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AcSB Decision Summary – March 3-4, 2020

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

Goodwill and Impairment

The AcSB approved the preliminary plan to respond to the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) upcoming discussion paper related to the Goodwill and Impairment project. The Board also discussed the communication activities it will undertake related to this project. The IASB expects to issue its discussion paper in March 2020.

Insurance Contracts

The AcSB received an update on international developments relating to IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts, including the discussions at the IASB’s meetings from January to February 2020 and the planned discussions at the March meeting. The Board is focused on achieving a common global adoption date and acknowledges that the recommendation cited in the March IASB staff paper (AP2A) aligns with that goal.

The AcSB explored what options could be available to support achieving a common global adoption date. The Board will discuss these further after the IASB’s meeting on March 17-19, 2020.

The AcSB also discussed its endorsement process for the IASB’s amendments to IFRS 17, as it expects the amendments to be issued mid-2020. IFRS 17, as endorsed by the AcSB and incorporated in the CPA Canada Handbook – Accounting, is currently effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Therefore, the Board plans to complete its endorsement of the amendments to IFRS 17 as issued by the IASB before the end of 2020.

IFRS® Discussion Group

The AcSB continued its discussion on an issue related to whether a provision for an onerous contract should be recognized for any variable payments not recognized in the lease liability when an entity terminates a lease before the end of its term.. The Board received feedback on additional research performed. The Board will continue monitoring this issue to determine whether further action is warranted.

Primary Financial Statements

The AcSB received an education session on the IASB’s Exposure Draft, “General Presentation and Disclosures.” The Board also received an update on research conducted to date and planned outreach with stakeholders.

UPDATE: Given the situation with COVID-19, the AcSB has suspended all in-person roundtables. The Board invites stakeholder to participate in its virtual roundtables in April or May 2020. The Board encourages Canadian stakeholders to participate in these outreach events to inform its response to the IASB, which is due by June 30, 2020.

Standards for Private Enterprises


The AcSB discussed alternatives for moving forward with research that considers the initial measurement of business combinations by private enterprises (excluding related party transactions). The Board decided further research should be conducted to determine the basis for measurement with an emphasis on using the characteristics of a business combination transaction.

The AcSB also considered this topic in relation to its Part II and Part III priorities for the next operating year. The Board decided to postpone further work on this topic at this time to allow the Board to work on higher-priority projects, such as accounting for cloud computing arrangements.

Employee Future Benefits

The AcSB discussed feedback on its Exposure Draft, “Employee Future Benefits – Use of a Funding Valuation,” through comment letters and roundtable consultations with stakeholders. The Board also considered recommendations from its Private Enterprise Advisory Committee. The Board decided to add an example of what would be included in the defined benefit obligation and retain the word “solvency” in Employee Future Benefits, paragraph 3462.029D.

The Board directed staff to conduct targeted outreach to finalize the inclusion of all components of a funding valuation for legislative, regulatory or contractual purposes in the calculation of the defined benefit obligation.

The AcSB plans to review a draft of the final amendments to Section 3462 at its May 2020 meeting.

Related Party Transactions

The AcSB discussed the results of its user consultations on related party combinations. The Board also considered different approaches for a potential standard-setting project. The Board directed staff to research how common control could be defined before proceeding to a project proposal.

Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations

Not-for-Profit Organizations (NFPO) Technical Advisory Group

The AcSB received an update on staff’s involvement in the global NFPO Technical Advisory Group (the Group), which comprises members from national standard setters and supports the development of global financial reporting guidance for NFPOs in jurisdictions that currently do not have accounting standards for NFPOs.

The AcSB decided that staff should continue its involvement in the Group as it supports the Board’s strategy to contribute to global best practices in accounting standard setting.

Standards for Pension Plans

The AcSB received an update on staff research to identify users of pension plan financial reporting and to better understand the regulatory environment.

The AcSB directed staff to conduct outreach with regulators, pension plan member advisors, and representatives (e.g., trade unions and trustees), to better understand how they use pension plan financial statements.

The AcSB will consider a project proposal to address stakeholder concerns with, Section 4600, Pension Plans, in the third quarter of 2020.

Due Process

AcSB Member Self-Assessments and Other Volunteers' Performance Surveys 

The AcSB discussed the results of its members’ self-assessments and other volunteers’ 2019-2020 performance surveys of the Board and its related committees. The Board discussed how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.

AcSB 2020-2021 Annual Plan

The AcSB continued discussing its 2020-2021 Annual Plan for the operating year commencing April 1, 2020. The discussion included considering its priorities related to projects for the standards for private enterprises and not-for-profit organizations that the Board may undertake. The Board decided to add the accounting for cloud computing arrangements to its 2020-2021 Annual Plan. It also discussed activities related to the Framework for Reporting Performance Measures. The Board also considered feedback from the Accounting Standards Oversight Council.

The AcSB approved its 2020-2021 Annual Plan and expects to issue it on April 1, 2020.

Strategic Plan

The AcSB continued discussing its next Strategic Plan. The Board reviewed the Draft Strategic Plan and discussed a preliminary communication plan and outreach activities

The AcSB will review an updated draft of the plan at its April 2020 meeting and expects to issue its Draft Strategic Plan for comment in the second quarter of 2020.

AcSB Wraparound Exposure Drafts

The AcSB discussed the process for issuing wraparound exposure drafts. After the IASB issues an exposure draft, the AcSB issues a corresponding wraparound exposure draft as part of its endorsement process. The Board considered whether its wraparound exposure draft should have a comment deadline earlier than the IASB’s deadline. This would allow the Board to receive and consider stakeholder input as it develops its comment letter. The Board decided to assess each exposure draft the IASB issues and have an earlier comment deadline for the wraparound exposure draft when appropriate.

Committee Chair Appointments

The AcSB approved the re-appointment of Paul Hargreaves as Chair of the Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee and approved the appointment of Guy Jones as Chair of the IFRS Discussion Group.