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Beyond the GAAP no.139 - December 2019
As the 2019 financial statements are finalised, the first-time application of IFRS 16 will have kept stakeholders on their toes right up to the last minute. This is because the IFRS Interpretations Committee did not officially clarify until 16 December how the term of certain leases should be determined.
As the end of the year approaches, we’ve reached the time when European enforcers publish their recommendations for year-end financial reporting. Unsurprisingly, the key recommendations from ESMA and the AMF (the French market regulator) focus on IFRS 16 – Leases, IFRS 15 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments. In this issue, we review the topics highlighted by the enforcers in their published recommendations.
September saw the publication of two long-awaited decisions by the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC). One related to determination of the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate when applying IFRS 16, and the other to the classification and presentation of liabilities or assets related to uncertain tax positions. This therefore seemed the ideal time to present our study of information on the impacts of initial application of IFRIC 23 presented by a sample of French and European issuers (CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50) in their IFRS interim financial statements to 30 June 2019.
Following the summer break, IAS 12 – Income Taxes and IFRS 17 – Insurance Contracts are in the spotlight, with consultations on both from the IASB as well as a detailed Public Statement from ESMA, the European enforcer, on the former.
In March, the IASB completed its marathon discussions on the proposed amendments to IFRS 17 – Insurance Contracts (see our ‘A Closer Look’ feature). The Exposure Draft is now scheduled for publication at the end of June, and the Board has tentatively decided that the comment period will be three months (thus including August).
News from the IASB continues to be dominated by work to amend IFRS 17, to which we return in this edition’s special study. This project even seems to overshadow progress on other issues, such as the presentation of financial statements, or the finalisation (with no changes to the standards) of work on segment reporting and interest rates. The fact remains that the latest news from the March IASB meeting suggests that there is no appetite, on the IASB’s part, for change on the thorniest aspect of IFRS 17, the level of contract aggregation.