The International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) has published a Discussion Paper that suggests principles to make disclosures in financial statements more effective.
The Discussion Paper Disclosure Initiative—Principles of Disclosure seeks public feedback on disclosure issues the Board has identified through outreach as well as its preliminary proposals to resolve these issues. Ultimately, it is expected that the Discussion Paper could lead to amendments to IAS 1, the Standard covering general disclosure requirements, or the development of a new general disclosure Standard.
Stakeholders have said that financial statements sometimes include too little relevant information, too much irrelevant information and information disclosed ineffectively. The Board believes that the development of clear principles governing what, how and where information should be disclosed in the financial statements will improve the information provided to users of financial statements. It will do so by helping companies communicate their disclosures more effectively and by assisting the Board in improving disclosure requirements in IFRS Standards.
Some specific suggestions in the Discussion Paper include:
- seven principles of effective communication, which could be included in a general disclosure standard or described in non-mandatory guidance;
- possible approaches to improve disclosure objectives and requirements in IFRS Standards; and
- principles of fair presentation and disclosure of performance measures and non-IFRS information in financial statements, to ensure that such information is not misleading.
The Discussion Paper is the latest instalment of the Board’s Disclosure Initiative, which was established in 2013 with a ten-point plan to deliver tangible improvements to disclosures in financial reporting. The Principles of Disclosure project complements a number of other projects already taken by the Board, including amendments to IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Information and IAS 7 Statement of Cash Flows, and the development of guidance to help companies make materiality judgements when preparing their financial statements.
The Disclosure Initiative is an important part of the Board’s central theme, Better Communication in Financial Reporting.
Deadline for submitting comment letters: 2 October 2017
All comment letters should be submitted via the online upload page. If you have any problems using this page, please contact us for help with the submittal process. Please refrain from sending comment letters to IASB or IFRS Foundation individuals. Board and staff members have access to all comment letters submitted via the online upload page. You must be an eIFRS Basic user to submit a comment letter and registration is free.
All comment letters will be on the public record and posted on our website unless the respondent requests confidentiality. Such requests will not normally be granted unless supported by a good reason, for example, commercial confidence.