International GAAP 2019
The 2019 edition of International GAAP® has been fully revised and updated in order to:
• Continue to investigate the 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 narrowscope 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 book is published in three volumes. The 52 chapters – listed on pages ix to xi – are split between the three volumes as follows:
• Volume 1 – Chapters 1 to 23,
• Volume 2 – Chapters 24 to 39,
• Volume 3 – Chapters 40 to 52.
Each chapter includes a detailed list of contents and list of illustrative examples.
Each of the three volumes contains the following indexes covering all three volumes:
• an index of extracts from financial statements,
• an index of references to standards and interpretations,
• a general index.
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
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