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Outreach event on the principles of disclosure discussion paper in Hong Kong

11 Aug 2017

On 5 September 2017, the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs and the IASB will host a joint outreach event in Hong Kong on the IASB discussion paper DP/2017/1 'Disclosure Initiative — Principles of Disclosure'.

The event will cover main elements of the dis­cus­sion paper, including:

  • “what constitutes effective communication in the financial reports;”
  • “what constitutes fair presentation of performance measures such as EBITDA;”
  • “when, where and how financial information should be disclosed.”

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

Recent sustainability and integrated reporting developments

04 Aug 2017

A summary of recent developments at IFAC, IIRC, AICPA, and SASB.

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) have jointly published Creating Value for SMEs through Integrated Thinking: The Benefits of Integrated Reporting highlighting how SMEs can benefit from integrated thinking and reporting and noting that the IIRC’s principles-based framework is deliberately flexible so that SMEs can apply it to their own specific circumstances. Access to the publication is available through the press release on the IFAC website.

The IIRC has also published its own integrated report pointing to how integrated reporting is becoming more widespread around the world. The 22 page report also demonstrates the organisation’s own learning journey as it has been streamlined and made more concise than last year’s report (50 pages). Please click for access to the report on the IIRC website.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has issued Attestation Engagements on Sustainability Information (Including Greenhouse Gas Emissions Information) to provide guidance to CPAs who provide assurance on corporate, social and environmental performance information reported by companies. The guide is available through the press release on the AICPA website.

The United States Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has released of its 2017 Technical Agenda. Cross-cutting items that have been identified and will be adressed include human capital management, cyber security, water risk, and climate risk. The SASB is also integrating the recommendations of the recently released report by the G20 Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) in each industry where climate risk is a material factor. Please click for access to the technical agenda on the SASB website.

IASB posts webinar on the IFRS 17’s premium allocation approach

03 Aug 2017

The IASB has posted to its website a two-part webinar, ‘How does IFRS 17 measure insurance contracts with short coverage periods?’

The webinar discusses optional simplified measurement, presentation and disclosure requirements in IFRS 17.

For more in­for­ma­tion, see Part 1, Part 2, and the slides of the webinar on the IASB's website.

ICAEW report on non-comparable disclosure under IFRS

03 Aug 2017

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has released a report 'Disclosure quality and international comparability under IFRS: evidence from pension discount rates, impairment and capitalisation of development costs' that argues that non-comparable disclosure under IFRS is a problem.

The report is addressed to practitioners such as financial analysts, finance directors, audit partners and IFRS technical departments in audit firms to alert them to the findings of an investigation into international differences in IFRS practice. Data was collected from over 500 firms in 15 countries.

Of the three areas investigated (pension discount rates, impairment charges and capitalisation of development costs), the topic with the largest amount of non-comparable disclosure was pension discount rates: only 67% of financial statements examined were found to be comparable for analysis. The authors note that pension discount rates were often not distinguished by country and were disclosed as a relatively wide range. Additionally, although an IFRS requirement, many companies do not provide comparable disclosure on the duration of the pension obligation. The authors sum up their findings:

This is an issue of non-comparable disclosure under IFRS. The severity of the problem varies by country, but as a data problem it should be of interest to analysts. Some of the thinness in disclosures may be due to immateriality but we suspect some non-compliance with IFRS disclosure requirements, which should concern auditors, the IASB and regulators.

The full report can be found on the ICAEW website.

Summary of the June 2017 ITCG meeting

01 Aug 2017

The IASB has published notes to the IFRS Taxonomy Consultative Group (ITCG) meeting held on 12 June 2017.

The ITCG discussed the following:

  • Update on recent activities related to better communication in financial reporting.
  • Updates by the ESMA and the SEC on the use of the IFRS Taxonomy.
  • Content and structure of a draft of Using the IFRS Taxonomy — a preparer’s guide.
  • Proposed IFRS Taxonomy content changes.
  • IFRS Taxonomy tables.
  • Update by XBRL International on entity-specific disclosures.
  • Views on proposals for introducing IFRS Taxonomy implementation notes.
  • Development of an IFRS Taxonomy commenting platform.

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

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