As the 2019 financial statements are finalised, the first-time application of IFRS 16 will have kept stakeholders on their toes right up to the last minute. This is because the IFRS Interpretations Committee did not officially clarify until 16 December how the term of certain leases should be determined.
Apart from the substantive issues, the subject shed light on the due process underlying the Interpretations Committee’s agenda decisions. The current simple majority rule allows the Committee to conclude that the contents of a standard form a sufficient basis for determining how to apply it to a given situation even when almost half of its members, despite their IFRS expertise, disagree. That may raise legitimate questions.
The current revision of the Due Process Handbook, which should result in the involvement of the IASB in deciding whether to publish an IFRS IC agenda decision, is rightly presented as a way of enhancing the Committee’s due process.
The end of the year also saw the publication of a major new IASB exposure draft on the presentation of financial statements, which is sure to be a lively discussion topic in the months to come.