We comment on proposed IASCF Constitution changes

24 Feb 2005

We have posted (PDF 27k) in response to the IASCF's November 2004 Invitation to Comment titled Review of the IASC Foundation Constitution: Proposals for Change.

Click here for a Summary of the Proposed Constitution Changes. Here is an excerpt from our response:

The IASC Foundation has a vital role to play in achieving the goal of one set of high-quality global accounting standards. In protecting the independence of the International Accounting Standards Board, while ensuring its public accountability, it must balance the legitimate demands of constituents for access and responsiveness against the Board's need to develop high-quality accounting standards that serve the interests of those making economic decisions in an atmosphere that is free of political interference. However, the IASC Foundation must also work to achieve greater accountability and transparency in its own affairs, especially in the oversight of the IASB and its sub-groups (including the appointment, assessment and reappointment of Board Members) as well as the appointment and reappointment of the Trustees. We are disappointed that the proposals in the Invitation to Comment make such modest proposals for change and have not responded to many of the comments made by us in our comment letter of 11 February 2004 and our written evidence before the Trustees' Constitution Committee submitted on 20 May 2004, as well as by other respondents.

Paul Volcker will address ARC tomorrow

24 Feb 2005

The agenda for tomorrow's meeting in Brussels of the Accounting Regulatory Committee, which advises the European Commission on endorsement of IFRSs for use in Europe, has changed significantly from the one we reported in our news story of 3 February 2005.

The agenda for tomorrow includes 3½ hours on the IASCF constitution review, starting with a one-hour presentation by Paul A. Volcker, Chairman of the IASC Foundation board of trustees, which oversees the IASB. His presentation will be followed by a 2½ hour discussion of ARC's draft letter of response. The previously announced agenda had provided for only 30 minutes on this topic. In addition, ARC will vote on whether to recommend IFRIC 2 Members' Shares in Co-operative Entities and Similar Instruments for use in Europe. Also, EFRAG will make a presentation on its non-endorsement of IFRIC 3 (see yesterday's news story). Click to download the (PDF 13k).

EFRAG proposes not to endorse IFRIC 3

23 Feb 2005

The Technical Expert Group of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has invited comments on its draft letter to the European Commission recommending that the Commission not adopt IFRIC 3 'Emission Rights' for use in Europe.

The letter states the following:

"EFRAG has concerns about the overall effect of the accounting requirements in IFRIC 3, particularly in circumstances where entities have not acquired or sold allowances.

EFRAG believes that applying IFRIC 3 will not always result in economic reality being reflected and relevant information being provided.... EFRAG has concluded that the disadvantages that would arise from endorsing an interpretation constrained by the interplay of the current IFRSs/IASs are not outweighed by the advantages that would be gained by having guidance on the accounting on the emission right schemes."

Click to Download the Draft Letter on IFRIC 3. Comments are due 22 March 2005.


US SEC invites comments on internal control reporting

23 Feb 2005

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has invited written comments from registrants, auditors, investors, and others on their experiences with implementing and evaluating the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

The Commission will also conduct a roundtable discussion on 13 April 2005 at its offices in Washington. Section 404 requires SEC registrants, including foreign companies, to report on management's responsibilities to establish and maintain adequate internal control over the company's financial reporting process, as well as management's assessment of the effectiveness of those internal controls. Auditors are required to report on management's assessment, as well as on the effectiveness of the company's controls. Click for More Information from the SEC website.

IASB project timetable updated

23 Feb 2005

We have updated our Timetable for Current IASB Agenda Projects to reflect recent changes announced by the IASB in its newsletter or at Board meetings. .

We have updated our Timetable for Current IASB Agenda Projects to reflect recent changes announced by the IASB in its newsletter or at Board meetings.

IASB releases draft on fair value option

22 Feb 2005

The IASB has released a preliminary draft of a possible new approach to the fair value option in IAS 39 for discussion at public roundtable meetings that the Board will conduct on Wednesday 16 March 2005 at the Crowne Plaza City Hotel, 19 New Bridge Street, London, 8:30am-4:00pm.

The IAS 39 fair value option permits entities to designate, at the time of acquisition or issuance, any financial asset or financial liability to be measured at fair value, with value changes recognised in profit or loss. When the European Commission adopted IAS 39 for use in Europe, they prohibited companies from applying the fair value option to liabilities on grounds that such treatment is inconsistent with the European accounting directives. You can Download the Fair Value Option Draft from the IASB's website.

EFRAG supports IFRICs 4 and 5

21 Feb 2005

The Technical Expert Group of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has sent a letter to the European Commission recommending adoption, for use in Europe, of IFRIC 4 Determining whether an Arrangement Contains a Lease and IFRIC 5 Decommissioning, Restoration and Environmental Rehabilitation Funds.

The letters can be downloaded from EFRAG's Website.

SEC guidance on operating leases

21 Feb 2005

Deloitte (USA) has published a special edition of our (PDF 106k) discussing certain recent clarifications by the SEC staff regarding lessee accounting for operating leases.

These clarifications apply to all SEC registrants, domestic and foreign, regardless of industry. The clarifications relate to amortisation of leasehold improvements, rent holidays, and landlord-tenant incentives. Some new disclosures are specified.

Stock options legislation reintroduced in US House

21 Feb 2005

The political battle in Washington over accounting for stock options has been reopened.

On 17 February 2005, 23 members of the US House of Representatives introduced legislation that would impose a three-year moratorium on the SEC's enforcement of FASB Statement 123. FAS 123 was revised in December 2004 to require all companies to account for all share-based payments, including stock options, at fair value – similarly to IFRS 2. During the three years, the SEC would be required to study the impact that expensing options may have on the US economy and on 'small entrepreneurial businesses'. The bill would require listed companies that offer stock options to disclose "plain-English descriptions of share value dilution, expanded and more prominent disclosure of stock option-related information, and a summary of stock options granted to the five most highly compensated officers". The bill would not prohibit voluntary expensing of stock options by SEC registrants. The Senate must also pass the same legislation before the bill becomes law. The new proposal, known as HR 913, is similar to a bill (HR 3574) that was approved by the House in July 2004 by a vote of 312 to 111, with 10 nonvoting. The US Senate did not enact an equivalent of HR 3574, so it did not become law. HR 913 has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

Three new IASC Foundation trustees

21 Feb 2005

The Trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation (IASCF), under which the IASB operates, have appointed three new Trustees: Oscar Fanjul, Vice Chairman, Omega Capital, and former Chairman Founder and CEO, Repsol, SA, Spain; Tsuguoki (Aki) Fujinuma, Chairman and President, Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Japan ; and Antonio Vegezzi, President and Director, Capital International SA, Switzerland. The appointments take effect immediately and are for terms ending 31 December 2007. Messrs Fanjul, Fujinuma, and Vegezzi fill the vacancies left by the departure of Guido Ferrarini, Koji Tajika and John Biggs, respectively.

Click here for Complete List of the 19 IASCF Trustees. Click here for Press Release (PDF 61k), which includes short bios of the three new trustees.

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