International


  

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), in a discussion paper on IAS 19, Employee Benefits , set out its preliminary views on how the accounting for some post-employment benefits, including pensions, could be improved.

The discussion paper, developed in consultation with the IASB’s Employee Benefits Working Group, addresses the main concerns expressed by a wide range of interested parties that the accounting model set out in IAS 19 is inadequate and should be reviewed.

The IASB’s preliminary views on how to address those main issues are:

To remove the options for deferred recognition of gains and losses in defined-benefit plans.

To introduce a new classification of benefit promises into contribution based promises and defined-benefit promises, with a new measurement attribute for contribution-based promises.

Comments are due by Sept. 26. For more information, visit www.iasb.org .

The SEC announced a series of actions it intends to take toward implementing mutual recognition for high-quality regulatory regimes in other countries.

These include:

Exploring initial agreements with one or more foreign regulatory counterparts, which would be based upon a comparability assessment by the SEC and by the foreign authority of one another’s regulatory regimes.

Considering adoption of a formal process for engaging other national regulators on the subject of mutual recognition. This process could be accomplished through rulemaking or other appropriate mechanisms, possibly informed by one or more initial agreements with other regulators.

Developing a framework for mutual recognition discussions with jurisdictions comprising multiple securities regulators tied together by a common legal framework, including Canada (which has no national securities regulator, but rather provincial regulators) and the European Union (whose national securities regulators are subject to supranational legislation and directives).

Proposing reforms to Rule 15a-6 to improve the process by which U.S. investors have access to foreign broker- dealers.

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) released International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 580 (Revised and Redrafted), Written Representations . ISA 580 (Revised and Redrafted) contains new requirements designed to improve the auditors’ practice in relation to the written statements that management provides to auditors to confirm certain matters or to support other audit evidence. During the development of the standard, the IAASB considered matters such as the reasons for requesting written representations, the value of the evidence that they provide, and from whom they should be requested.

The standard requires the auditor to request written representations provided by management on two fundamental matters— that it has fulfilled its responsibility for the preparation and presentation of the financial statements; and that it has provided the auditor with all relevant information and that all transactions have been recorded and are reflected in the financial statements.

The auditor may deem it appropriate to request other written representations during the course of the audit. Other ISAs also include requirements for the auditor to request certain written representations in respect of specific matters. In addition, ISA 580 (Revised and Redrafted) includes requirements for appropriate action by the auditor when written representations are not provided by management or are considered to be unreliable.

The ISA is available at www.ifac.org .

 

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