IASB Update February 2021

This IASB Update highlights preliminary decisions of the International Accounting Standards Board (Board). The Board's final decisions on IFRS® Standards, Amendments and IFRIC® Interpretations are formally balloted as set out in the IFRS Foundation's Due Process Handbook

The Board met remotely on 16–17 February 2021.

The topics, in order of discussion, were:

Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity (Agenda Paper 5)

The Board met on 16 February 2021 to discuss:

  • potential refinements to the disclosures an entity would be required to make about the financial instruments it issues; and
  • the classification of financial instruments with obligations that arise only on liquidation.

Disclosures: potential refinements (Agenda Papers 5A–5D)

The Board discussed potential refinements to disclosure proposals explored in its 2018 Discussion Paper Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity—namely, proposals for information about priority on liquidation, potential dilution, and terms and conditions. 

The Board was not asked to make any decisions but directed the staff to further consider the objectives of the proposed disclosures and their scope. 

Obligations that only arise on liquidation of the entity (Agenda Papers 5E–5F)

The Board discussed challenges in accounting for financial instruments with obligations that arise only on liquidation of an entity. The Board also discussed potential classification, presentation and disclosure requirements to address those challenges.

The Board tentatively decided not to change how such instruments should be classified; but instead to develop presentation and disclosure requirements in relation to them.

Twelve of 13 Board members agreed with this decision. 

Next step

The Board will continue to discuss these topics at a future meeting.

Management Commentary (Agenda Paper 15)

The Board met on 16 February 2021 to discuss sweep issues identified in preparing for balloting the Exposure Draft of a revised IFRS Practice Statement 1 Management Commentary (Practice Statement).

Definition of material information (Agenda Paper 15B)

The Board tentatively decided that the Practice Statement should state that information is material if omitting it from management commentary, or misstating or obscuring it within management commentary, could reasonably be expected to influence decisions that investors and creditors make on the basis of that management commentary and the related financial statements. Seven of 12 Board members present agreed with this decision. One member was absent.

The Board also discussed guidance clarifying the circumstances in which information provided in financial statements would also be provided in management commentary. The Board was not asked to make any decisions. 

Clarifications and refinements (Agenda Papers 15A, 15C and 15D)

The Board discussed how to:

  • clarify the status of the Practice Statement;
  • clarify the proposed requirements and guidance related to key matters; and
  • improve the appendix in the Exposure Draft intended to help preparers report on matters that could affect the entity’s long-term prospects, on intangible resources and relationships, and on environmental and social matters.

The Board was not asked to make any decisions.

Next step

The Board aims to publish the Exposure Draft in April 2021.

Third Agenda Consultation (Agenda Paper 24)

The Board met on 17 February 2021 to review the due process steps taken in developing the draft request for information.

All 13 Board members confirmed they were satisfied the Board has complied with the applicable due process requirements and has undertaken sufficient consultation and analysis to publish the request for information.

The Board:

  • tentatively decided to allow 120 days for comment on the request for information. Twelve of 13 Board members agreed with this decision.
  • decided to publish the request for information for public comment. All 13 Board members agreed with this decision.

Next step

The Board expects to publish the request for information in March 2021.

Disclosure Initiative—Subsidiaries that are SMEs (Agenda Paper 31)

The Board met on 17 February 2021 to discuss due process steps—including permission to begin the balloting process—for the exposure draft being developed for the project. 

All 13 Board members confirmed they were satisfied the Board has complied with the applicable due process requirements and has undertaken sufficient consultation and analysis to begin the process for balloting the exposure draft.  

One Board member indicated an intention to dissent from the proposals in the exposure draft. 

Given that the exposure draft proposes a reduction in the disclosures that entities within its scope would otherwise be required to make applying IFRS Standards, in setting the comment period the Board noted: 

  • in addition to the time needed to analyse the suggested disclosure requirements, both preparers and users of financial statements will need sufficient time to understand what information an entity would not be required to disclose under the proposals; and
  • a longer comment period would allow respondents to assess more thoroughly the appropriateness of the suggested disclosure requirements when the recognition and measurement requirements differ between IFRS Standards and the IFRS for SMEs Standard. 

In the light of these considerations, the Board decided to allow 180 days for comment on the exposure draft. Seven Board members agreed with this decision. 

Next step  

The staff will prepare the exposure draft for balloting. 

Second Comprehensive Review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard (oral update)

The Board met on 17 February 2021 to receive an update on the SME Implementation Group’s meeting that took place on 4–5 February 2021. More information can be found on the SME Implementation Group’s meeting page.

The Board was not asked to make any decisions.

Next step

At a future meeting the Board will consider a project plan for the next stage of its second comprehensive review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard.

Extractive Activities (Agenda Paper 19)

The Board met on 17 February 2021 to discuss extractive activities in the minerals and oil and gas industries, the common accounting challenges relating to those extractive activities and the reasons for those challenges. This discussion will help the Board to decide, at a future meeting, whether to replace or amend IFRS 6 Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources.

Education session (Agenda Paper 19A)

The Board considered a summary of:

  • the life cycles of a minerals property and an oil and gas property;
  • the activities performed in each phase of those life cycles;
  • some of the financial reporting challenges associated with each phase; and
  • the reasons for those financial reporting challenges.

The Board was not asked to make any decisions.

Next step

The Board will begin its discussion on the scope of the project.

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