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Primary Financial Statements

Description

In July 2014 the IASB added the Performance Reporting project to its research agenda, mainly in response to the strong demand from investors to undertake a project on performance reporting. In 2015 the IASB renamed the project to Primary Financial Statements.

In its Primary Financial Statements project the IASB is examining possible changes to the structure and content of the primary financial statements. The IASB's project is focused on:

  • Require companies to present additional defined subtotals in the statement of profit or loss;

  • Strengthen requirements for disaggregating information; and

  • Require companies to disclose information about management performance measures in the notes.

On 17 December 2019, the IASB published the ED General Presentation and Disclosure where it includes proposals to improve how information is communicated in the financial statements, with a focus on the statement of profit or loss. 

The ultimate objective is to replace IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements with a new Standard that would comprise new requirements on presentation and disclosures in the financial statements and requirements brought forward from IAS 1 with only limited changes to the wording.

EFRAG Draft Comment Letter

On 24 February 2020, EFRAG has published its draft comment letter in response to the IASB's Exposure Draft 2019/7 General Presentation and Disclosures and seeks constituents' views on the proposals. Comments on the draft comment letter are requested by 19 June 2020, by close of business.

In its Draft Comment Letter, EFRAG welcomes the Exposure Draft and the IASB's efforts to improve the structure and content of the primary financial statements.

EFRAG supports the IASB's proposals to present an operating, investing and financing category in the statement of profit or loss to improve comparability and reduce diversity in practice. However, EFRAG has reservations over some of the proposals in the ED:

  • the newly created categories in the statement of profit or loss are not aligned with the presentation of cash flows in the statement of cash flows, however, they have  similar labelling

  • clear guidance is needed on the notion of 'entity's main business activity' to distinguish between categories in the statement of profit or loss; and

  • the ED proposals should consider the interaction with existing regulatory frameworks on presentation of financial statements;

EFRAG is also seeking views from constituents on the IASB's approach to consider as part of the financing category the income and expenses that arise from

  • cash and cash equivalents

  • time value of money on liabilities that do not arise from financing activities. 

EFRAG considers that separate presentation of integral and non-integral associates and joint ventures will result in relevant information for users of financial statements and enhance comparability. EFRAG highlights that such presentation will involve significant judgement and needs to be tested in practice.

EFRAG welcomes the IASB's efforts to provide guidance on management performance measures (MPMs) which are often used in practice and additional guidance on non-IFRS measures could bring more transparency and consistency on their use. However, EFRAG highlights a number of challenges in regard to the ED proposals and is seeking views of its constituents on a possible alternative narrower scope. EFRAG also suggests the IASB to further articulate the link between MPMs and IFRS 8 Operating Segments.

EFRAG welcomes the IASB's efforts to define unusual income and expenses and to require entities to disclose such items in the notes, however the definition of unusual items seems to be rather narrow, as it focuses on whether expenses/income will occur in the future.

During its consultation period, EFRAG will reach out to national standard setters, users of financial statements, preparers, regulators, business associations and other accounting experts to test the practical application of the ED proposals.

Field-test on the IASB's project Primary Financial Statements

On 6 March 2020, EFRAG published an invitation for companies to participate in the field-test on the IASB's project Primary Financial Statements. EFRAG, in close coordination with European National Standard Setters and the IASB, will conduct field-testing of the IASB's proposals included in the Exposure Draft ED/2019/7 General Presentation and Disclosures (ED), which were published in December 2019. The purpose of the field-testing is to identify potential implementation and application concerns, to determine whether there is a need for additional guidance, and to estimate the effort required to implement and apply the proposals.

Participants are welcomed to express interest to participate in the field-tests until the end of April 2020. Expression of interest received at a later date will still be considered by EFRAG. EFRAG encourages companies to participate in the field-tests on the IASB's ED and will allow flexibility in terms of communication and timing. Close coordination with the IASB is ensured.

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Publications open for comments

  • 23/03/2020 - EFRAG extends the application period for the field-tests on Primary Financial Statements

    ​In light of the recent concerns surrounding COVID-19 and the restrictive measures from European Governments, recognising the economic implications for companies and financial institutions, EFRAG has extended the application period for the field-tests on the IASB's Exposure Draft ED/2019/7 General Presentation and Disclosures (ED) until the end of April 2020. Expression of interest received at a later date will be considered by EFRAG​. EFRAG encourages companies and financial institutions to, despite the circumstances, participate in the field-tests on the IASB's ED. EFRAG will allow flexibility in terms of communication and timing. Close coordination with the IASB is ensured.

  • 24/02/2020 - EFRAG draft comment letter on Primary Financial Statements

    EFRAG has published its draft comment letter in response to the IASB's Exposure Draft 2019/7 General Presentation and Disclosures and seeks constituents' views on the proposals. Comments on the draft comment letter are requested by 19 June 2020, by close of business.

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