Most EU countries favour endorsing IAS 39 now

31 May 2004

The European Commission has recently posted the (PDF 31k) of the 30 April 2004 meeting of the Accounting Regulatory Committee.

With regard to endorsement of IAS 39 for use in Europe, those notes say, in part:


Most Member States opposed postponing the date of application of IAS 39. Many reasons were invoked: advanced state of preparedness of companies, impact on European financial markets, impact on international agenda (convergence, etc.). One regulator stated that it was a matter of credibility for European capital markets to respect the deadline of 1.1.2005 set by the IAS Regulation.

Most Member States considered that progress had been made regarding both IAS 32 and IAS 39, whilst recognising that some important issues were still outstanding (e.g. insurance mismatch, hedging provisions, fair value option). One Member State added that since the perfect solution was out of sight, Member States should go forward since standard setting is an evolutionary process. Another Member indicated that it was not closing the door to any solution, while remaining very supportive of the position of the banking industry and hopeful that substantial progress could be achieved rapidly. Many Member States invited EFRAG to deliver its endorsement advice on IAS 39. The Chairman of EFRAG informed Member States that the Technical Expert Group was preparing its draft endorsement advice to the Commission.

Many Member States stressed that the situation had become critical in terms of timing for the endorsement of IAS 39 and that the market needed certainty. Nonetheless, all Member States agreed to last efforts being made before the end of May, suggesting that a mechanism be put in place to allow the Commission to consult them before taking a final decision. The Chairman indicated that another meeting of the ARC would be held early or mid-June for this purpose.

Deloitte comments on IASCF Constitution review

31 May 2004

Our firm will be participating in the hearings that the trustees of the IASC Foundation will hold later this month as part of their Review of the IASCF Constitution.

Joint IASB-ASB-FASB advisory group on comprehensive income

30 May 2004

Three accounting standards setting bodies are jointly forming an advisory group to assist in their project on Reporting Comprehensive Income -- also known as performance reporting.

The three are the International Accounting Standards Board, the United Kingdom Accounting Standards Board, and the United States Financial Accounting Standards Board. The advisory group will have about 20 members, most of whom will be professionals with significant experience and responsibility for preparing, analysing, auditing, or regulating financial statements. Nominations for membership on the advisory group should be submitted by 25 June 2004. Click for More Information (PDF 24k).

UK FSA CEO urges acceptance of IAS 39 in Europe

30 May 2004

In a recent Speech (PDF 199k) at the 2004 Financial Services Authority Conference in London, FSA Chief Executive John Tiner urged that European banks and other listed companies accept IAS 39 and focus on ensuring a smooth transition to IFRSs in 2005. An excerpt from Mr Tiner's remarks: It is no secret that IAS 39 in particular is not a perfect standard and that the EU financial services sector has misgivings about potential volatility in earnings.

However, especially in recent months there has been a full and transparent debate about the major concerns and I believe all parties have worked hard and collaboratively to understand and, where appropriate, accommodate these. It is my impression that there is a growing belief that it is better to accept the standard as it is currently drafted for use in 2005 and seek to improve it after that. The FSA shares that view. We are concerned that EU listed companies do not yet know how they will be required to account for the most important financial assets and liabilities on their balance sheets and the billions, or perhaps even trillions, of Euros in financial instruments not on the balance sheets. And we are only a few months from the start date. It is more important to have certainty at this stage than to strive for perfection.

Agreement between SEC and European regulators

29 May 2004

The Director of the Office of International Affairs of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Secretary-General of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) have announced an agreement for enhanced cooperation and collaboration on cross-border securities regulatory matters.

The overall goals of the cooperation are to identify emerging risks in the US and EU securities markets, and to engage in early discussions of potential regulatory initiatives in the interest of promoting convergence where possible. Detailed terms of the agreement will be announced at the upcoming CESR plenary meeting on 4 June 2004. Click for SEC Announcement (link to SEC website). The announcement is also on CESR's Website.

IASC Foundation is seeking an Asia-Pacific trustee

28 May 2004

The IASC Foundation is seeking to appoint a Trustee resident in the Asia-Pacific region with senior experience in the field of accounting.

Click for Announcement (PDF 7k).

IFRIC issues its first interpretation

28 May 2004

The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) has published its first interpretation.

IFRIC Interpretation 1 Changes in Existing Decommissioning, Restoration and Similar Liabilities contains guidance on accounting for changes in decommissioning, restoration and similar liabilities that have previously been recognised both as part of the cost of an item of property, plant and equipment and as a provision (liability). An example would be a liability that was recognised by the operator of a nuclear power plant for costs that it expects to incur in the future when the plant is shut down (decommissioned). The interpretation addresses subsequent changes to the amount of the liability that may arise from (a) a revision in the timing or amount of the estimated decommissioning or restoration costs or from (b) a change in the current market-based discount rate. Click for Press Release (PDF 27k).

Four IASB members are reappointed

28 May 2004

The trustees of the foundation that oversees the International Accounting Standards Board have reappointed four members of the Board with effect from 1 July 2004. Thomas E.

Jones (who is the Board's vice-chairman) and Mary E. Barth will each serve a further term of five years, expiring on 30 June 2009, and Anthony T. Cope and Patricia L. O'Malley will each serve a second three-year term, expiring on 30 June 2007. Click for Press Release (PDF 26k), which includes biographies of the four Board members.

EFRAG technical group meetings open to public observation

27 May 2004

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) will open the meetings of its Technical Expert Group to public observation starting with its meeting to be held on 2-4 June 2004. For more information and to download the registration form go to the EFRAG Website.

Registration must be completed no later than 1 June 2004.

New Australian Accounting Alert

26 May 2004

We have posted the latest (PDF 45k) from Deloitte Australia.

This issue is a Financial Instruments Update, reflecting the AASB's approval of a change to Pending AASB 139 to incorporate the macro hedging amendments to IAS 39 and the AASB's request for comments on the proposed "fair value option" amendment to IAS 39. This Accounting Alert provides an overview of the actual and proposed amendments to AASB 139 and some analysis of the issues arising.

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