Andreas Barckow, Chair of the All-embracing Accounting Standards Lath (IASB), addressed assembly at the AICPA and CIMA Appointment on Accepted SEC and PCAOB Developments on 7 December in Washington. In his speech, he categorical the IASB’s actual and approaching priorities, talked about the growing accent of sustainability issues in banking advertisement and accumulated his angle on aggregation with the FASB.
Good afternoon, it is a amusement to be with you today. My name is Andreas Barckow, and aback July this year I accept served as Chair of the All-embracing Accounting Standards Board, or IASB. The IASB is the absolute standard-setting lath of the IFRS Foundation, which is amenable for IFRS Accounting Standards appropriate for use by added than 140 countries.
Although US companies are appropriate to use US GAAP, abounding accept all-embracing subsidiaries that abode appliance IFRS Accounting Standards. Moreover, US investors advance internationally are abounding users of banking statements that accede with IFRS Accounting Standards. Your angle amount to us, so amuse abide accepting complex in our work.
Given the role IFRS Accounting Standards comedy in United States, I’ll focus my comments on three cardinal topics: sustainability, our accepted and approaching assignment programme and convergence.
First off is sustainability. It ability assume odd for the Chair of the IASB to activate by talking about sustainability. However, the principle-based attributes of IFRS Accounting Standards agency that sustainability issues such as altitude change and added arising risks are already covered by our absolute requirements, alike admitting such risks are not absolutely referenced—companies are appropriate to accede sustainability-related affairs in their banking statements aback their aftereffect is actual to users of the banking statements.
About a year ago we appear educational actual that accent the abeyant accord amid accepted requirements in IFRS Accounting Standards and climate-related matters. The basal band is that alike if a Standard does not say ‘this applies to risks and obligations arising from climate-related matters, too’, those requirements charge to be considered. Capacity covered in the November 2020 educational actual accommodate impairment, provisions, and allowance arrangement liabilities—and some beneath accessible credibility like risks arising from banking instruments. I highlight this actual as a admonition that altitude change accident is an affair for today, not aloof for tomorrow.
Sustainability has become a boilerplate affair for every aggregation lath of directors. The affair is authoritative its way from the broker relations and communications functions beeline to the accounts department, and for acceptable reason—it is actuality breadth able-bodied processes and controls resides. So, for those complex in banking reporting, let me assure you—sustainability is activity to become allotment of your day job—if it isn’t already!
Earlier today, you may accept heard my aide Lee White allocution about a new sister-board to the IASB, accepted as the All-embracing Sustainability Standards Board, or ISSB. The conception of the new lath was appear aftermost ages at the COP26 altitude appointment and accustomed by added than 40 jurisdictions about the world, including the United States. Its purpose is to advance a absolute all-around baseline of investor-focused, sustainability-related acknowledgment standards for the all-around basic markets. It will be up to anniversary administration to adjudge whether and how to absorb the all-around baseline into their own requirements, and there will be no claim for the administration to be appliance IFRS Accounting Standards.
To facilitate a alive alpha of the new Board, the ISSB will anniversary from recommendations to actualize two standards—one on climate-related disclosures and one on accepted disclosure. These recommendations—or prototypes—have been developed in a collective accomplishment by the IASB and arch investor-focused sustainability organisations. And we are absolutely captivated that two of these organisations, the Amount Advertisement Foundation—home of chip advertisement and SASB Standards—and the Altitude Acknowledgment Standards Lath will become allotment of the ISSB.
While both the ISSB and the IASB will be independent, our Trustees accept fabricated bright that the two Boards are accepted to assignment in actual abutting cooperation to drive accordant advertisement from the outset. This is a bulletin that we accept additionally heard loud and bright from our stakeholders and advising bodies—connectivity amid accounting requirements and sustainability acknowledgment requirements is essential. The larboard duke charge assignment in accompany with the right. Hence, we will strive to accomplish our Standards accordant and complementary—to facilitate seamless advertisement by companies to accommodate investors with a comprehensive, decision-useful set of information.
However, there is additionally bright curve amid our responsibilities. The IASB is predominantly focused on advertisement affairs and contest that accept taken abode up until the advertisement date; the ISSB’s focus is on accident and opportunities that could appulse the company’s approaching amount and cashflows. We charge assignment to abstain gaps, frictions or accidental overlaps in the two boards’ literature. The two types of advice should neatly fit calm like two pieces in a puzzle.
As I said at the outset, the affair of sustainability disclosures is actual acceptable to be advancing your way if it hasn’t already. If you appetite to break up to date with our sustainability work, again actualize an anniversary on our website and accept to chase sustainability.
Working with the ISSB will be important, but we additionally accept a lot to get on with ourselves. And the accession of a new Chair does not beggarly we bandy accumulated done to date abdicate and alpha afresh. So, let me blow on some of the bigger projects on our accepted agenda, afore attractive at our approaching agenda.
The aftermost 18 months accept been acute for anybody accustomed the constant pandemic. We accept asked a lot from our stakeholders, accepting appear several appointment abstracts for comment, alike admitting we accept provided best animadversion periods than normal. I appetite to acknowledge anybody for their invaluable input—writing animadversion letters, agreeable in fieldwork or accommodating in beat events. We are now discussing the acknowledgment we accept received. Let me highlight three key projects—Primary Banking Statements, post-implementation reviews and Amicableness and Impairment.
Our Primary Banking Statements activity consists of three key elements—creating a bigger anatomy for the account of accumulation or accident by introducing an operating, an advance and a costs class of assets and costs and acute companies to present two new subtotals; convalescent the way companies accumulated and disaggregate information; and acute the acknowledgment of advice of some management-defined achievement measures—that is, achievement measures not defined by IFRS Accounting Standards. We additionally accept proposed bound changes to the account of banknote flows to advance bendability in allocation by removing options.
Overall, the proposals accept been able-bodied received. Surely, there accept been apropos apropos some of the capacity and requests for clarification, but annihilation so all-important that we would see a charge to go aback to the cartoon lath completely. The IASB started its deliberations of the acknowledgment in bounce this year, and while we are authoritative acceptable progress, we will absolutely absorb the abutting year, too, to get us through all the acknowledgment and accomplish decisions.
Next are what we alarm post-implementation reviews, or PIRs. Our due action requires us to conduct a post-implementation analysis of any new Standard or above alteration two to three years afterwards the advertisement has become effective. The cold of such reviews is to appraise whether the Standard is alive as the IASB had advised and not to reopen circuit of accepted arguments.
We advisedly acquiesce time for convenance to advance afore we analysis the requirements. Apropos aloft in the aboriginal canicule afterwards new requirements are alien are generally bound afterwards the charge for us to get complex through standard-setting. This is of advance a acclimation act—issues may appear that crave us to act afore we get to the analysis stage. But as a all-around standard-setter we charge be alert of the challenges that appear aback we do act. Every change affects tens of bags of companies beyond 100 jurisdictions. That is the capital acumen why the reviews don’t activate until afterwards a reasonable time has passed.
We are currently alive on two such reviews: the aboriginal is on our apartment of alliance Standards—IFRS 10, 11 and 12— and the additional is on our banking instruments Standard, IFRS 9, which we accept aloof initiated.
Overall acknowledgment on the alliance Standards indicates they are alive well—somewhat adverse to the acrimonious debates during the development of the Standards. Not anybody agreed with the changes that were brought in at that time, but antecedent apropos accept abundantly gone away. Appropriate improvements are mainly bound to specific areas of application, and we will accede whether and how to best abode them. This is a acceptable archetype of why it is best to let convenance advance afore because authoritative changes to new requirements.
Our banking instruments Standard became able in 2018, so it would be about time to alpha the PiR. Yet, accustomed the new crime approach, we absitively to adjourn the analysis of those accoutrement to accumulate added affirmation of how the Standard responds to the challenges airish by the accepted pandemic. We are, therefore, absorption on the allocation and altitude requirements aboriginal and will accede the actual requirements later. One breadth of accurate absorption we are attractive at now apropos banking instruments with ESG features. We are acquainted that these are acceptable added popular, so we appetite to accomplish abiding that our absolute requirements can be activated to them and aftermath allusive results.
The third activity I will blow on from our accepted assignment plan is Amicableness and Impairment, which is absolutely a aftereffect from the PIR on IFRS 3, our Standard on business combinations. The IASB appear a altercation cardboard on this affair in March 2020. At that time, the IASB had assured that the absolute crime accoutrement could not be decidedly bigger rather than authoritative changes at the fringes. Accepting assured that we couldn’t acknowledge to investors’ apropos about post-acquisition achievement by convalescent the capability of testing amicableness for impairment, we confused apparatus and asked whether companies can—at a reasonable cost—provide investors with added advantageous advice about the acquisitions they accomplish to advice them appraise whether they accept been a success.
I should acknowledgment that the IASB additionally advised whether it should change the consecutive accounting for amicableness and backslide aback to an amortisation model. However, it was appealing abundant analogously breach amid those absent to absorb the absolute impairment-only approach, and those absent to accept addition attending at amortisation, so did not adduce any changes in the altercation paper. Aback attractive at the feedback, it is axiomatic that our stakeholders are appropriately disconnected over that question, with no bright trend actuality arresting by jurisdiction, industry or able background. My takeaway from that is that there is no absolute solution; both approaches accept their allowances and drawbacks.
The IASB’s primary cold to accompany accuracy to the consecutive achievement of a business aggregate was accustomed able-bodied by users and beneath able-bodied accustomed by preparers. Their apropos are alignment from an disability to clue the achievement of the acquired business to accepting to accommodate potentially company-sensitive and advanced information. Accustomed the robustness and assortment in views, award a band-aid is absolutely challenging. One access we are because is to investigate a amalgamation of disclosures that could substitute, at atomic in part, the perceived accident of advice that proponents of the impairment-only access abhorrence aback abandoning that model. Over the advancing months, we will be testing sample disclosures with preparers, auditors and users and seek their acknowledgment afore authoritative any hardwired decisions.
There is addition ambit to this project—our colleagues at the FASB are additionally reviewing their amicableness abstract and accept tentatively accomplished a altered cessation to the IASB. Accustomed that our pronouncements on business combinations are abundantly converged, an important appliance is to investigate how we can break aligned. I will appear aback to this affair at the end of my speech.
We are committed to commutual the projects on our accepted agenda, but we are additionally attractive at our approaching assignment programme. Our approaching assignment and priorities will be guided by acknowledgment from our latest calendar consultation. This is a action we are appropriate by our due action to undertake every bristles years—to seek angle on whether we’ve got the appropriate antithesis in our assignment and angle on which issues we should prioritise.
Our appointment ran from March to September and was targeted at our approaching calendar accoutrement the aeon from 2022 to 2026. We accept accustomed abundant acknowledgment from all corners of the world. Our agents are still alive through acknowledgment received. Some key capacity are already acceptable clear— ‘be alert how abundant change you appoint on stakeholders; assets time for alive with the new ISSB as able-bodied as on arising issues; and do article on intangibles.’ Especially the aftermost bulletin is music to my ears, because I accept continued captivated the appearance that we charge advance the accuracy about abstract items.
Encouragingly, stakeholders anticipate our cardinal administration and antithesis of activities are about right—that is absorption about bisected of our assets on alive on new projects and devoting the actual time on aliment and acknowledging constant application; on our clandestine aggregation Standard, the IFRS for SMEs Standard; on calendar banking reporting; on understandability and accessibility; and on stakeholder engagement. Some stakeholders appetite us to focus hardly beneath on developing new requirements and added on advancement the Standards and acknowledging constant application, but all-embracing stakeholders assume to be happy.
New projects our stakeholders accept appropriate as aerial priorities for our approaching assignment plan accommodate assignment on climate-related risks (including pollutant appraisement mechanisms), cryptocurrencies and accompanying transactions, activity concern, abstract assets and the account of banknote flows. We yet charge to actuate whether these issues are all for us—some items in this account may be bigger ill-fitted to the ISSB or may be areas to be advised jointly—and whether and how we should access them. I accept already accepted that I am actual absorbed in starting assignment on intangibles. It’s a barbed affair but one breadth I anticipate accuracy is absolutely bare and breadth I am abiding we can accomplish improvements.
Some of the projects I accept mentioned in affiliation to both our accepted and approaching assignment plan are capacity the FASB has additionally accustomed agnate acknowledgment on or are affiliated to projects the IASB and the FASB accept formed on calm in the past.
Let me accordingly accomplishment by adage a few words about our assignment with colleagues at the FASB—and about convergence. Aback the IASB was formed 20 years ago, it was modelled on the FASB. Our structures and processes are similar, and from the alpha we’ve formed calm in actual abutting cooperation, and that cooperation continues to this day.
The characterization ‘convergence’ can accept altered meanings. I like to anticipate of it as article that can accredit to a action as able-bodied as to a product. In the aboriginal 2000s, the IASB and the FASB formed adamantine to accompany our corresponding abstract afterpiece by agreeable in collective standard-setting and collective decision-making. This aspect of aggregation was the focus until 2011, and it led to requirements that were absolutely or abundantly identical. Our Standards on business combinations are affirmation of such efforts, and so is our abstract administering articulation reporting, consolidation, acquirement acceptance and leases. Aggregation was again acclimated as a characterization anecdotic a process.
Now, it is one affair accepting to converged Standards. It is yet addition is to accumulate converged Standards converged. We both realise that befitting converged abstract converged is oftentimes easier said than done. We both accept an obligation to our stakeholders, and we both appetite to be acknowledging aback issues appear and are flagged to us. Anniversary lath has its processes and due action obligations it needs to follow.
So, absorption what our predecessors accomplished is an advancing challenge, and it is now up to me as IASB Chair and Rich Jones as FASB Chair to assignment calm so that the assets of the beforehand years’ aggregation assignment are preserved for the anniversary of investors about the globe.
Keeping anniversary added abreast is acutely awfully important. And as I said, our cooperation continues to this day. The FASB is and has been an alive affiliate of our Accounting Standards Advising Forum aback its inception; we accept maintained abounding anniversary collective apprenticeship sessions; and we additionally accept common engagements at lath akin and amid our staff. And I for one would achievement we can abide and deepen our accord to the alternate anniversary of our two boards and our stakeholders.
I accept focused my animadversion on some of the bigger account capacity we see today to accord you acumen into the IASB’s actual and approaching priorities. I accept talked to the growing accent of sustainability issues and how they interrelate with banking reporting. I accept announced about the IASB’s accepted and approaching agenda. And I accept accumulated my angle with you as to how I see aggregation with the FASB. I achievement to accept accustomed you aliment for anticipation and ambition you all an absorbing conference.
Thank you all for your time and attention.
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