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.
With annual report season in full swing, this issue of Beyond the GAAP is a slightly quicker read than last month’s issue. However, it does contain some particularly significant news, notably a number of interesting agenda decisions published by the IFRS Interpretations Committee.
Following on from last issue’s feature, which provided a general overview of standards applicable at 31 December 2018, Beyond the GAAP details, in special studies, two issues that may impact your financial statements either immediately with the first study on how to account for hyperinflation in Argentina, or more prospectively with the IASB’s latest proposals on the costs to be taken into account to determine whether a contract is onerous.
As the IASB is asked to re-examine some aspects of IFRS 17, we enter a period of uncertainty as regards both EFRAG’s work on the endorsement advice and the likely effective date of the standard. This also has implications for the deferral of IFRS 9, an alternative which many European bancassurers and insurance companies opted for. Meanwhile, the IFRS IC has published four agenda discussions; in this issue, we discuss the two relating to capitalisation of borrowing costs.
This issue of Beyond the GAAP brings a piece of good news for our readers, as we all return to work following a well-deserved break: our financial instruments experts have saved you some effort by reading and summarising the IASB’s particularly dense Discussion Paper on the classification of financial instruments as liabilities or equity, published at the beginning of the summer. See our ‘A Closer Look’ feature for our summary of the DP.