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Pre-meeting summaries for the March 2021 IASB meeting

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18 Mar 2021

The IASB is meeting on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 March 2021, by video conference. We have posted our pre-meeting summaries for the meeting that allow you to follow the IASB’s decision making more closely. We summarised the agenda papers made available by the IASB staff and point out the main issues to be discussed by the IASB and the staff recommendations.

Board work plan update: This is a regular update for the Board. The staff are recommending that the comment period be increased by 30 days for the ED Regulatory Assets and Regulatory Liabilities, because of ongoing challenges from the pandemic and the volume of consultation documents out for comment. They also recommend longer consultation periods for two documents due to be released shortly—ED Targeted Standards-level Review of Disclosures from 180 days to 270 days and the Request for Information on the Third Agenda Consultation from 120 days to 180 days.

Management Commentary: The Board will decide on the comment letter period for the forthcoming ED to revise Practice Statement 1 Management Commentary. The staff state that having a comment period longer than the normal 120 days could delay urgently needed revisions to the Practice Statement and ask the Board to set the comment period.

Equity method: The purpose of this paper is to update the Board on the equity method research project. The staff have compiled from various sources 71 application questions for consideration. Using the project scope decided by the Board in October 2020, the staff plan to consider only those issues that can be resolved without fundamentally rewriting IAS 28 or amending other Standards. Any issues not meeting these criteria will not be considered in this project. The staff will also remove issues that are not important or do not affect the consistent application of IAS 28.

Goodwill and impairment: In March 2020, the Board published Discussion Paper DP/2020/1 Business Combinations—Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment. During the comment period, Board members and the staff attended 94 meetings with outside parties, received feedback from its consultative bodies, recorded two webinars, conducted fieldwork and received 193 comment letters. At this meeting the Board will discuss a high-level summary of the feedback received on the DP. The Board will not be asked to make any decisions.

Maintenance and consistent application: The staff will present the latest IFRIC Update. The Board will not be asked to make any decisions.

Primary Financial Statements: The Board will discuss detailed feedback on three topics: Subtotals in the statement of profit or loss—operating profit; scope of management performance measures (MPMs); and statement of cash flows. The staff recommend that the Board proceed with the proposal to require all entities to present an operating profit subtotal. The operating category would include volatile and unusual income and expenses arising from an entity’s operations. The staff recommend that the Board proceed with the proposal to include information about measures meeting the definition of MPMs in the financial statements and explore possible approaches to expand the scope of MPMs to include measures other than subtotals of income and expenses. The staff also recommend that the Board proceed with the limited proposals in the ED in relation to cash flows and make no additions to the scope of the work. 

IFRS for SMEs: The staff recommend that the Board move the project from its research programme to its standard-setting work plan, treating alignment with IFRS Standards as the starting point, applying the principles of relevance to SMEs, simplicity and faithful representation in determining whether and how that alignment should take place. The next step should be an ED.

Our pre-meet­ing summaries is available on our March meeting notes page and will be sup­ple­mented with our popular meeting notes after the meeting.

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