising an aspect of the feedback. To give a flavour of the feedback, there was support for many aspects of the proposals, such as defined subtotals and categories in the statement of profit or loss and introducing a definition for unusual items. But many respondents thought additional guidance was required and most did not agree with the proposed definition of unusual items. There was broad support for the proposed roles for the primary financial statements and the notes. However, there was almost no support for separating integral and non-integral associates and joint ventures and the proposals related to management performance measures received mixed, and strongly expressed, views. The staff did not ask the Board to make any decisions but asked for feedback and for the Board to identify areas they thought would require further research. The Board discussion lasted over four hours, although they did not get to all of the papers. The Board was particularly interested in making sure adequate consideration was given to how the various parts of the project link together. The staff will bring the papers not discussed back to the next meeting and start to set out their plans for the project.

Post-implementation review of IFRS 9—Classification and Measurement: In October 2020, the Board decided to begin the post-implementation review (PIR) of the IFRS 9 classification and measurement requirements. The staff plan to identify and assess the matters to be examined, which will then form the basis for a public Request for Information (RFI). The staff expect the PIR will take around 18-24 months to complete, with the RFI being issued in the third quarter of 2021. The Board provided feedback to the staff.

Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity: The Board decided to move the FICE project from the research programme to the standard-setting programme.

Pensions Benefits that depend on Asset Returns: In January the Board decided to develop examples to illustrate how a proposed capped approach would compare to the outcome of the existing requirements in IAS 19 for defined benefit plans with benefits that vary with asset returns. The Board provided feedback on an illustrative example.

For an analysis of how the IASB work plan has changed after this meeting, please see here.

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