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March 23, 2011

Institutes review IFRS disclosures

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) are jointly reviewing the level of disclosure requirements in IFRS, following concerns about the increasing size of financial reports.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has asked the two institutes to research and review the levels of disclosure requirements in existing IFRS and recommend deletions and changes.

The research, initiated by the IASB, responds to concerns by various market participants about the increasing size of annual reports and the financial statements therein.  

ICAS said that the risk is that readers are being bombarded by so many numbers that important main messages are lost.

“I think it is important to be able to see the significant pieces of information and not get totally swamped by detail,” ICAS executive director David Wood said .

The two institutes are approaching the project in two different ways. “It’s a two way approach; one is a more holistic one which looks at the standards as a whole and the other is more focused on a principals based approach which is allowing management to decide on the level of dislousure,” Wood added.

ICAS said the project is being led by an oversight group of preparers, users and accountants in practice. The group is jointly chaired by Deloitte partner Isobel Sharp and former ICAS president, as well as NZICA former president and professional company director Tony Frankham.

The two institutes expect to have draft results of the research available in June.

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