The International Accounting Standards Board has launched a new program in tandem with some of the largest financial firms in a bid to elicit closer ties with investors and investment firms.
The Investors in Financial Reporting program was created with the support of some of the world’s leading asset managers and owners. Participants in the launch phase include Allianz Global Investors, APG Asset Management, AustralianSuper, BlackRock, Fidelity Worldwide Investment, Henderson Global Investors, Hermes Investment Management, Nomura Asset Management, PGGM Investments and UniSuper.
The program is designed to foster greater investor participation in the development of International Financial Reporting Standards. It comes only a few months after the IASB finalized its new financial instruments standard, IFRS 9, in July, ahead of the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the U.S., after the two boards failed to reach full convergence on some key elements of the new standards, including credit losses and loan impairments (see IASB Releases Its Own Financial Instruments Standard). FASB is expected to release its own financial instruments standard for U.S. GAAP in the next few months.
IFRS is required for use by more than 100 countries, the IASB pointed out in announcing the new program Tuesday. The IASB, as the public interest body responsible for IFRS, noted that it consults extensively with investors and other stakeholders around the world. The Investors in Financial Reporting program aims to extend investor participation further by encouraging greater involvement specifically from the buy-side community.
“The Investors in Financial Reporting program is designed to intensify the involvement of investors in the development of high-quality financial reporting standards,” said IASB chairman Hans Hoogervorst in a statement. “I am grateful to the investor organizations that have helped shape this launch phase of the program and I encourage others within the investment community to join the financial reporting debate.”
A central part of the new program is a mutually agreed upon Statement of Shared Beliefs between the IASB and the investment firms that have signed on so far, including the importance of high-quality, transparent reporting for building trust in the capital markets and for making investment decisions. In addition, the IASB publicly reaffirmed its commitment to continue to seek and consider investor views in the development of new accounting standards.
On the part of the investment firms, they committed to contributing to the development of high-quality financial reporting standards, which involves working with the IASB to ensure that the investor perspective is articulated clearly and considered in the standard-setting process.
For more information about the program, visit http://go.ifrs.org/InvestorProgramme.
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