Accounting Standards Board
May 18, 2016
This summary of Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) decisions has been prepared for information purposes only. Decisions reported are tentative and reflect only the current status of discussion on projects, which may change after further deliberations by the AcSB. Decisions to publish Handbook material are final only after a formal ballot process.
International Financial Reporting Standards
As part of monitoring developments in the pension plans sector, the AcSB considered:
- a compilation of stakeholder surveys on the types of pension obligations of public companies and pension plans in the Canadian private sector; and
- early indications of market trends in pensions.
The AcSB agreed to contribute to global standard setting by sharing this research with other national standard setters.
IFRS Discussion Group
The AcSB received a report back on the issue, “IAS 21: Determining Functional Currency,” noting that the meeting report reflects the Group’s discussion. Since the AcSB decided in its March 22-23, 2016 meeting that this issue was not widespread among Canadian entities, the Board confirmed no further action is needed.
Standards for Private Enterprises
Redeemable Preferred Shares
The AcSB discussed an analysis of the viability of a classification exception on the basis of retention of control over the enterprise. In particular, the AcSB discussed the potential challenges with basing the classification exception solely on control, and what further work should be done. In that regard, the AcSB directed staff to take the time necessary to conduct further testing of the characteristics of tax planning arrangements and to identify the arrangements that would and would not meet the classification exception if it were based on retention of control over the enterprise.
Subsidiaries and Investments
The AcSB approved the issuance of amendments to Section 1591, Subsidiaries, and Section 3051, Investments, subject to final drafting and a written ballot. This approval occurred after reviewing feedback from its Private Enterprise Advisory Committee.
The AcSB decided not to add a requirement to Section 3051 to expense acquisition-related costs for investments subject to significant influence when the equity method is applied because this change is beyond the scope of the current project. The AcSB will consider whether to propose this change at a future meeting.
The AcSB decided to:
- further clarify the scope out of common control transactions;
- amend Section 1591 to clarify the requirements when there is contingent consideration outstanding or the initial accounting for the subsidiary is incomplete;
- amend Section 1500, First-time Adoption, to clarify that the amendments apply from the date of transition; and
- amend Sections 1506, Accounting Changes, and 1582, Business Combinations, to prohibit prospective application of the consequential amendments to these Sections.
The AcSB also agreed that, other than drafting improvements, no other changes to the Exposure Draft proposals are required as a result of the feedback received from stakeholders.
The AcSB expects to issue the amendments to Sections 1591 and 3051 in the fourth quarter of 2016. The amendments will be effective for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, with earlier application permitted.
Governance and Due Process
AcSB Due Process
The AcSB approved a report to the Accounting Standards Oversight Council on due process compliance matters.
AcSB Response Letters
The AcSB approved revisions to the standard descriptions (for example, of the AcSB, its standard-setting authority and endorsement process of IFRSs) included in its response letters to the IASB and others.
AcSB “Wraparound” Exposure Drafts
The AcSB considered whether changes should be made to the AcSB’s “wraparound” exposure draft to explain better the Board’s due process role as it pertains to new or amended IFRSs issued by the IASB. Board members directed the staff to conduct further analysis for consideration at a future meeting.
The AcSB met with Joy Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of CPA Canada. Ms. Thomas outlined CPA Canada initiatives for the profession and expressed CPA Canada’s strong support for having independent standard-setting boards in Canada.
Canadian Securities Administrators
In a follow up to the AcSB’s recent discussion of the definition of a publicly accountable enterprise (see the AcSB’s April 2016 Decision Summary), the AcSB conducted a one-hour discussion with a number of chief accountants of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). The discussion focused on:
- the respective mandates of the AcSB and the CSA;
- securities reporting requirements for enterprises raising capital in non-traditional markets;
- the financial reporting needs of enterprises and investors in such markets; and
- the level of activity in these markets.
The AcSB and the chief accountants agreed to continue discussing these issues as well as to obtain more information about the growing use of the exempt and private market.
Note: All of the AcSB’s responses to documents for comment issued by the IASB and the IFRS Interpretations Committee are available on the IASB’s website at www.ifrs.org.