ECON votes to confirm EC proposal for role of EFRAG president

30 May 2016

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) of the European Parliament (EP) agreed today with the candidate proposed by the European Commission for the role of President of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).

In his opening remarks, the candidate, Mr Jean-Paul Gauzès, described the role as EFRAG president as he saw it as one of liaison and reflection. He stressed that that the European Union does not have its own standard-setter and therefore has to make its voice heard directly and prominently with the IASB to make sure IASB standards do not conflict with European regulations and needs.

Mr Gauzès hearing was rather a home game - he is a former member of the ECON and stressed that the EP voice needs to be given more consideration. He offered regular meetings with ECON to discuss technical matters and praised the ECON report on current accounting standard-setting. He stated that the new EFRAG leadership "won't be held captive by previous practice" and admitted that while EFRAG is a body to advise the European Commission "the institution close to my heart is the EU Parliament". In response, the ECON congratulated itself that the fact that a former ECON member was proposed as EFRAG president showed the wisdom the European commission and growing influence of the EP and asked the candidate to reverse the role where EFRAG was an advocate of the IASB standard-setting to one where the IASB would listen to EFRAG.

On technical issues, the hearing briefly touched on IFRS 9, prudence, simplifications for SMEs, and the financial crisis. However, Mr Gauzès stressed that technical matters should be discussed in the regular meetings he offered.

In the final vote, 36 ECON members voted for the candidate, 5 against and 2 abstained.

The European Parliament has issued a press release and the recording of the session is available here (hearing begins at 17:49h, please note that you can choose the language you want to listen in).

ECON report on current accounting standard-setting now in the public domain

26 May 2016

The report on the activities of the IFRS Foundation, EFRAG and the PIOB that the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) of the European Parliament (EP) voted on at the end of April is now publicly available.

As explained before, the report will not be legally binding but has been submitted as motion for a EP resolution and would serve as guidance and reference in future EU law-making processes.

Please click to access the report on the EP website.

Frequently asked questions on the ESMA APM Guidelines

25 May 2016

In June 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its final Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (APMs) for listed issuers that are effective from 3 July 2016. Since many questions on the application of these guidelines have reached the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the FRC has developed a set of responses to frequently asked questions.

The publication is aimed of course at a UK audience, however, with the exception of the last question the answers are relevant to all EU issuers that come under the ESMA guidelines:

  • What is an APM?
  • Are APMs prohibited or required?
  • Do the Guidelines apply to all APMs?
  • What APMs should be provided?
  • How should APMs be presented?
  • What disclosures should be given about APMs?
  • How will the FRC monitor compliance with the Guidelines?

Please click to access the questions and answers on the FRC website.

Joint Statement on the use of IFRSs in Indonesia

25 May 2016

In connection with the IFRS Foundation Trustees’ meeting currently held in Jakarta, the Trustees, the Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK) and the Institute of Indonesia Chartered Accountants (IAI) have signed a joint agreement that is aimed at a deepened cooperation as Indonesia furthers the convergence of its national GAAP with IFRSs.

Indonesia's current approach to IFRS adoption is to maintain its national GAAP (Indonesian Financial Accounting Standards, IFAS) and converge it gradually with IFRSs as much as possible while for the moment keeping a one year difference with IFRSs.

The joint statement reaffirms Indonesia’s commitment to the G20-endorsed goal of a single set of global accounting standards and highlights the importance of IFRSs for increasing the attractiveness of the ASEAN region to investors.

All parties agree that IFRSs must be capable of being applied on a globally consistent basis across both emerging and developed economies and must be relevant to all types of financial transactions.

As a follow up of the agreement, the OJK and the IAI intend to establish a joint working group to further explore the use of IFRSs in Indonesia.

Please click to access the following information on the IASB website:

Former French MEP to be heard as EFRAG President

23 May 2016

An agenda for the next meeting of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) of the European Parliament reveals that Jean-Paul Gauzès, Member of the European Parliament from 2004 until 2014, will be heard as candidate proposed by the European Commission for the role of President of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) on 30 May.

The agenda is available here; it does not reveal more than that there will be a hearing followed by an exchange of views and a vote.

Two appointments made to the IFRS Interpretations Committee

23 May 2016

The IFRS Foundation has announced the appointment of two new members to the IFRS Interpretations Committee. The Interpretations Committee is the interpretative body of the IFRS Foundation.

The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation have appointed Yang Zheng, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of China Life Insurance Company, and Bertrand Perrin, Director, Accounting Standards & Special Projects at Vivendi, to the IFRS Interpretations Committee for three-year terms beginning on 1 July 2016.

For more information, see the press release on the IASB's website.

Recent sustainability and integrated reporting developments

23 May 2016

A summary of recent developments at the GRI, the UNEP, the FSB/TCFD, and the IIRC and FEE.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) held its 5th GRI Global Conference last week. Quite a few developments were announced, discussed and commented on. Among other things, the UN Global Compact and GRI announced a renewed Memorandum of Understanding outlining continued collaboration over the next three years and GRI announced the launch of a Digital Reporting Alliance. There is a dedicated GRI website with all press releases issued in connection with and during the three day conference.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and GRI have jointly published their annual report on regulation on sustainability reporting offering an overview of global trends and develoipments. Please click to access the 2016 edition of Carrots & Sticks (external link).

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has announced the names of additional members of its Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) for the second phase of the work of the task force. Among the new members is Eric Dugelay, Global Leader of Sustainability Services at Deloitte. Please click for more information of the FSB website.

On 6 April, the The Federation of European Accountants (Fédération des Experts-comptables Européens, FEE) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) held a joint event "Enhancing transparency and value: From the Non-Financial Information Directive to Integrated Reporting". A report from that event is now available on the IIRC website.

Agenda for the June 2016 IFRS Advisory Council meeting

21 May 2016

An agenda has been released for the upcoming meeting of the IFRS Advisory Council, which is being held in London on 13-14 June 2016. Highlights of the meeting will be thorough discussions of the 2015 Agenda Consultation and of technological disruption of financial reporting.

A summary of the agenda is set out below:

Monday 13 June 2016

Morning session (09:15-13:00)

  • Welcome and Chairman's preview
  • IASB and IFRS Foundation activities
  • 2015 Agenda Consultation
    • Introduction
    • Break-out session
  • Members' communications

Afternoon session (14:00-17:00)

  • Trustee activities
  • Review of structure and effectiveness of the IFRS Foundation – May 2016 Trustee meeting report
  • Technological disruption of financial reporting
    • Introduction
    • Break-out session

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Morning session (09:30-12:30)

  • 2015 Agenda Consultation – report back from break-out sessions
  • Timeline for developing Standards – IFRS 16 Leases as an example

Afternoon session (13:30-15:15)

  • Technological disruption of financial reporting – report back from break-out sessions
  • Sum up discussions

Some agenda papers for the meeting are already available on the IASB website, the rest will be posted in due course.

EFRAG, EFFAS and ABAF/BVFA joint investor outreach on leases

20 May 2016

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS), and the Association Belge des Analystes Financiers (ABAF/BVFA) will host a joint event on 5 July in Brussels on new leases standard, IFRS 16.

The event will feature discussions related to the main differences between the new leases standard (IFRS 16) and the existing standard (IAS 17). In addition, participates will have a chance to express their views concerning the implementation of the new standard. Views expressed will be considered by the EFRAG as it develops its endorsement status advice.

For more information, see the press release on the EFRAG’s website.

IASB updates work plan

20 May 2016

Following its May 2016 meeting, the IASB has updated its work plan. As mentioned before, directly tracing the Board's progress on the individual projects has become impossible since the change of the work plan format in July 2015, unless the Board makes definite progress or has to make larger corrections. Of these, only a few can be identified since the previous work plan. However, the IASB has begun to indicate the month which issuance of exposure drafts or final standards may occur.

Changes to the work plan include:

Major projects

  • No changes made to major projects.

Im­ple­men­ta­tion projects

In addition, the work plan has updated the details of the primary financial statements, income taxes, and share-based payment (where the IASB has decided not to perform any further research on this topic or to publish a formal consultation document) research projects and indicated that a feedback statement on the 2015 agenda consultation is expected within 6 months; previously it was after 6 months.

Independent of the work plan update the IASB has also confirmed that final amendments to IFRS 4 regarding the application of  IFRS 9 with IFRS 4 are expected to be published in September 2016.

The revised IASB work plan is available on the IASB's website.

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