23/08/2018 - EFRAG’s comment letter and feedback statement on ED/2018/1 Accounting Policy Changes (Proposed amendments to IAS 8)
EFRAG has published its comment letter and its feedback statement in response to the IASB's ED/2018/1 Accounting Policy Changes (Proposed amendments to IAS 8).
On 27 March 2018, the IASB published ED/2018/1 Accounting Policy Changes (Proposed amendments to IAS 8) (the 'ED') which proposes to amend IAS 8 Accounting Polices, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors to lower the threshold for relief from retrospective application when entities change an accounting policy as a result of an agenda decision issued by the IFRS Interpretations Committee. Applying the amendments, an entity would be required to apply voluntary changes in accounting policies resulting from agenda decisions either:
(a) from the earliest period practicable: or
(b) from the earliest date for which the expected benefits for users would exceed the costs for preparers.
In its comment letter, EFRAG disagrees with introducing a distinction between voluntary changes in accounting policies resulting from agenda decisions and other voluntary changes. EFRAG suggests instead that the IASB considers whether the threshold for relief from retrospective application of all voluntary changes in accounting policy should be revised to one based on an assessment of costs and benefits. This could reduce the burden for entities seeking to make improvements to their accounting policies and promote greater consistency in the application of IFRS Standards. EFRAG also considers that the proposals in the ED may give rise to practical challenges if finalised in their current form and that further guidance will be needed to:
(a) clarify their scope and in particular the potential pervasiveness of agenda decisions beyond the narrow fact patterns addressed in the submissions; and
(b) help preparers assess the benefits for users.
Lastly, EFRAG reiterates its suggestion to the IASB, made in a previous comment letter, to reconsider whether some additional clarifications on the distinction between a change in accounting policy and correction of an error would be useful.