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AcSB Decision Summary – December 11, 2019

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 Board. Decisions to publish Handbook material are final only after a formal ballot process.

IFRS® Standards 

Insurance Contracts

The AcSB received an update on international developments relating to IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts, including the discussions at the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) meetings during October to December 2019. The Board will continue to actively monitor developments and work with other national standard setters to stress the importance of a common global adoption date.

The AcSB also considered changes to its Insurance Transition Resource Group’s mandate. The Board decided to expand the Group’s mandate to include advising the Board on documents developed by other parties, such as the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. The Board approved the Group’s revised Terms of Reference, subject to minor amendments.

IFRS Discussion Group

The AcSB continued its discussion on an issue related to the exception in IFRS 3 Business Combinations and whether it includes both current and deferred tax assets and liabilities. The Board received an update on activities to date and noted that the IASB has discussed this issue at its December meeting. The IASB has tentatively decided not to add an exception in IFRS 3 for current tax assets and liabilities within the scope of IFRIC 23 Uncertainty over Income Tax Treatments. The Board directed staff to continue monitoring future IASB discussions on this topic and provide an update to the Board at a future meeting.

The AcSB also received feedback from the IFRS Discussion Group’s meeting on September 25, 2019. This feedback included the Group’s recommendation that the Board consider referring the following two issues to the IASB or the IFRS Interpretations Committee:

  • Issue 1: How to measure and present the liability related to the variable lease payments in a sale-leaseback transaction?
  • Issue 2: Should an onerous provision be recognized for any variable payments not recognized in the lease liability?

The AcSB decided the following:

  • Issue 1: The Board is aware that the IFRS Interpretations Committee discussed this issue at its November 2019 meeting and will discussed it further at future meetings. The Board directed staff to continue monitoring the Committee’s discussion on this issue and to update the Board on the Committee’s decision at a future meeting.
  • Issue 2: The Board directed staff to gather additional information on this issue, which will be discussed at a Board meeting in early 2020.

IASB Agenda Consultation

IASB staff requested Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) members to provide potential topics to include in the IASB’s 2020 Agenda Consultation. The AcSB discussed the topics identified through consultation with its User Advisory Council and IFRS Discussion Group. The Board noted additional topics for the IASB’s consideration. The AcSB Chair will provide input on these topics at the December 2019 ASAF meeting.

Primary Financial Statements

The AcSB approved a preliminary plan to respond to the IASB’s upcoming exposure draft related to the Primary Financial Statements project. The Board also discussed the communications activities it will undertake related to this project. The IASB expects to issue its exposure draft in December 2019. (The IASB issued its Exposure Draft, “General Presentation and Disclosures,” on December 17, 2019.) The Board plans to undertake outreach on this exposure draft, including virtual and in-person roundtables at locations across Canada, in the first half of 2020.

Standards for Private Enterprises 

Related Party Combinations

The AcSB received an update on research activities on related party combinations. This included a summary of the input from the Related Party Combinations Working Group and feedback from the Private Enterprise Advisory Committee (PEAC).

The AcSB decided to consult with users to further understand their information needs when a related party combination occurs.

The AcSB discussed the merits of amending the guidance in Section 1582, Business Combinations, relating to the definition of a business to assist stakeholders in determining whether a related party combination involves a business or a group of assets. In particular, the Board considered whether the definition of a business should be addressed concurrently with the Related Party Combinations project or as a standalone project. The Board decided to consider the definition of a business as part of its other domestic standards priorities as these projects are not interdependent. 

The AcSB further considered PEAC’s recommendation to clarify the definition of a related party. The Board decided that clarifying the definition of a related party is beyond the scope of this project and, therefore, will not be considered at this time.

The AcSB will discuss additional research on this project at its March 2020 meeting.

Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations


The AcSB approved a plan to consult its stakeholders on the upcoming exposure draft related to not-for-profit combinations. The Board expects to issue the exposure draft in January 2020. It will undertake outreach on this exposure draft in the first quarter of 2020 as well as other consultation activities with preparers and industry associations.

Enhancing the Relevance of Financial Reporting

Research activities – Not-for-Profit Sector

The AcSB considered data gathered and analysis performed on not-for-profit organizations (NFPOs) in the public and private sectors. It also considered insights from its Not-For-Profit Advisory Committee and other experts consulted. The research was coordinated to jointly support the Board and the Public Sector Accounting Board in better understanding the sector, making informed decisions, and setting priorities.

Due Process

AcSB 2020-2021 Annual Plan

The AcSB reviewed and discussed an initial draft of its annual operating plan for the year beginning on April 1, 2020. The Board made preliminary decisions on the activities to undertake in 2020-2021. The discussion also included considering new projects related to the standards for private enterprises and NFPOs the Board may undertake as well as next steps related to the Board’s Framework for Reporting Performance Measures.

The AcSB will continue discussions at its January meeting, and plans to approve the 2020-2021 annual plan in March 2020.

AcSB Strategic Plan

The AcSB considered the output from its strategic planning session in November 2019. The Board will continue discussions at its January meeting and plans to issue the Draft Strategic Plan for stakeholder feedback in Q2 2020 with a 120-day comment period.

Board Advisory Committees

The AcSB received feedback on the discussions at recent meetings of its Academic Advisory Council, Not-For-Profit Advisory Committee, and User Advisory Council.