International


n The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, an independent standard-setting board within the International Federation of Accountants, issued requirements to help governments and other public sector entities consistently report on international aid, development grants and other forms of external assistance. The disclosure requirements and recommendations are set out in the updated International Public Sector Accounting Standard, Financial Reporting Under the Cash Basis of Accounting (Cash Basis IPSAS). The new disclosures should reduce multiple reporting practices that can be costly for assistance recipients.

The external assistance requirements are effective for reporting periods beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2009. The Cash Basis IPSAS is available at www.ifac.org/store.

n The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) amended International Standards on Review Engagements (ISRE) 2400, Engagements to Review Financial Statements, and 2410, Review of Interim Financial Information Performed by the Independent Auditor of the Entity.

To align the application of ISRE 2400, ISRE 2410 and International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000, Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, the IAASB agreed to restrict the application of ISRE 2400 to a review of any historical financial information performed by a practitioner who is not the entity’s auditor.

"These minor amendments, which are effective immediately, clarify the application of the ISREs and ISAE 3000 by eliminating a small gap in the apparent scope of the ISREs and ensuring that, as intended, there is no overlap in the scopes of the ISREs and ISAE 3000,” John Kellas, IAASB chairman, said in a press release. "As a result, practitioners will have no doubt about which standard is to be applied to a review engagement."

The amendments to ISREs 2400 and 2410 are available free at www.ifac.org/store.

n The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) released for public comment a draft Interpretation, IFRIC D24, Customer Contributions.

Customer contributions are transactions in which an entity—the access provider—receives an asset it uses to provide access to an ongoing supply of goods or services to a customer or customers. In some cases, the access provider receives cash, which it must use to acquire or construct the asset that will provide access.

IFRIC D24 clarifies:

  • Whether a customer contribution should be recognized as an asset and, if so, whether it should be initially recognized at cost or fair value.
  • Whether an agreement to provide ongoing services using a contributed asset contains a lease.
  • How to account for the credit that arises from the recognition of a customer contribution at fair value.
  • How to account for a cash contribution.

Comments are due by April 25. To download a copy, visit www.iasb.org.

n The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued an amendment to IFRS 2, Share-based Payment. The amendment clarifies that vesting conditions are service conditions and performance conditions only. Other features of a share-based payment are not vesting conditions. It also specifies that all cancellations, whether by the entity or by other parties, should receive the same accounting treatment. The amendment will be effective for annual periods beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2009. Early adoption is permitted. For more information, visit www.iasb.org.

n SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and the European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy agreed to develop a framework for mutual recognition during a February meeting in Washington. The goals of a mutual recognition arrangement would be to increase transatlantic market efficiency and liquidity while enhancing investor protection, according to an SEC news release. They jointly declared:

"The U.S. and EU, which comprise 70% of the world’s capital markets have a common interest in developing a cooperative approach to reducing regulatory friction and increasing investor access to investment diversification opportunities and enhancing investor protections. The concept of mutual recognition offers significant promise as a means of better protecting investors, fostering capital formation and maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient transatlantic securities markets. As we consider implementation of this concept, we encourage input from market participants."

SEC and European Commission officials and staff of the Committee of European Securities Regulators plan to hold regular technical meetings on the mutual recognition framework this year. McCreevy and Cox agreed to work closely during the year to review overall progress, the SEC said.

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