Financial Instruments

Current Status Next Steps

Exposure draft being developed.

Third quarter of 2017 – Exposure draft to be approved.

BACKGROUND

There is diversity in accounting for related party financial instruments. There are also concerns regarding the usefulness of some financial statement disclosures related to financial instruments.

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Based on feedback received from respondents to its Post-implementation Review: Section 3856, Financial Instruments, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) understands that the guidance pertaining to the following areas are not clear and the lack of clarity leads to diversity in practice:

  • scope of accounting for related party financial instruments after initial recognition; and
  • measurement of related party compound financial instruments.

We also understand that disclosures about risks related to financial instruments are not entity-specific and therefore not useful.

Issues to be considered during this project include:

  • clarifying the scope of related party financial instruments;
  • clarifying the measurement of related party compound financial instruments; and
  • amending the financial instrument risk disclosure requirements.

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PROJECT NEWS & DECISION SUMMARIES

AcSB Decision Summary – January 12, 2017
The AcSB approved a project to address several narrow-scope issues identified during the Post-implementation Review of Section 3856, Financial Instruments, associated with the scope of related party transactions and measurement of related party compound financial instruments and disclosure.

The AcSB discussed whether several other topics, including fair value measurement, hedge accounting, derecognition and classification of equity and financial liabilities, have merit in being added to its work plan. The AcSB agreed that if these topics are added to its work plan, they would need to be addressed through major projects. Therefore, the AcSB will consider these topics in the context of its consultation with stakeholders about the relative priorities for Part II projects.

AcSB Decision Summary – September 21-22, 2016
The AcSB discussed the merits of adding to its project plan:

  • topics identified during the Section 3856 Post-implementation Review; and
  • additional financial instrument issues raised by other stakeholders.

The AcSB directed staff to draft project proposals to address several of the issues raised but noted that the priority of these project proposals should be considered in the context of the AcSB’s broader agenda priorities. 

Private Enterprise Advisory Committee Notes – June 14, 2016
The Committee discussed the feedback to the “Post-implementation Review of Section 3856, Financial Instruments.” The purpose of this review was to assess the effectiveness of Section 3856 for preparers and financial statement users.

The Committee agreed to suggest to the AcSB that the issues noted below merit being added to the AcSB’s project plan and addressed through either a major project or a narrow-scope amendment:

  • issues associated with the following related parties items should be dealt with concurrently:
    • scope of accounting for related party financial assets and financial liabilities after initial recognition;
    • measuring related party compound financial instruments;
    • classification of impairment and forgiveness of related party loans; and
    • challenges in determining the carrying amount or exchange amount of newly issued related party financial instruments;
  • classification of certain instruments as either equity or financial liabilities; and
  • some disclosure requirements.

The Committee also agreed to suggest to the AcSB that the issues noted below be researched further:

  • initial measurement of financial instruments with non-market conditions or uncertain cash flows is challenging; and
  • determination of fair value for some financial assets (including mutual or pooled funds).

The Committee noted that the latter issue is prevalent with not-for-profit organizations and, accordingly, suggested that it be raised with the Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee at its next meeting.

AcSB Decision Summary – November 24, 2015
In response to stakeholder feedback, the AcSB agreed to revise the timing of the annual improvements process, such that the exposure draft will be issued in September rather than February and final amendments will be released in the Handbook the following July as opposed to October.   As a result, the next cycle of annual improvements will be issued in 2017.  Stakeholders are encouraged to submit issues.

The AcSB considered recommendations of its Private Enterprise Advisory Committee and decided to include proposals in the 2017 annual improvements to remove the requirements for an enterprise to disclose:

  • its accounting policies “as the first note to the financial statements” as described in Section 1505, Disclosure of Accounting Policies; and
  • the carrying amount of impaired operating lease receivables set out in Section 3065, Leases.

The AcSB also decided not to include several other issues raised by stakeholders during the 2015 annual improvements process and the Post-implementation Review of Section 3856, Financial Instruments.  The AcSB determined that the issues identified in the Post-implementation Review either were not within the scope of an annual improvement or thought the issues should be addressed as part of broader projects.

The AcSB expects to issue an exposure draft of the proposed 2017 annual improvements in September 2016.

Private Enterprise Advisory Committee Notes – October 6, 2015
The Committee discussed the issues summarized in the Feedback Statement, “Post-implementation Review: Section 3856, Financial Instruments,” to determine whether any of those issues should be included in the scope of the 2016 annual improvements.

Items to Be Considered as Part of the 2016 Annual Improvements 

Related Party Transactions – Scope of Accounting for Related Party Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities after Initial Recognition
Many respondents to the AcSB’s Request for Information, “Post-implementation Review: Section 3856, Financial Instruments,” agreed that there is a lack of explicit guidance on accounting for related party financial instruments after initial recognition. The Committee agreed that the standards may be unclear as to whether Section 3840 or Section 3856 applies to the accounting for related party financial assets and financial liabilities after initial recognition. Therefore, the Committee agreed to recommend to the AcSB that the scope of the two Sections should be clarified.

Clarification of Accounting Requirements for Embedded Derivatives
Respondents also identified challenges in determining whether embedded derivatives require bifurcation. The Committee agreed that Section 3856 may be unclear on this issue. Therefore, the Committee agreed to recommend that the AcSB consider clarifying the Section to address the accounting requirements for embedded derivatives.

Items that Require Further Analysis to Determine Whether They Could Be Addressed as an Annual Improvement

For each of the issues noted below, the Committee agreed to recommend that the AcSB consider clarifying the relevant Section(s), but thought that further analysis should be done to determine whether the issue could be addressed as an annual improvement.

Subsequent Measurement – Identification of Whether Certain Instruments Are Considered to Be Traded in an Active Market
Some respondents expressed concerns that Section 3856 is unclear as to when some equity instruments are considered to be traded in an active market and had suggested that the AcSB clarify whether thinly traded equity securities are considered actively traded. The Committee agreed that Section 3856 may be unclear as to when some equity instruments are considered to be traded in an active market.

Derecognition of Liabilities – Scope of Accounting for Modifications and Extinguishments of Related Party Financial Liabilities
A few respondents thought that there is not sufficient guidance on how to account for a modification that does not result in an extinguishment. The Committee agreed that the standards may be unclear as to whether Section 3840 or Section 3856 applies to the accounting for modifications or extinguishment of related party financial liabilities.

Disclosure – Clarification of Certain Disclosure Requirements
A few respondents thought that some of the disclosure requirements in Section 3856 are unclear and suggested the AcSB provide additional guidance to ensure consistent application. The Committee agreed with these respondents.

 

Disclaimer: This project summary has been prepared for information purposes only. Decisions reported are tentative and reflect only the current status of discussions on this project, which may change after further Board deliberations. Decisions to publish Handbook material are final only after a formal ballot process.