Quantitative study on goodwill and goodwill impairment

30 Sep 2016

In connection with the post-implementation review of IFRS 3, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) conducted a study to find out when goodwill impairment was recognised and whether there was a bubble of goodwill building up. EFRAG has now published the quantative data gathered during the research to facilitate the debate related to the accounting for goodwill by providing evidence on how goodwill and goodwill impairment have evolved over time.

The main findings in Europe were (there is also a comparison with data from the US, Australia, and Japan):

  • From 2005 to 2014, the total amount of goodwill recognised increased from 935 billion euros to 1.341 billion euros, representing an increase of 43%;
  • A small number of companies account for a large share of the carrying amount of goodwill;
  • The ratio goodwill to total assets has remained fairly stable over the years at approximately 3,7%. The ratio is significantly higher when entities in Financials industry are excluded but has been gradually decreasing since 2009;
  • The ratio goodwill to net assets has been decreasing since 2008, but it was still significant in 2014 (29%);
  • The amount of impairment losses recognised was at the highest level in 2008 and 2011, years when the performance of the financial markets was negative. On average, impairment losses represented 2,7% of the opening balance of goodwill;
  • Impairment losses are significantly concentrated in a small number of companies, particularly in the Telecommunications and Financials indus­tries; and
  • Absolute and relative levels of goodwill and impairment losses vary significantly across industries.

Please click to access the study and a corresponding press release on the EFRAG website. The ASBJ's research report on the same topic can be accessed here.

FASB issues proposed ASU on insurance contracts

30 Sep 2016

The FASB has issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 'Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts'. The FASB's project runs parallel to the IASB's project to replace IFRS 4.

The proposal would amend the accounting and disclosure model for long-duration insurance contracts under US GAAP. The FASB believes that the proposal would improve the following aspects of the financial reporting for such contracts:

  • Measurement of the liability for future policy benefits,
  • Market risk benefits,
  • Deferred acquisition costs, and
  • Disclosures.

Specifically, the proposal aims to:

  • “Improve the timeliness of recognizing changes in the liability for future policy benefits by requiring that updated assumptions be used to measure the liability for future policy benefits (that is, that assumptions be ‘unlocked’) and modify the rate used to discount future cash flows.”
  • “Simplify and improve the accounting for certain options or guarantees embedded in variable contracts.”
  • “Simplify the amortization of deferred acquisition costs.”
  • “Improve the effectiveness of the required disclosures.”

These objectives are similar to the IASB's objectives in developing a new insurance contracts standard where one of the main changes also relates to the treatment of long-duration contracts. Paragraphs BC87-BC89 of the proposed ASU explains the treatment of insurance contracts under IFRSs. Issuance of IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts is currently expected in March 2017.

Comments on the proposed ASU are due by 15 December 2016. For more information, see the press release, proposed ASU, and FASB in Focus newsletter on the FASB’s website.

Updated overview of Ind AS

27 Sep 2016

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has published 'Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS): An Overview (Revised 2016)'.

The publication offers an overview of various aspects of Ind AS, which are largely converged with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs):

  • Roadmap for Ind AS application;
  • Carve-outs from IFRS/IAS;
  • Changes in financial reporting under Ind AS compared to financial reporting under existing Indian accounting standards;
  • Summary of all the Ind AS including recent amendments to Ind AS.

The publication can be downloaded free of charge from the ICAI website.

IASB Chairman's welcome address at the World Standard-setters meeting

26 Sep 2016

In his opening remarks at the 2016 Word Standard-setters (WSS) meeting that is currently taking place in London, IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst spoke on IASB developments in the last 12 months, the Board's priorities for 2017 and beyond, and the cooperation between national standard-setters and the IASB.

Before beginning his technical remarks, however, Mr Hoogervorst said a few words on the recently passed away Director of International Activities at the IASB and Chairman of the IFRS Interpretations Committee, Wayne Upton. He reminded the audience that Mr Upton was, at different times, Research Director, Chair of the IFRS Interpretations Committee, Chair of the Emerging Economies Group, and Coordinator of the Islamic Finance Consultative Group. Mr Hoogervorst then led the audience in a few moments of silence remembering Wayne Upton.

IASB developments in the last 12 months

Looking back on the year that has passed since the last WSS meeting, Mr Hoogervorst noted that technically it had been a very busy year. He mentioned the issuance of IFRS 16 in January 2016 that finally brought most leases onto the balance sheet as a highlight. He also noted that this standard is the first to have benefitted from the recommendations of the Effects Analysis Working Group.

Regarding progress towards global standards, Mr Hoogervorst stressed that the year had been Asia's year. He noted the quickly increasing number of Japanese companies voluntarily applying IFRSs, China's reaffirmed commitment to achieve full convergence with IFRSs, India's move to Ind AS as an important step towards full convergence, and the fact that Saudi Arabia is currently moving to IFRSs.

The Board's priorities for 2017 and beyond

Mr Hoogervorst noted that the top priorities for 2017 and beyond would of course include the completion of the remaining major projects: Conceptual Framework, where completion of redeliberations is expected by the end of the year, and insurance contracts, where the issuance of a final standard is currently expected in March 2017. He also noted the overriding priority of "better communication" the IASB will be focusing on going forward and explained that this does not mean that the IASB intends to cut back the information provided, nor to dramatically increase it. Rather, this focus aims at better presentation of information, better grouping of information together, and additional consideration of the form information is made available. As projects and developments that are expected to contribute to better communication Mr Hoogervorst mentioned primary financial statements, the disclosure initiative, digital reporting, and non-financial reporting.

Cooperation between national standard-setters and the IASB

As regards the cooperation with national standard-setters, Mr Hoogervorst explained how the relationship between the standard-setters and the IASB had matured and mentioned WSS, ASAF (including AOSSG, EFRAG, GLASS, and PAFA), IFASS. He stressed, however, that it continued to be important for the IASB to hear from the standard-setting community how cooperation could be deepened even more. Suggestions he made included supporting consistent application and closer cooperation through the research agenda.

Please note that the IASB is not intending to publish a transcript of Mr Hoogervorst's speech on its website.

Information on the financial reporting framework in Iran added to IAS Plus

26 Sep 2016

We have set up a new jurisdiction page for Iran on IAS Plus. Currently, Iranian companies have to apply Iran GAAP. However, a plan has been approved that the 100 largest listed companies in Iran and all banks will have to present IFRS financial statements for the fiscal year ending on 21 March 2017; all other listed companies are expected to present IFRS financial statements in 2018.

For more information and links to accountancy associations and groups and the dedicated IFRS website of the Iranian Securities and Exchange Organisation (SEO), please see our new jurisdiction page for Iran.

IASB updates work plan

24 Sep 2016

Following its September 2016 meeting, the IASB has updated its work plan. Of the progress or slippage that can be traced the most noticeable is the expected point of time the final standard on insurance contracts will be published: March 2017.

Changes to the work plan include:

Major projects

Implementation projects

Research projects

Post-implementation reviews

  • A post-implementation review of IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement has been initiated. A decision on the project direction is expected "within 6 months".

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

September 2016 IASB meeting notes posted — Part 2 (concluded)

22 Sep 2016

The IASB met at its offices in London on 20 and 22 September 2016. We have posted the remaining Deloitte observer notes from the five sessions on the Conceptual Framework held today.

Please click through for direct access to the notes:

Thursday, 22 September 2016

  • Conceptual Framework:
    • The reporting entity
    • Presentation and disclosure
    • Asymmetry in treating gains and losses
    • Definition of equity and supporting discussion
    • Materiality

You can also access the preliminary and unofficial notes taken by Deloitte observers for the entire meeting.

Recent sustainability reporting developments

22 Sep 2016

A summary of recent developments at the GRI/UN Global Compact and CDSB/CDP.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the United Nations Global Compact have launched 'SDG Leadership through Reporting', a new initiative to promote and advance corporate reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The two organisations will work together to develop a list of disclosures for tracking business contributions to the SDGs and they will release a publication on SDG-reporting. The launch will took place during the United Nations Private Sector Forum 2016, held on 19 September 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York. For more information please see the press release on the GRI website.

With the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) set up by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) expected in December, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) have published a short paper considering how the reporting community could work together to support the successful implementation of climate-related financial disclosure through mainstream reporting channels. A happier horizon discusses the preparation of the reporting infrastructure, practical integration of climate change information into mainstream reports, and materiality. In conclusion the paper identifies that there is a crucial role for the reporting community to play to ensure the success of the TCFD’s recommendations. Please click for the press release and the publication on the CDSB website.

IASB publishes editorial corrections

21 Sep 2016

The IASB has published a batch of editorial corrections that impact consequential amendments, stand-alone standards, and the IASB's “Blue Book”, "Red Book", and "Green Book".

The editorial corrections affect the following consequential amendments made by IFRS 16 Leases:

  • Implementation guidance of IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts

The editorial corrections affect the following individual pronouncements:

Editorial corrections to the IASB's Blue Book, Red Book, and Green Book affect the following standards:

  • IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards
  • IAS 7 Statement of Cash Flows

Editorial corrections do not change the meaning or application of pronouncements, but instead correct inadvertent errors. The editorial corrections can be viewed on the editorial corrections page of the IASB's website.

September 2016 IASB meeting notes posted — Part 1

20 Sep 2016

The IASB is meeting at its offices in London on 20 and 22 September 2016. We have posted the Deloitte observer notes from the five sessions held today.

Please click through for direct access to the notes:

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

You can also access the preliminary and unofficial notes taken by Deloitte observers for the entire meeting.

The IASB will meet again on Thursday to further discuss its conceptual framework project.

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.