International GAAP 2019 is a comprehensive guide to interpreting and implementing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), setting IFRS in a relevant business context and providing insights into how complex practical issues should be resolved in the real world of global financial reporting. This book is an essential tool for anyone applying, auditing, interpreting, regulating, studying or teaching IFRS. Written by EYs financial reporting professionals from around the world, this three-volume guide to reporting under IFRS provides a global perspective on the application of IFRS. Complex technical accounting issues are explained clearly and IFRS is set in a practical context with numerous worked examples and hundreds of illustrations from the published financial reports of major listed companies from around the world. The 2019 edition of International GAAP has been fully revised and updated in order to: Continue to investigate the many implementation issues arising as entities adopt IFRS 9 (Financial Instruments) and IFRS 15 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers). Explore the complex implementation issues arising as entities adopt, in 2019, IFRS 16 (Leases). Include an updated chapter on the new insurance contracts standard IFRS 17 (Insurance Contracts), which reflects the recent discussions of the IASB s Transition Resource Group on implementation issues raised, proposed narrow-scope amendments to IFRS 17 intended by the IASB, and also explores other matters arising as users prepare for the adoption of this standard. Include an amended chapter on the revised Conceptual Framework, which was published in March 2018. The changes to the Conceptual Framework may affect the application of IFRS in situations where no standard applies to a particular transaction or event. Address amended standards and new interpretations issued since the preparation of the 2018 edition. Explain the many other initiatives that are currently being discussed by the IASB and by the IFRS Interpretations Committee and the potential consequential changes to accounting requirements. Provide insight on the many issues relating to the practical application of IFRS, based on the extensive experience of the book s authors in dealing with current issues.
The IASB reported earlier this year that 144 of the 166 jurisdictions they have researched require the use of IFRS for all or most domestic publicly accountable entities (listed companies and financial institutions) in their capital markets, and a further 12 jurisdictions permit the use of IFRS. Several large economies like China, India and Japan do not require IFRS for all or most of their listed companies, but they have made considerable progress to move towards or to converge with IFRS. The United States is the only major economy that is unlikely to adopt IFRS in the near term.
While there is a strong rationale for global accounting standards, there are a number of concerns that are commonly raised around IFRS: (1) a jurisdiction would need to give up sovereignty in accounting standard setting, (2) the IASB has an unusual structure, as it is a private sector body that acts in the public interest and (3) that standardisation may require departure from traditional practices. Maintaining the current degree of international convergence of accounting standards requires an ongoing commitment on the part of all jurisdictions involved.
Some of the more vocal criticism of IFRS often comes from within the EU, with some proposing that the EU should either adopt IFRS on a more selective basis, or even take primary responsibility for setting accounting standards. In our view, either approach would represent a regrettable and retrograde step, and would be significantly damaging to the credibility of IFRS and the quest for a global accounting framework more generally. Allowing IFRS to devolve into local flavours, in the hope of broader acceptance, would reduce the existing benefits in terms of cost, quality and clarity of international financial reporting in exchange for an uncertain future without a clear mechanism for longer-term convergence.
In March 2018, the IASB completed its revised Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting in which the Board was looking to underpin high-level concepts with sufficient detail for it to set standards and to help others to better understand and interpret the standards. While the completion of the new Conceptual Framework is an important milestone for the IASB, it will generally not result in changes for the preparers of financial statements as it only affects the application of IFRS in situations where no standard applies to a particular transaction or event.
More important 2018 sees the first-time application of IFRS 9 - Financial Instruments - and IFRS 15 - Revenue from Contracts with Customers - both of which have required significant time and effort on the part of constituents. Although these standards improve the quality of financial reporting, their requirements are at times complex and the Interpretations Committee has discussed a number of implementation issues over the past year. While it is too early to conclude on the overall impact of these new standards, it is clear that the impact is quite significant in individual cases and that the new disclosures provide considerably more detailed information.
Similarly, the implementation of IFRS 16 - Leases (effective from 1 January 2019 onwards) and its interactions with other standards has given rise to challenging implementation questions. The Interpretations Committee has discussed the interaction with IAS 12 - Income Taxes and IFRS 11 - Joint Arrangements - and practitioners are considering how the recognition of right-of-use assets and lease liabilities affects the application of IAS 36 - Impairment of Assets - and IAS 37 - Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets.
IFRS 17 - Insurance Contracts - was published in June 2017, but only comes into effect in 2021. The standard has already been endorsed in a number of important jurisdictions, others are still considering the impact that the standard will have on the insurance industry. The IASB has devoted additional resources in support of insurance companies facing significant implementation challenges. The IFRS 17 Transition Resource Group (TRG) has met three times to discuss implementation issues. Hans Hoogervorst, the IASB's chairman, noted at a conference in June 2018 that '[t]he discussions are also useful for us at the IASB to see if any action is needed to assist with education, to address unforeseen issues of inconsistencies, lack of clarity or unforeseen complexities when implementing the new Standard. The experience with the previous Revenue Recognition TRG has made clear that sometimes it can be necessary for the IASB to consider amendments to address questions and indeed we have considered some for IFRS 17 last week.' At the time of writing, the IASB is expected to have a discussion at its October 2018 meeting not just about the issues brought forward by the TRG but also other requests by participants that may result in future amendments to IFRS 17.
The IASB is continuing to work on the projects in its work plan for the period from 2017 until 2021, which can be divided into three elements: the Better Communication in Financial Reporting initiative, the research projects, and the standard-setting and maintenance projects. Constituents will welcome the fact that the IASB's standard-setting and maintenance agenda is, for the first time, not dominated by the development of a series of ambitious and major new standards, but rather focusses on narrow scope projects that address certain aspects of existing standards.
The IASB made progress in 2018 on its Better Communication in Financial Reporting initiative and published a practice statement on materiality and a discussion paper on the wider principles of disclosure. In addition, the Board continues to work on other aspects of the initiative, such as the presentation of financial statements, management commentary and the taxonomy. Hans Hoogervorst acknowledged in a speech this year '.there is a lot going on in the world of wider corporate reporting. There is increasing interest in trends like sustainability reporting, integrated reporting and reporting for public policy interests. . there is a lot of broader financial information that is not adequately captured in financial statements: intangibles, business model, economic environment and increasingly sustainability issues (climate change).' The IASB believes that the natural place to consider these developments is in the context of its project on updating the guidance on the management commentary section. Although the IASB has limited resources, we believe it should take an active role when it comes to the efforts to improve the 'broader financial report'.
As part of its active research agenda, the IASB published a discussion paper on financial instruments with characteristics of equity. The discussion paper looks at ways to help entities determine whether instruments are liabilities or equity by providing a clear rationale for this distinction, while also providing investors with better information about them. The IASB discussion papers on business combinations under common control, dynamic risk management, and rate-regulated activities are now no longer expected in 2018. We encourage the IASB to continue its work on these technically complex but important projects as they deal with issues that have been the source of many accounting questions. In particular, any improvements and simplifications that may follow from the project on goodwill and impairment would be welcomed by preparers, users and auditors alike.
This edition of International GAAP covers the many interpretations, practices and solutions that have now been developed based on our work with clients, and discussions with regulators, standard-setters and other professionals. We believe that International GAAP, now in its fourteenth edition, plays an important role in helping companies as they apply IFRS 9, IFRS 15 and IFRS 16 for the first time. Each of these standards introduces changes that have given rise to implementation challenges and questions about the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure requirements.
Our team of authors and reviewers hails from all parts of the world and includes not only our global technical experts but also senior client-facing staff. This gives us an in-depth knowledge of practice in many different countries and industry sectors, enabling us to go beyond mere recitation of the requirements of standards to explaining their application in many varied situations.
We are deeply indebted to many of our colleagues within the global organisation of EY for their selfless assistance and support in the publication of this book. It has been a truly international effort, with valuable contributions from EY people around the globe.
Our thanks go particularly to those who reviewed, edited and assisted in the preparation of drafts, most notably: Elisa Alfieri, John Alton, Danielle Austin, Paul Beswick, Silke Blaschke, Brian Byrne, Wan Yi Cao, Larissa Clark, Tony Clifford, Angela Covic, Tai Danmola, Laney Doyle, Josh Forgione, Tommy Fung, Peter Gittens, Laure Guégan, Paul Hebditch, Jason Janoff, Junyoung Jeong, Guy Jones, Steinar Kvifte, Vincent de La Bachelerie, Twan van Limpt, Michiel van der Lof, James Luke, Mark Mahar, Hassam Malik, John O'Grady, Margaret Pankhurst, Christiana Panayidou, Pierre Phan van phi, Gerard van Santen, Nicola Sawaki, Alison Spivey, Leo van der Tas, Paula Tashima, Evangelia Tsakiroglou, Hans van der Veen, Arne Weber and Luci Wright.
Our thanks also go to everyone who directly or indirectly contributed to the book's creation,...