The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) amended two international accounting standards (IASs) ( www.iasb.org/news ). One amendment, to IAS 19, Employee Benefits, allows entities to fully recognize actuarial gains and losses (that is, unexpected changes in a benefit plan’s value) in the period in which they occur, outside profit or loss, in a statement of changes in equity titled “statement of recognized income and expense.” Previously, the standard had required that actuarial gains and losses be recognized in profit or loss either in the period in which they occurred or spread over employees’ terms of service. Under the amendment entities that currently spread the gains and losses are allowed, but are not required, to change their approach.
Other amendments, to IAS 39, Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, provide transitional relief from retrospective application of “day 1” gain and loss recognition requirements. These changes, which converge with U.S. GAAP, permit, but do not require, entities to adopt an easier-to-implement transition approach than that in the previous version of IAS 39.
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) issued, proposed or withdrew several forms of guidance ( www.ifac.org ).
International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 700, The Independent Auditor’s Report on a Complete Set of General Purpose Financial Statements, provides a framework for separating audit reporting requirements in connection with ISA audits from additional supplementary reporting responsibilities that are required in certain jurisdictions.
Two complementary exposure drafts, ISA 320 (revised), Materiality in the Identification and Evaluation of Misstatements, and ISA 540 (revised), Auditing Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures (Other than Those Involving Fair Value Measurement and Disclosures), are intended to help auditors assess whether management may be applying aggressive earnings-management techniques to their estimating procedures. Comments are due by April 30, 2005.
Effective December 31, 2004, the IAASB withdrew four international auditing practice statements that were rendered obsolete by new standards and technology: IAPS 1001, IT Environments—Stand-Alone Computers; IAPS 1002, IT Environments—On-Line Computer Systems; IAPS 1003, Environments—Database Systems; and IAPS 1009— Computer-Assisted Audit Techniques.
IFAC’s education committee released International Education Paper 3, Assessment Methods, to help national accountancy organizations ensure candidates’ competency before certifying them, and its International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board issued International Public Sector Accounting Standard 21, Impairment of Non-Cash Generating Assets, which prescribes the basis entities should use to determine whether an impairment-related loss should be recognized.