Year in review — 2021

30 Dec 2021

2021 was another successful year for the IAS Plus family with over 13 million page views. We've devoted significant resources to bring you comprehensive coverage of all things IFRS (two news item per day on average) and broader financial reporting and other relevant topics and are pleased that our readers appreciate our efforts.

Recent sustainability and integrated reporting developments

27 Dec 2021

A summary of recent developments at VRF, VBA, ACCA, CFA Institute, WICI/VRF, EFRAG/GRI, CDP, IRC, AASB, FASF, IFAC, SASB, exchanges around the world, Accountancy Europe, AccountAbility, and CRD.

The Value Reporting Foundation (VRF) has published the new Integrated Thinking Principles as well as updates to the Asset Management & Custody Activities, Metals & Mining and Coal Operations Industry standards. The publications can be accessed through the press release on the VRF website.

The Value Balancing Alliance (VBA) has released the VBA Disclosure Concept for Material Sustainability Matters that foresees the disclosure of backward-looking as well as forward-looking information with respect to enterprise value and impact on society. Please click to access the publication on the VBA website.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has published Principles for Connected Corporate Reporting Standard Setting noting that corporate reporting standards should highlight the interactions between the value that organisations create for themselves, and the impact that they have on society and planet. Please click to access the publication through the press release on the ACCA website.

The CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announces the release of the first voluntary Global ESG Disclosure Standards for Investment Products designed to enable investors, consultants, advisors, and distributors to better understand, compare, and evaluate ESG investment products. Please click for more information in the press release on the CFA Institute website.

The CFA Institute has also released the results of a survey asking professional analysts and investors about the duty of investment managers to integrate ESG factors into their investment analysis and decision-making, as well as their views on the need for formal, government-backed standards for how public companies report on ESG matters. Please click for more information here.

The World Intellectual Capital/Asset Initiative (WICI) and the VRF have issued a joint position paper, Unlocking and revealing the value of intangibles in delivering Sustainable Development Goals, for the purpose of articulating the importance of intangibles and communication thereon to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The position paper can be accessed on the WICI website.

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have joined forces on the technical work for their respective new biodiversity standards. EFRAG is to make the draft EU standard available to the Commission mid-June, while GRI’s aims to release an updated GRI Biodiversity Standard in the second half of 2022. For more information, please see the press release on the GRI website.

The CDP (previously known as the 'Carbon Disclosure Project') has launched a new climate disclosure framework to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make strategic and impactful climate commitments, track and report progress against those commitments, and demonstrate climate leadership. Please click for more information on the CDP website.

The Integrated Reporting Committee (IRC) of South Africa has published an information paper Aligning Internal and External Integrated Reporting noting that the content areas and six capitals of the integrated report offer a useful structure for holistic internal reporting and driving integrated thinking. Please click for the information paper on the IRC website.

The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) has released a proposed interim climate change reporting standards framework for industry feedback. The voluntary framework adopts the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate- related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Please click for more information on the AASB website.

The AASB has also released a staff paper Globally consistent reporting for sustainability-related information: Australian perspectives. The staff paper can be accessed here on the AASB website.

Japan's Financial Accounting Standards Foundation (FASF) has officially announced the establishment of the Sustainability Standards Board of Japan (SSBJ) and the formation of the SSBJ Preparation Committee. More information is available in this press release.

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has announced that all its Points of View are now available in Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish in addition to English. This includes Enhancing Corporate Reporting and Climate Action. Please click to access the translations through the press release on the IFAC website.

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) announces that German translations of the SASB standards are now available. More information is available through the press release on the SASB website.

The following stock exchanges have released guidance on climate reporting (all links to external websites):

The following organisations have released guidance on assurance on sustainability reporting:

  • IFAC — more information here
  • Accountancy Europe — more information here
  • AccountAbility — more information here

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue (CRD) has dissolved, citing the success of its mission given the upcoming consolidation of four of its seven members.

Season's greetings

24 Dec 2021

We wish all our readers a healthy and happy festive season and all the best for the New Year!

We look forward to seeing you again after the holidays and to continue to be your preferred accounting website in 2022.

Summary of the November 2021 GPF meeting

20 Dec 2021

Representatives from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) met with the Global Preparers Forum (GPF) by video conference on 12 November 2021. Notes and recordings from the joint meeting have now been released.

The topics discussed at the meeting included:

  • Goodwill and impairment
  • Equity method
  • Subsidiaries without public accountability
  • IASB Update
  • IFRS Interpretations Committee update

The meeting summary is available on the IASB website. The next GPF meeting is proposed to be held on 11 March 2022.

December 2021 IASB meeting notes posted

20 Dec 2021

The IASB met for three days, starting on Tuesday 14 December 2021. We have posted our comprehensive Deloitte observer notes for all projects discussed during the meeting.

The following topics were discussed:

Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity

The staff are proposing amendments to IAS 32. The Board decided to (a) clarify that some financial instruments with contingent settlement provisions can be compound instruments and clarify the measurement requirements for the liability component of such instruments; (b) specify that the term ‘liquidation’ in paragraph 25(b) of IAS 32 refers to when an entity has started the process to permanently cease to trade; (c) specify that the assessment of whether a contractual term is ‘not genuine’ in paragraph 25(a) of IAS 32, is not purely a probability-based assessment; and (d) amend IAS 32 to specify how an entity must consider the effects of applicable laws when classifying financial instruments as financial liabilities or equity.

The staff plan to bring recommendations on the classification of financial instruments that are subject to shareholders’ discretion and whether additional disclosures would be beneficial at a future meeting.

Maintenance and Consistent Application

Lease Liability in a Sale and Leaseback: The Board decided to proceed with ED/2020/4 Lease Liability in a Sale and Leaseback (Proposed amendments to IFRS 16). The Board decided to retain the following proposals: clarify that the leaseback liability is a liability to which IFRS 16 applies; not change the initial measurement requirements in paragraph 100(a) of IFRS 16 for the right-of-use asset and the gain or loss arising from the sale and leaseback; clarify that a seller-lessee subsequently measures the right-of-use asset arising from the leaseback applying paragraphs 29-35 of IFRS 16; and include an illustrative example of a sale and leaseback transaction with variable payments. However, the Board decided to change the following aspects of the proposals: no longer prescribe how a seller-lessee determines the proportion of the previous carrying amount of the asset that relates to the right of use the seller-lessee retains; require the seller-lessee to subsequently measure the leaseback liability applying paragraphs 36-46 of IFRS 16; and specify that the term ‘lease payments’ may not be as defined in Appendix A to IFRS 16. Instead, the seller-lessee would apply the term ‘lease payments’ or ‘revised lease payments’ in such a manner that it does not recognise any amount of the gain or loss that relates to the right of use retained to the extent that the right of use is retained.

Economic Benefits from Use of a Windfarm (IFRS 16)—Finalisation of Agenda Decision: No Board members objected to the finalisation of the agenda decision.

Business Combinations under Common Control

The Board published its Discussion Paper (DP) Business Combinations under Common Control (BCUCC) in November 2020, with a comment letter deadline of 1 September 2021. The purpose of this meeting was to provide the Board with an overview of feedback on the DP and detailed summaries of feedback on selected topics from the DP. The Board was not be asked to make decisions in this session.

Almost all respondents agreed that the project should cover the receiving entity’s reporting for all transfers of businesses under common control. Most respondents agreed with the preliminary view that neither the acquisition method nor a book-value method should be applied to all BCUCCs. Some respondents (including most respondents from China) disagreed and said a book-value method should be applied to all BCUCCs. A few respondents reported mixed views within their organisation/jurisdiction or did not express a clear view.

Third Agenda Consultation

The Board decided to proceed with the criteria as proposed in the Request for Information for evaluating potential projects: its importance to investors; whether there is any deficiency how the matter is reported; the type of entities it is likely to affect or whether it is more prevalent in some jurisdictions than others; how pervasive or acute the matter is likely to be; interaction with other projects; the complexity and feasibility of the potential project and its solutions; and whether the Board and its stakeholders have capacity and could make timely progress.

Primary Financial Statements

The Board decided to proceed with a definition for unusual items, removing the reference to ‘limited predictive value’, developing application guidance which clarifies that the definition captures income or expenses that are dissimilar in type or amount from income or expenses expected in the future and explain that in considering whether income or expenses are similar, an entity would consider characteristics of the income and expenses, including the underlying event or transaction.

The Board decided to retain the proposal to classify in the investing category: income and expenses from assets that generate returns individually and largely independently of other resources; adding further application guidance; and income and expenses from associates and joint ventures. The Board also decided retaining the label ‘investing category’ and not continuing with the proposal to define ‘income and expense from investments’.

Second Comprehensive Review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard

The Board decided that the IFRS for SMEs be amended to make it more closely aligned with IFRS 3, IFRS 10 (but not investment entities) and IFRS 11 (but retain the IFRS for SME classifications of joint arrangements and the accounting requirements for jointly controlled entities). The Board discussed whether and how to align the IFRS for SMEs Standard with the impairment requirements in IFRS 9 and asked the staff for more analysis. The Board decided adding the definition of a financial guarantee contract from IFRS 9. The summaries contains the full list of amendments the Board decided to incorporate or not to incorporate into IFRS for SMEs, as well as other narrower amendments the Board should make.

Rate-regulated Activities

The staff has developed a plan for redeliberating ED/2021/1 Regulatory Assets and Regulatory Liabilities. The Board decided to prioritise total allowed compensation (returns on assets not yet available for use and regulatory assets and regulatory liabilities arising from differences between assets’ regulatory recovery pace and their useful lives) and scope (including interaction of the proposals with IFRIC 12). These are topics about which respondents raised significant concerns.

Please click to access the detailed notes taken by Deloitte observers for the entire meeting.

Agenda for the January 2022 IFRS Advisory Council meeting

20 Dec 2021

An agenda has been released for the meeting of the IFRS Advisory Council that will be held by remote participation on 11 January 2022.

A summary of the agenda is set out below:

Tuesday 11 January 2022 (12:00-15:45)

  • Welcome and Chair's preview
  • Agenda consultation
    • Introduction and background
    • Strategic direction and balance of the IASB’s activities
    • Financial reporting issues that could be added to IASB’s work plan
  • Post-implementation reviews – Priority of projects arising from post- implementation reviews
  • Chair summary

Agenda papers for the meeting are available on the IASB website.

IASB issues podcast on latest Board developments (December 2021)

20 Dec 2021

The IASB has released a podcast featuring IASB Chair Andreas Barckow and IASB Vice-Chair Sue Lloyd discussing deliberations at the December 2021 IASB meeting.

Highlights of the podcast include discussions on: 

  • Primary financial statements
  • Rate-regulated activities
  • Financial instruments with characteristics of equity
  • Business combinations under common control
  • Second comprehensive review of the IFRS for SMEs 
  • Lease liability in a sale and leaseback
  • Reflections on the highlights of 2021

The podcast can be accessed through the press release on the IASB website.

Please click to view the detailed notes taken by Deloitte observers for the IASB meeting.

GPF seeks members

20 Dec 2021

The Global Preparers Forum (GPF) is seeking new members with an emphasis for candidates from the Americas.

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2022. New members will start on 1 March 2022 for a term lasting between two to five years. For more information, see the press release on the IASB’s website.

Updated IASB work plan — Analysis (December 2021)

17 Dec 2021

Following the IASB's December 2021 meeting, we have analysed the IASB work plan to see what changes have resulted from the meetings and other developments since the work plan was last revised in November 2021.

Below is an analysis of all changes made to the work plan since our last analysis on 23 November 2021.

Stan­dard-set­ting projects

  • Rate-reg­u­lated ac­tiv­i­ties  Project is now in the IFRS Standard phase, no expected timeline is given.

Main­te­nance projects

  • Availability of a Refund (Amendments to IFRIC 14) — Decision on the direction of the project is expected in February 2022.
  • Initial Application of IFRS 17 and IFRS 9 — Comparative Information (Amendment to IFRS 17) — Removed from work plan since the issuance of final amendments.
  • Lease Liability in a Sale and Leaseback — Project is now in the IFRS amendment phase, no expected timeline is given.
  • Supplier Finance Arrangements — Feedback on the exposure draft is expected in H1 2022.

Research projects

  • Business Combinations under Common Control — Discussion on feedback from discussion paper is now expected in January 2022 (pre­vi­ously December 2021).
  • Dynamic Risk Management — Decision of the direction of the project is expected in Q2 2022 (previously Q1 2022).
  • Goodwill and Impairment — Decision of the direction of the project is expected in H2 2022 (previously Q2 2022).
  • Pension Benefits that Depend on Asset Returns — Project summary is now expected in Q2 2022 (previously H1 2022).

Other projects

  • IFRS Taxonomy Update — 2021 Tech­nol­ogy Update Feedback on proposed update is expected in Q1 2022.
  • IFRS Taxonomy Update — Amendments to IAS 1, IAS 8 and IFRS Practice Statement 2 — IFRS Taxonomy Update is now expected in February 2022 (previously December 2021).
  • IFRS Taxonomy Update — Initial Application of IFRS 17 and IFRS 9 — Comparative Information — Feedback on proposed update is expected in February 2022.
  • Third Agenda Consultation — Feedback statement is expected in H2 2022.

The above is a faithful com­par­i­son of the IASB work plan at 23 November 2021 and 17 December 2021. For access to the current IASB work plan at any time, please click here.

Results of EFRAG field tests on IASB’s project on disclosure requirements in IFRSs

17 Dec 2021

Over the past few months, EFRAG, in coordination with the IASB, has conducted field tests on the IASB’s Exposure Draft ED/2021/3 ‘Disclosure Requirements in IFRS Standards — A Pilot Approach’.

The objectives of the field testing, which involved a total of 22 preparers, were to:

  • understand the possible impact in practice, including benefits; 
  • identify potential implementation and application concerns; 
  • estimate the cost and effort required to implement and apply the proposals on a recurring basis; and
  • determine whether there is a need for additional guidance.

EFRAG has now published a report outlining the results of this field testing.

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