Rules Related to Accounting Policies, Disclosures Expected Next Month
In February, the IASB will modify rules on the disclosure of accounting policies, and accounting policies and estimates, according to a board posting on January 15. The board will publish a narrow amendment to International Accounting Standards (IAS) 1, Presentation of Financial Statements, to require companies to disclose their material accounting policies rather than their significant accounting policies. Related to that, IFRS Practice Statement 2, Making Materiality Judgements, will also be amended to explain and demonstrate the application of the four-step materiality process to accounting policy disclosures. Separately, the board will issue narrow amendments to IAS 8, Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors, to help companies better distinguish accounting policies from accounting estimates, according to a staff paper slated for the board’s January 26 meeting. The distinction is important, because changes in accounting estimates often affect a company’s profit or loss, but changes in accounting policies generally do not. The documents are among the last of a bevy of board work under the helm of IASB Chair Hans Hoogervorst, who will vacate the seat at the end of June due to term limits. Hoogervorst is being succeeded by Andreas Barckow, head of Germany’s accounting standards-setting board, who takes the chairmanship role on July 1.
U.S. Banking Sector Calls for Public Debates on Proposed Global Sustainability Board
The IFRS Foundation’s efforts to establish a global sustainability standards board (SSB) pulled in 570 comment letters as of January 15, 2021, including comments from the U.S. banking sector, which advocated that a lot more dialogue should take place first. Bank of America Corp. suggested a series of roundtable discussions should be held to get “analytic input to ponder and deliberate on the form, structure and mandate of a single internationally recognized standard.” The IFRS Foundation is well-positioned to lead the effort to establish a single internationally recognized sustainability standards setter but first needs to “bring together a range of organizations and entities that provide sustainability reporting frameworks,” Bank of America’s Chief Accountant Rudolf Bless said in a December 23, 2020, letter. Bless stated that other organizations have provided work that has been instrumental in responding to the increased demand for sustainability reporting. “Their experience and expertise can aid in the development of a single set of standards that will address the needs of all stakeholders,” he said. “A single standard should draw from the work performed by these organizations, and they should have a seat at the table.”
Applications for .CPA Domain Accepted from Individual CPAs.
The AICPA is rolling out .cpa, the top-level internet domain for the accounting profession, for individuals who are licensed certified public accountants. The association has begun accepting applications since January 15, 2021. The AICPA and its business and technology subsidiary, CPA.com, first made the exclusive domain available only for licensed CPA firms and approved organizations in September 2020. The number of specialized or restricted top-level domains has grown dramatically in recent years, as businesses, organizations, and online communities seek to promote their visibility and authenticity online. “Use of a .cpa domain allows practitioners to strengthen their brand identity in online communications and provides better security and resistance to Internet fraud, such as phishing and spoofing,” the AICPA stated. “And because the domain is only available to licensed CPAs and licensed CPA firms, it promotes greater trust with clients and the general public.” Those interested can apply online at domains.cpa.