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The International Accounting Standards Board (Board) has today published for public consultation proposed narrow-scope amendments to IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors.

IAS 8 sets out the criteria for selecting and changing accounting policies. Companies change accounting policy either as a result of new requirements in IFRS Standards or when the change would provide better information for users of financial statements. When a company changes an accounting policy, it is currently required to apply the new policy as if it had always applied this policy―unless this is not practicable.

Companies may decide to change an accounting policy as a result of an agenda decision published by the IFRS Interpretations Committee. Agenda decisions explain why the Interpretations Committee concludes that there is no need to amend or add to requirements in IFRS Standards after considering an application question. Agenda decisions are non-authoritative but often contain helpful explanatory information about how to apply IFRS Standards.

The Board is proposing that in deciding how far back to go in applying a change in accounting policy that results from an agenda decision, a company will consider not only whether it is practicable but also the benefits to users and costs to the company of making the change.

The aim of the proposed amendments to IAS 8 is to promote greater consistency in the application of IFRS Standards, reduce the burden on companies when they change an accounting policy as a result of an agenda decision and, thus, improve the overall quality of financial reporting.

Exposure Draft—Accounting policy changes (Proposed amendments to IAS 8) can be found here. The comment deadline is 27 July.