Investor outreach strategy
Barbara Davidson outlined the activities that the IASB has been undertaking to engage across the investor community. The Council was asked to consider four issues:
- What should be the objective(s) of the IASB’s investment community engagement programme?
- Is there a clear understanding of the process undertaken by the Board and project teams to embed the views of the investment community into their decision-making?
- Does the IASB place appropriate weight on the information needs of the investment community in its decision-making process?
- Should the IASB be doing anything differently to incentivise and engage investors to provide us feedback on their work?
A wide-ranging discussion followed as the Council debated these issues. The Capers representative suggested that education be added to (d), especially with respect to users in the United States: why IFRSs are important to US investors? How IFRSs differ from US GAAP and what the effect of these differences might be? A Canadian preparer echoed the need for better education, to close the communication gap between what the IASB is proposing and how and why it matters to users.
The challenges of communicating the IASB’s due process and the opportunities for users to influence the debate were discussed. In many ways, asking users to initiate their involvement at the exposure draft stage is too late for many investors. Mr Macey noted that even now, the initiative for many developments in corporate governance has come from asset managers, not necessarily analysts.
The role of relevance to management of changes in IFRSs is as important to selling a change in accounting standards as it would be for investors and users. The Leases project was an example of how the IASB might use a “here is what you get now and here is what you will receive under the new standard.”