In 2021, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) undertook its Third Agenda Consultation, a process that seeks public comment on the IASB’s strategic direction and plans priorities. The input received from more than 150 comment letters and sur very responses resulted in the identification of three potential new projects:● Major Projects: 1) Intangible assets and 2) the statement of cash flows.
● Maintenance Project: 3) Application of existing rules to climate-related risks.
In this blog, we give you an overview of all three.
Significant Projects: 2 added
The Board expects to move these two projects to its research agenda and begin researching the topic within five years. However, because the topics are complex, a new standard or a significant change to an existing standard within the next five years is not likely.
Intangible Assets IAS 38
This project would comprehensively review the existing guidance (IAS 38). Topics raised by stakeholders include the difference between
- acquired and internally generated intangibles;
- accounting for software as a service;
- intangible assets held for investment purposes (e.g., cryptocurrencies);
- the definition of an intangible asset;
- Measurement of intangible assets, including when the revaluation model is permitted;
- disclosures about unrecognized intangible assets;
- And deficiencies in the reporting of intangible assets.
Statement of Cash Flows – IAS 7
Users considered this project the highest priority of all potential projects discussed in the Request for Information. Many stakeholders believe that the current accounting is deficient, but at this stage, it is unclear whether this project would involve targeted improvements or would comprehensively review the existing guidance (IAS 7). Topics raised by stakeholders include
- presentation issues (operating vs investing vs financing);
- disclosures about non-cash transactions (factoring of trade receivables and reverse factoring of trade payables);
- And the definition of cash and cash equivalents.
Projects added to the maintenance pipeline are expected to require a narrow-scope amendment to the existing rules. Because they can be conducted more quickly,
Climate-related Risks in the Financial Statements
This project is not intended to address accounting for climate-related risks in the financial statements. Instead, it is intended to address inconsistencies in how companies apply IFRS to climate-related risks, for example, in assessing impairments.
Almost all users ranked this topic as a high or medium priority. The initial phase of this project will include research into the causes of stakeholders’ concerns about the inconsistent application and insufficient information. That will determine whether, and if so, what narrow-scope changes to address.
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With the IASB’s Third Agenda Consultation process now complete, we can expect to see some changes in the near future with regard to how intangible assets and climate-related risks are accounted for under IFRS standards.
In order to keep up with these changes, it is important to stay abreast of developments by taking an IFRS certification course or keeping updated on pronouncements from the IASB.