Marking completion of the first phase of the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB’s) joint initiative with FASB to review and harmonize the presentation of financial statements, the IASB issued a revised version of International Accounting Standard (IAS) no. 1, Presentation of Financial Statements. The revision is aimed at improving users’ ability to analyze and compare information in financial statements.
The project’s second phase, which has already begun, is examining more fundamental questions about the presentation of information in financial statements. The IASB expects to publish a discussion paper on the subject within the next six months.
The current changes require information in financial statements to be aggregated on the basis of shared characteristics and to introduce a statement of comprehensive income. The revised standard gives preparers the option of presenting items of income and expense and components of other comprehensive income either in a single statement of comprehensive income with subtotals, or in two statements. The revisions include changes in the titles of some of the financial statements to reflect their function more clearly. The new titles will be used in accounting standards, but are not mandatory for use in financial statements.
The revised standard is effective for the annual periods beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2009. Early adoption is permitted. To purchase the revised standard, visit www.iasb.org.
The IASB also published an exposure draft of proposed amendments to IAS 39, Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement. The amendments are intended to clarify what can be designated as a hedged item in a hedge accounting relationship.
The ED specifies the risks that qualify for designation as hedged risks when an entity hedges its exposure to a financial instrument. It also clarifies when an entity may designate a portion of the cash flows of a financial instrument as a hedged item.
The proposals respond to requests for additional guidance on what IAS 39 permits to be designated as a hedged item. Although the IASB is undertaking research that will ultimately lead to the replacement of IAS 39, that work is at an early stage. The IASB therefore decided to propose the amendments contained in the ED.The ED is available at www.iasb.org . Comments are due by Jan. 11.