Global Standards for the world economy

Sunday 26 February 2017

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Interpretations process

Setting the agenda

Proposed agenda items

The IFRS Interpretations Committee decides after debate in a public meeting whether to add an issue to its agenda.

The Interpretations Committee should address issues:

  1. that have widespread effect and have, or are expected to have, a material effect on those affected;
  2. when financial reporting would be improved through the elimination, or reduction, of diverse reporting methods; and
  3. that can be resolved efficiently within the confines of existing Standards and the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting; and
  4. that are sufficiently narrow in scope so that they can be addressed in an efficient manner by the Interpretations Committee, but not so narrow that they are not cost-effective for the Interpretations Committee and interested parties to undertake the due process that would be required when making changes to IFRS.

The solution developed by the Interpretations Committee should be effective for a reasonable period of time. Accordingly, the Interpretations Committee would not normally develop an Interpretation if the topic is being addressed in a forthcoming Standard. However, this does not prevent the Interpretations Committee from acting on a particular matter if the short-term improvements can be justified.

A simple majority of Interpretations Committee members present can decide, after a debate in a public meeting, whether to add any issue to its work programme.

If the Interpretations Committee believes that a Standard or the Conceptual Framework should be modified, or an additional Standard should be developed, it refers such conclusions to the IASB. The IASB can also decide to address minor matters that have a narrow scope without involving the Interpretations Committee.

The Interpretations Committee applies a principle-based approach founded on the Conceptual Framework. It considers the principles established in the relevant Standards to develop its interpretative guidance and to determine that the proposed guidance does not conflict with IFRS. It follows that, in providing interpretative guidance, the Interpretations Committee is not seeking to create an extensive rule-oriented environment, nor does it act as an urgent issues group.

Consultative period

A consultative period applies to issues that are not added to the agenda.

If the Interpretations Committee does not plan to add an item to its work programme it publishes this as a tentative rejection notice in the IFRIC Update and on the IFRS IC Activities page, and requests comments on the matter. The comment period for rejection notices is normally at least 60 days.

After considering those comments the Interpretations Committee will either confirm its decision and issue a rejection notice; add the issue to its work programme or refer the matter to the IASB. Rejection notices do not have the authority of Standards and they will therefore not provide mandatory requirements but they should be seen as helpful, informative and persuasive. The IASB is not asked to ratify rejection notices.

The comments received are placed on the public record, unless confidentiality is specifically requested by the commentator (supported by a good reason, such as commercial confidence), and form part of the deliberation that takes place at the next available Interpretations Committee meeting. At that meeting the Interpretations Committee decides whether to add the issue to its agenda.