On 16 March 2006 the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published for public comment proposals to improve the presentation of entities’ financial statements. The proposals are set out in an Exposure Draft of proposed amendments to IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements.
The Exposure Draft results from the first stage (segment A) of the IASB’s project on performance reporting and, if confirmed, would bring IAS 1 largely into line with the equivalent US standard. The second stage is being undertaken jointly with the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and includes a reconsideration of the presentation and display of information in the financial statements. The FASB and the IASB have established an advisory group (the Joint International Group) to provide advice to the boards in working towards a discussion paper.
The proposed amendments to IAS 1 are aimed at enabling entities to present more clearly the financial information, in particular income and expenses, that is already required to be presented in accordance with the IASB’s standards. Under the proposals an entity would present all income and expenses separately from changes in its equity that arise from transactions with its owners. Entities would have a choice of presenting income and expenses in a single statement or in two statements. An entity would also be required to include in its set of financial statements a statement showing its financial position (or balance sheet) at the beginning of the previous period.
Introducing the Exposure Draft, Sir David Tweedie, IASB Chairman, said:
The proposals to amend IAS 1 are the first to result from our work on improving the way that information is presented in financial statements. We believe that these proposals offer benefits to users of financial statements by aggregating information with
shared characteristics and providing additional trend information, and at no extra cost to those who prepare the information. Our work on the second phase of the project will continue in the coming months with continuing deliberations at the Board level and consultations with interested parties throughout the world.
The Exposure Draft was open for comment until 17 July 2006.