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Updated IASB work plan — Analysis

21 Jul 2017

Following the IASB's July 2017 meeting, we have analysed the IASB work plan to see what changes have resulted from the meeting and other developments in the month of July. Changes are minor and the main message is that the IASB does currently not intend to issue any pronouncements until September 2017.

General remarks

The IASB continues to not date its work plans any longer, but has re-introduced the possibility of creating a PDF version of the work plan at any given time for personal use. To achieve this, use the "Print this tab" link near the top of the page and then choose creating a PDF.

Below is an analysis of all changes made to the work plan since our last analysis on 28 June 2017.

Standard-setting projects

  • No changes

Maintenance projects

Research projects

Other projects

  • No changes

The above is a faithful comparison of the IASB work plan at 28 June 2017 and at 21 July 2017. For access to the current IASB work plan at any time, please click here.

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IASB appoints new Executive Technical Director

21 Jul 2017

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has appointed Nili Shah as Executive Technical Director. She follows Hugh Shields in the role of leading the IASB's technical staff and being responsible for the efficient delivery of all technical activities.

Ms Shah, who will take office in October 2017, is currently Deputy Chief Accountant of the Division of Corporation Finance of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In that capacity she has supported the SEC staff’s discussions on IFRSss within the International Organization of Securities Commission’s (IOSCO) accounting technical committee.

Please click for more information in the press release on the IASB website.

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IFRS 17 webinar for investors

21 Jul 2017

The IASB has made available a recording of a webinar held jointly by the IFRS Foundation and the Canadian Accounting Standards Board on IFRS 17 in July 2017.

The webinar was tailored to investors and covered the following questions:

  • Why IFRS 17 was developed?
  • How does IFRS 17 work?
  • What are the benefits of IFRS 17?

There is also a section with answers to questions submitted by investors during the webinar.

Please click to access the webinar through the press release on the IASB website.

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July 2017 IASB meeting notes posted

20 Jul 2017

The IASB met at its offices in London on 18 and 19 July 2017. We have posted our comprehensive Deloitte observer notes for all projects discussed during the meeting.

On Tuesday, the meeting started with positive feedback on outreach the IASB staff have undertaken with investors and analysts in relation to the recently issued IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts. The Board decided to proceed towards finalisation of two of the proposed amendments included in the Annual Improvements to IFRS Standards 2015–2017 Cycle related to IAS 12 Income Taxes and IAS 23 Borrowing Costs. The Board asked the staff to undertake more research on a possible amendment to IFRIC 14 IAS 19—The Limit on a Defined Benefit Asset, Minimum Funding Requirements and their Interaction.

The day finished with a session on Disclosure Initiative: Materiality Practice Statement. The Board decided to remove two paragraphs and an example relating to the impact of covenants on the materiality of other information.

On Wednesday, The Board decided to finalise the amendments the proposed amendment to IFRS 9 on prepayment features with negative compensation and, as part of that package, to highlight in the Basis for Conclusions the relevant accounting requirements for a modification of financial liabilities that does not result in derecognition. The amendments will have an effective date of 1 January 2019, rather than the originally proposed 1 January 2018, with earlier application permitted.

The remaining sessions were educational in nature. The Board continued its discussions on rate-regulated activities, focusing on control and matching; and recognition and uncertainty. It also discussed possible revisions to the assessment of goodwill impairment, mainly focusing on feedback from outreach. No decisions were made in these education sessions.

It was Stephen Cooper’s final Board meeting.

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

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Illustrative tagging for IFRS 17

19 Jul 2017

The IFRS Foundation has published illustrative tagging for the proposed IFRS Taxonomy update regarding IFRS 17 'Insurance Contracts'.

The illustrative tagging shows how selected information from the Illustrative Examples accompanying IFRS 17 could be tagged using the IFRS Taxonomy Update that was proposed together with the issuance of IFRS 17 on 18 May 2017 and is currently expected to be published in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The illustrative tagging is available through the IASB's supporting material section of the Taxonomy Update project page.

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HLEG questionnaire on interim report

19 Jul 2017

In mid-July, the High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Sustainable Finance, established by the European Commission, published a first report setting out concrete steps to create a financial system that supports sustainable investments. The HLEG has now launched a questionnaire aimed at gathering targeted feedback on the analysis and reflections in the interim report and informing the preparation of the final report.

This questionnaire on the report is open from 18 July 2017 through 20 September 2017. It can be accessed here.

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ESMA sees room for improvement in the supervision of the enforcement of financial information

19 Jul 2017

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the results of a review of the supervision of the enforcement of financial information (IFRS) according to the ESMA Guidelines on enforcement of financial information in the EU member states.

The report identifies that further improvements are needed in relation to:

  • how issuers are selected to examine their financial information;
  • the depth of inquiries into financial statements going beyond correcting disclosure; and
  • the financial and human resources allocated to the enforcement of financial information.

The report also notes that five of the jurisdictions – Malta, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and UK – do not fully comply with the fifth of the final guidelines, which requires that use selection models in which all issuers are eligible to be selected for scrutiny.

Please click for additional information on the ESMA website:

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IASB announces fourth research forum

18 Jul 2017

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) will host its fourth Research Forum on 28 and 29 November 2017 in Brussels.

The objective is to have 50 academic participants and 50 non-academic participants. The European Accounting Association (EAA), co-host of the forum, has issued invitations to academics and has issued a call for papers. The IASB is now calling for people with backgrounds other than academia to express their interest in attending the event.

Please click for more information and registration on the IASB website.

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The Bruce Column — Ensuring Climate-related financial disclosure goes mainstream

18 Jul 2017

The final Report of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures has been published in June 2017. Our regular columnist Robert Bruce reports on its recommendations and how it is likely to move this issue into the mainstream.

The focus on climate-related concerns has changed. It has moved away from simple worries about global resources to a much more tangible concern about risks and opportunities. The final report from the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure is expected to change attitudes to the quality of and responsibility for climate-related corporate reporting fundamentally. The old idea that such issues can be downplayed as simply high-minded concerns rather than being seen as the arena for serious risk assessment and resulting action will then, in turn, change. The report focuses on the information that investors need.

It starts from the position that climate-change risks are one of ‘the most significant, and perhaps most misunderstood, risks that organisations face today’. Its recommendations and disclosures aim to ensure that investors, lenders and insurance underwriters are provided with a full understanding of those risks. And while the disclosure recommendations may be voluntary the clear expectation is that momentum and the market will demand their implementation.

The task force makes it clear that its recommendations ’aim to be ambitious, but also practical for near-term adoption’. The report says that organisations already reporting climate-related information should be able to implement the recommendations ‘immediately’ and are ‘strongly encouraged to do so’. Others can begin ‘by disclosing climate-related issues as they relate to governance, strategy, and risk management practices’. The report says the task force ‘recognises that this may be challenging but believes that by moving climate-related issues into mainstream annual financial filings, practices and techniques will evolve more rapidly’.

There are four fundamental areas of disclosure. First an organisation’s governance around climate-related risks and opportunities, then the actual and potential impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities on the organisation’s businesses, strategy and financial planning. Thirdly the processes used by the organisation to identify, assess, and manage climate-related risks; and finally the metrics and targets used to assess and manage relevant climate-related risks and opportunities.

The report highlights that the task force ‘expects the governance processes for these disclosures would be similar to those used for existing public financial disclosures and would likely involve review by the chief financial officer and audit committee, as appropriate’. In other words the disclosures are clearly tied to the more general responsibility to present a clear, balanced and understandable discussion by publicly-listed organisations. The disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities is firmly placed in mainstream financial reporting.

Support has been swift from the asset owners and asset managers’ community. And it is clear they intend driving a swift and widespread adoption of the framework. For example, Stuart Gulliver, CEO at HSBC, said that: ‘These recommendations are very welcome. The impact of climate change and the transition to a lower-carbon economy deserve board-level scrutiny and governance. Independent research commissioned by HSBC shows that less than a quarter of companies currently disclose their environmental impact. This makes it very difficult for analysts and investors to assess and compare how sustainable these companies are. These recommendations are a practical and pragmatic response to the need for consistent and comparable climate-related financial disclosure’.

More than a hundred firms around the world with a total market cap of some $3.3 trillion have agreed to actively support implementation and encourage others to do so. The task force will remain in place until at least September 2018 to promote and monitor adoption and to evaluate ‘the extent to which the recommended disclosures are meeting the interests of users’. With the backing it has, the move mainstream of climate-related financial disclosure is well under way.

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FSB issues statement in support of IFRS 17

17 Jul 2017

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has issued a statement welcoming the IASB's new insurance accounting standard.

The statement is little more than an announcement that IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts is now available but also notes:

Nevertheless, the FSB encourages firms to start the implementation efforts as soon as possible, and to engage in open dialogue with the IASB on the ways in which the standard’s application can generate the most relevant information.

Please click for the statement on the FSB website.

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