Accounting Standards Board
Statement of Operating Procedures
(Revised and adopted by the Accounting Standards Board on September 21, 2016 and ratified by the Accounting Standards Oversight Council on February 24, 2017)
- This Statement of Operating Procedures has been developed and adopted by the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) in accordance with its Terms of Reference. The AcSB applies the procedures set out below in carrying out its responsibilities, subject to such input as the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC) may provide.
Strategic and Operating Plans
- The AcSB develops long-term strategic plans and applies such plans in working to achieve the objectives and fulfill the responsibilities in its Terms of Reference. Strategic plans are developed through due process and in consultation with AcSOC. Strategic plans address the differing needs of the different categories of reporting entities for which the AcSB establishes financial reporting standards, in particular publicly accountable enterprises, private enterprises and not-for-profit organizations.
- The AcSB’s strategic plan forms the basis for the annual operating plans to be submitted to AcSOC and the annual performance reports on which AcSOC bases its assessment of the AcSB’s performance. Annual operating plans specify how the AcSB’s strategy for each category of reporting entity will be carried out for that year. The AcSB’s plans incorporate a basis for assessing whether its activities have been successful in achieving desired outcomes.
- The AcSB reports annually to AcSOC on its performance in fulfilling its mission, meeting its objectives and carrying out its strategic and operating plans.
- The AcSB follows an ongoing risk management process in developing and carrying out strategic and operating plans.
- The AcSB normally meets at least six times per year and schedules such additional meetings as are necessary to achieve its objectives. The AcSB publishes in advance a schedule of planned meetings for each operating year.
- The AcSB may hold meetings in person or by telephone, videoconference or other similar means.
- A quorum at any AcSB meeting is two-thirds of all AcSB members.
- The AcSB normally conducts its meetings in private but may, at its discretion, invite non-members to attend and participate in its discussions or open its discussions to the public.
- Each member of the AcSB, including the Chair, has one vote. For matters requiring only a simple majority of all members, the Chair has an additional vote if required to break a tie.
- AcSB members serve in their personal capacity. Accordingly, substitutions are not accepted. AcSB members vote according to their own beliefs, experience and judgment based on the information they have and the discussions they have taken part in, and not according to the views of any firm, organization or constituency with which they are associated.
- Individual votes are kept confidential.
- An affirmative vote of two-thirds of all AcSB members is required for the following decisions:
(a) To approve a project proposal or to approve the discontinuance of a project. (b) To approve for issuance a discussion paper, statement of principles or other similar due process document. (c) To forgo exposure of a proposed standard, in unusual circumstances and for a stated reason or reasons. (d) To forgo re-exposure of a proposed standard that has been significantly changed as a result of exposure draft comments, for a stated reason or reasons. (e) To release an exposure draft or approve a standard, including a revision to an existing standard and a consequential amendment to another standard. (f) To issue a Background Information and Basis for Conclusions document.
- The affirmative vote of a simple majority of all AcSB members is required for all other decisions, including the following:
(a) To adopt a position on a specific issue within a discussion paper, a statement of principles, an exposure draft or a standard. (b) To determine whether a proposed standard has been significantly changed as a result of exposure draft comments.
- Members present for the discussion of an issue but absent when a vote is taken in a meeting may vote subsequently.
- All votes taken in AcSB meetings are documented in the minutes. The minutes constitute proper evidence of the AcSB’s decisions.
- A written ballot process may be carried out to approve the final wording of material approved in principle in a meeting. Voting is done by ballot in paper or electronic form according to the AcSB’s Due Process Handbook. The ballots constitute proper evidence of the AcSB’s decisions in such circumstances.
- All decisions to issue, amend or withdraw a standard are confirmed by a written ballot.
- The AcSB adopts and applies a Due Process Handbook that establishes the due process for developing or endorsing financial reporting standards. The Due Process Handbook is made available to the public, and is reviewed no later than three years after the completion of the previous review. In developing financial reporting standards, the AcSB undertakes research, discussions and public consultations to maintain the objectivity of the process and the quality of the output. In endorsing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the AcSB takes steps to satisfy itself that the IASB has followed appropriate processes.
- The AcSB may delegate to the Chair of the AcSB the authority to approve the issuance of “wrap-around” exposure drafts for documents issued by the IASB.
- The AcSB adopts and applies a policy for maintaining a public file of key documents for completed standard-setting projects.
- The AcSB adopts and applies a policy setting out the basis on which it may create other groups (committees, task forces, advisory groups or other groups), including committees of its own members, to assist it in carrying out its work. The AcSB has not been given the ability under its Terms of Reference to delegate its decision-making authority to other groups and, therefore, may create such groups with a mandate only to provide advice.
- The AcSB provides Terms of Reference to all groups affiliated with it. Amongst other matters, such Terms of Reference specify:
(a) the purpose, objectives and responsibilities of the group; and. (b) the size and composition of membership, including the desired mix of members’ backgrounds, and the terms of appointment.
- The AcSB approves the appointment of the Chairs of all groups it creates.
- Appointments of members of all groups affiliated with the AcSB are approved by the Chair of the AcSB and the Director, Accounting Standards in consultation with the Chair of the group.
- The AcSB and all of its committees and affiliated groups are supported by the Director, Accounting Standards and such other staff as required.
- The AcSB informs stakeholders and the general public concerning its activities. In particular, the AcSB publishes its meeting dates, agendas, decision summaries, other project-related information, strategic and annual operating plans, and annual performance reports. The principal means of communication is through the posting of information and documents on the AcSB’s website.
- The AcSB develops and implements a communications plan setting out goals and objectives, opportunities and challenges, target audiences, available media and specific actions to improve communications with key stakeholder groups.
- The AcSB’s working language is English but published materials are provided in both English and French. The AcSB receives and considers comment letters in either language on its published proposals..
- All financial reporting standards and exposure drafts are published simultaneously in both English and French versions.
- The AcSB adopts and applies policies for the translation of published materials to ensure high quality.
- In carrying out its strategy of adopting IFRSs, the AcSB adopts and applies the Charter: The IASB and other standard-setters (April 2014). The Charter is designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of international standard-setting. In particular, the AcSB contributes to the development of high-quality internationally accepted financial reporting standards by steps such as:
(a) generally responding to all IASB invitations to comment on discussion papers and exposure drafts of proposed financial reporting standards; (b) assisting Canadian stakeholders in communicating with the IASB; (c) sponsoring and participating in IASB roundtables and conferences; (d) disseminating information to Canadian stakeholders about IASB activities; (e) identifying qualified Canadians as candidates for membership on the IASB and its related groups; and (f) providing staff support to IASB projects.
- The AcSB uses its working relationships with international standard setters to ensure that it considers global best practices when making its private enterprise and not-for-profit organizations decisions and contributes to the development of those practices.
- The AcSB’s operating year ends on March 31 in each calendar year.
- The AcSB adopts and applies a policy for keeping meeting materials and information confidential, unless the AcSB decides to release a particular document or information to the public. This policy does not prohibit AcSB members and staff from consulting with interested parties concerning matters discussed in meeting materials. In this connection, they may provide a copy of pertinent AcSB documents to the interested parties, provided those materials remain subject to the requirement for confidentiality and other conditions of the AcSB’s policy and it is made clear that they have not necessarily been approved by the AcSB.
Liaison with Other Standard Setters
- The AcSB maintains liaison relationships with other accounting standard setters in support of its objectives, with particular emphasis on the relationship with the IASB and the Public Sector Accounting Board.
- Representatives of the AcSB participate in meetings and activities of the International Forum of Accounting Standard Setters and, when invited, in meetings of the IASB’s Accounting Standards Advisory Forum.
- The AcSB adopts and applies a policy for carrying out an annual self-assessment for the purposes of identifying areas for improvements in operating policies and practices and reporting to AcSOC.