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Every five years, the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) takes a fresh look at its agenda – in consultation with all stakeholders – to confirm that it has set the right priorities and struck a balance in its activities to keep IFRS Standards fit for purpose.

The Board has published a Request for Information (RFI) outlining its vision for the 2022–2026 agenda and seeking stakeholder views on:

  • the strategic direction and balance of its activities;
  • its criteria for assessing priorities; and
  • the financial reporting issues to prioritise over the next five years.

The latest global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, have shifted the focus from familiar financial reporting matters and may re-shape the Board’s 2022–2026 agenda.

Reinhard Dotzlaw
KPMG global IFRS leader

Strategic direction – Shifting the focus

The RFI focuses on the Board’s primary activities – i.e. setting and maintaining financial reporting standards. In tandem, the IFRS Foundation Trustees are addressing calls for a new international sustainability standards board. This could impact the scope of the Board’s work going forward, especially on cross-cutting matters related to sustainability reporting.

Setting the priorities – Key drivers

In setting its priorities, the Board focuses on investors’ needs and considers:

  • the matter – its importance to investors and any existing reporting deficiencies, its pervasiveness and the type of companies affected;
  • the solution – the complexity and feasibility of possible solutions and interaction with other projects; and
  • the resources – the capacity of the Board and stakeholders to progress the project.

Assessing the priorities will be a matter of judgement and the relative importance of any particular criterion.

 

 

Potential ‘to do’ list

To diagnose common financial reporting issues more accurately and focus on those that really matter, the Board conducted an outreach in developing the RFI. Based on the results, the Board identified the following potential projects to put on its ‘to do’ list, offering alternative options. The list is not exhaustive and does not represent a draft work plan – its purpose is to elicit more focused feedback.

Potential projects
1. Borrowing costs 12. Income taxes
2. Climate-related risks 13. Inflation*

3. Commodity transactions

14. Intangible assets

4. Cryptocurrencies and related transactions 15. Interim financial reporting

5. Discontinued operations and disposal groups*

16. Negative interest rates

6. Discount rates

17. Operating segments

7. Employee benefits

18. Other comprehensive income

8. Expenses: inventory and cost of sales

19. Pollutant pricing mechanisms*

9. Foreign currencies

20. Separate financial statements

10. Going concern

21. Statement of cash flows and related matters

11. Government grants

22. Variable and contingent consideration*

* These projects were identified as priorities in the previous agenda consultation but are currently inactive.

Have your say

The agenda consultation provides a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to steer the Board’s direction.
Questions to be considered include the following.

  • Has the Board identified the right priorities and struck a balance in its activities to keep IFRS Standards fit for purpose considering the latest challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate-related matters?
  • Should the Board have a fresh look at some old standards – e.g. those dealing with intangible assets, government grants and going concern?
  • Should the Board consider a broader agenda and focus on non-financial matters, as non-financial information becomes increasingly important to investors and corporate decision-makers?

Read the Request for Information and provide your comments to the Board by 27 September 2021.

You may also find our Sustainability reporting pages articles helpful, as these also address the IFRS Foundation consultation on setting up an international sustainability standards board to complement the IASB Board.

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