June 2015

ASIC

ASIC has introduced an improved way of communicating information to investors and other users which enables companies to prepare and lodge human readable digital financial reports with ASIC using on-line XBRL (iXBRL) which removes the need for separate lodgment of a pdf-format or paper financial report.Digital financial reports using iXBRL:

  • will be human readable, using most popular web browsers and will appear similar to pdf or paper financial reports;
  • allow the use of hyperlinks to better structure the information and allow users to more easily navigate financial reports; and
  • tag financial information with a common set of identifiers to facilitate analysis by computers and ready comparison across companies and over time.

Further guidance on digital financial reporting is available from the Standard Business Reporting website at www.sbr.au/software-developers/developer-tools/asic/asic-finrpt.

 

ASX

ASX continuous disclosure: The G100 submission on proposed changes to Guidance Note 8 ‘Continuous Disclosure’ is available on the website. The amended ASX guidance is expected to apply from 1 July 2015.

 

Corportate Reporting

IFRS 15 ‘Revenue from contracts with customers’: The IASB has tentatively decided to defer the mandatory implementation date of IFRS 15 for one year until January 2018. This follows a similar move by the FASB in response to concerns that constituents needed more time to make the transition.  The IASB has issued ED/2015/2C ‘Effective date of IFRS 15’ a narrow scope ED with a 30 day comment period. Comments are required by 3 July 2015.The IASB also proposes to issue an ED dealing with some implementation issues identified by the IFRS 15 Transition Resource Group.

Conceptual framework: Ian Mackintosh – Deputy Chair, IASB – presented at a roundtable hosted by the AASB on 7 May. The IASB has issued ED/2015/3 ‘Conceptual framework for financial reporting’ and ED/2015/4 ‘Updating references to the conceptual framework’ with a view to finalizing the statement in 2016.

The AASB will hold outreach events in Melbourne and Sydney in August 2015 to provide a forum for Board members to discuss the proposals in the ED with constituents. Details of these roundtables will be posted on its website shortly.

The ED includes proposals to revise the definitions of an asset and a liability, to introduce guidance on measurement and derecognition and to set a framework for presentation and disclosure. Comments on both EDs are due by 26 October 2015. The EDs and supporting materials are available at www.ifrs.org.

Disclosure initiative

• Materiality: The IASB proposes to issue an ED of a Proposed Practice Statement ‘Application of materiality to financial statements’ with a 120 day comment period. The IASB agreed to a slight, but possibly significant, amendment to the definition of materiality. Currently, the IASB definition states that material information is that which could influence an investment decision. In past meetings it has been argued that could is too wide and US Supreme Court decisions which talk about significant likelihood has been discussed.

The IASB agreed that variant should say material information was that which could reasonably be expected to influence investment decisions and that this definition should be used uniformly across the Conceptual Framework, IAS 1 and IAS 8.

Disclosure: The IASB has tentatively decided that a general disclosure Standard (such as IAS 1 or a replacement Standard) should include:

  1. a description of the role of the notes; and
  2. a central set of disclosure objectives built on the objective of Financial Statements and the role of the notes.

In addition, the IASB tentatively decided that the Principles of Disclosure Discussion Paper should include two approaches for developing these objectives, either focusing on:

  1. the different types of information disclosed in the notes; or
  2. how users commonly assess the prospects for future net cash inflows to an entity and management’s stewardshipof that entity’s resources.

The IASB will also field test a proposed new approach to drafting disclosure requirements with preparers, auditors, regulators and users prior to the publication of the DP which is expected in Q4/2015.

IFRS Foundation 2014 Annual Report: Focusing on the theme Financial reporting standards for the world economy, the Annual Report for 2014 incorporates the Foundation’s newly developed mission statement and sets out the organisation’s strategic priorities for 2015 – 2017, broken down into four strategic goals:

  • Develop a single set of high quality, globally enforceable accounting standards
  • Pursue the goal of global adoption of IFRS
  • Support consistent application and implementation of IFRS
  • Ensure continued independence, stability and accountability of the IFRS Foundation.The full Annual Report can be found at www.iasb.org.

Due diligence for accountants: The APESB has issued an ED which proposes revisions to the professional and ethical standard APES 350 ‘Participation by members in public practice in due diligence committees’ (www.apesb.org.au) in connection with a public document.

The current standard (APES 350) deals with Australian accounting firms and practitioners involved with due diligence committees. The revision includes expanded definitions and provides guidance about bringing matters to the attention of clients or due diligence committees.

The revision also brings the standard into line with changes to the international Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and takes account of recent amendments to accounting standards and auditing standards. Feedback is sought by 15 June 2015.

Corporate reporting dialogue: The Corporate Reporting Dialogue (CRD) which brings together organisations that have significant international influence on the corporate reporting landscape, including IASB, FASB and GRI, has published a landscape map that provides a snapshot of a comparison of their frameworks, standards and related requirements through the lens of integrated reporting.

The map has three levels:

  • Purpose: Offering a brief description of the purpose of each standard or framework.
  • Scope: Explaining how each reporting initiative relates to the six capitals of integrated reporting.
  • Content: Explaining how each reporting initiative relates to the content elements of integrated reporting.

The map is available at www.corporatereportingdialogue.com/landscape-map.

Accounting for sustainability: The A4S Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Leadership Network has published four guides to help the finance and accounting community address the practical issues of integrating sustainability into their business processes and decisions. Each guide is supported by case studies from Network members which demonstrate practical applications of the approaches and techniques set out in the guides.

The four guides are:

  • CAPEX: A practical guide to embedding sustainability into capital investment appraisal. It outlines how businesses can adapt their existing capital investment appraisal processes in a pragmatic and systematic manner to integrate social and environmental issues.
  • Enhancing investor engagement: A practical guide for investor relations teams to engage on the drivers of sustainable value. It assists investor relations teams as they seek to engage investors on the link between sustainable business models and the creation of shareholder value.
  • Managing future uncertainty: An introduction to integrating risks resulting from macro sustainability trends into business decision making. The guide introduces finance and risk professionals to the potential business impacts from macro sustainability trends and highlights the unique characteristics of sustainability risks and how these can be identified and managed.
  • Natural and social capital accounting: An introduction for finance teams which helps finance teams increase their understanding of the rapid developments in natural and social capital accounting.

The guides are available at www.accountingforsustainability.org

Classification of liabilities: The G100 submission on ED/2015/1 ‘Classification of liabilities (proposed amendments to IAS 1)’ is available on the website.

Share-based payment: The IASB has agreed to undertake a research project on share-based payment to identify whether, and, if so, where, IFRS 2 ‘Share-based payment’ causes perceived complexity. In doing so, the work of the IASB will be guided by the main application issues that have arisen in practice in complying with IFRS 2.

Audit Committees: The FRC (UK) has issued a practice aid to assist audit committee in evaluating audit quality in their assessment of the effectiveness of the external audit process. Copies of ‘Audit Quality Practice Aid for Audit Committees’ are available at www.frc.org.uk.

 

G100 Discount Rate

The G100 Discount Rate project has been completed. The G100, in conjunction with the Actuaries Institute of Australia) commissioned Milliman Australia to undertake research in relation to the corporate bond market in Australia.

 

Taxation

As part of its participation in the debate on tax reform, the G100 has published ‘Let’s have a real debate about tax reform to keep Australia strong’. The document, which was distributed at the President’s Dinner and Congress 2015, is available on the website www.group100.com.au.

The G100 has finalised its submission to the Government on the Tax Discussion Paper “Re:Think” following input from the G100 tax working group, Executive and members. The submission which addresses the issues raised in the discussion paper from a business perspective is available on the website.

Speaking at the Congress, Chris Jordan – Commissioner of Taxation, indicated that transparency about tax issues and ongoing engagement with the ATO was necessary for companies to be moved from the ATO’s classification of tax payers as high risk which now includes only one company.

Neville Mitchell – G100 President, has been appointed a member of the Board of Tax.

Board of Tax: The Board of Tax {BoT} is keen to engage with the business community from various industry sectors to discuss views on the tax system and deregulation opportunities. Following meetings in Sydney and Melbourne the BoT is holding a breakfast meeting in Brisbane on Friday, 19 June. Invitations have been sent to G100 members.

 

Integrated Reporting

The 100 Group (UK) has issued a paper on integrated reporting titled ‘How does it fit in the UK?’ which sets out the key points and evidence for the adoption of integrated reporting in the UK.

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants has published ‘Integrated thinking, an exploratory survey’ and the Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa have issued ‘Preparing an Integrated Report: A Starter’s Guide’. These documents are available at www.theiirc.org.

 

CFO First 100 Days Program

Members are reminded that they should contact Peter Meehan (0417 509 022) to discuss candidates for participation in the program which is exclusive to G100 members.

 

Executive Membership

Mark McNamara – Fletcher Building Limited and Colin Pavlovich – Wesfarmers Limited, who have filled casual vacancies were welcomed to the Executive. Mark Davis – Computershare Limited, resigned from Executive because of work commitments.

 

Congress 2015

The G100 Congress 2015, held at the Westin Sydney on 20 May was extremely successful and was attended by more than 140 delegates. President Neville Mitchell’s speech at the opening of Congress focused on tax reform and deregulation and is available on the website.

Sessions on streamlining financial reports emphasized the work and planning involved in making financial reports more manageable and understandable while the directors’ panel provided perspectives on issues including directors’ liability, tax reform, cyber security and the need to take a longer term view to policy decision-making.

Delegates were also informed of the declining ratio of market capitalization to GNP in Australia and the effect of the conservative approach to investment by directors and the prevalence of concentration on short-term returns.

 

President’s Dinner

Alex Malley, CEO CPA Australia, spoke at the President’s Dinner at the Westin Sydney on 19 May 2015. Members and guests were informed on the importance of the use of technology and social media for engaging with members and the broader community.