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Changes to IFRS financial statements (IAS 8)

1. Current developments

As a result of the 2011 agenda consultation, the IASB started a research project on the presentation of the financial statements. This deals in particular with the general challenges with regard to the effectiveness of claims. One possible consequence of the project is the replacement of IAS 1, IAS 7 and IAS 8 with a new disclosure concept. In September 2017, the IASB published two draft accounts with implications for IAS 8, ED / 2017/5 and ED / 2017/6. With his design ED / 2017/5 The IASB wants to create clarity on “accounting methods and accounting-related estimates”. For example, companies find it difficult to distinguish between changes in accounting policies and changes in accounting estimates. Enforcement institutions have also found discrepancies in practice in this regard. The changes to the standard that have been made focus on the relationships between accounting policies and accounting estimates and on the selection of estimates and valuation methods. According to the staff's recommendation, these changes are expected to come into effect on. The design ED / 2017/6 “Definition of materiality”, on the other hand, tries to define the concept of materiality even more concretely than before. According to this, information should be considered material if it is to be expected that its omission, incorrect presentation or concealment will influence the economic decisions of the users of the financial statements, which are made on the basis of the IFRS financial statements of the company under review. Both drafts were put up for public discussion. On, the IASB decided to change the standard with regard to the definition of “materiality” and this finally came into force. Finally, on on, the IASB proposed changes to the standard regarding the application of IAS 8. These proposals concern changes in accounting policies. Such changes are to be applied retrospectively, unless such retrospective application is demonstrably unfeasible. In many cases, these accounting adjustments, classified as voluntary, have far-reaching implications. Accordingly, the IASB has proposed to allow the companies concerned to carry out a “cost-benefit analysis” and, in those cases in which the costs of obtaining and providing additional information exceed the related benefits, to opt out of the retrospective application of the changed accounting method to free.

▶ Show reference

Deloitte (Ed.), IFRS Center of Excellence No. 4/2018, IFRS focused

Grünberger, IFRS 2020: A systematic practical guide, 17th edition 2019

Mujkanovic, The Principle of Materiality - Draft Practice Statement on IFRS, PiR 2/2016 p. 31

PwC (ed.), Proposals to amend IAS 8, International Accounting News 03/2018

Zülch / Willms, Changes to the annual financial statements and their accounting treatment in accordance with IAS 8 (revised 2003), KoR 2004 p. 128

2. Overview

The accounting of changes in IFRS financial statements is in IAS 8 (Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors) regulated.

The regulations of IAS 8 are through the "Improvement Project" revised by the IASB and published in its current version on. IAS 8 is binding for IFRS users for fiscal years from.

In IAS 8, the IASB formulates three different causes that can lead to a change in an IFRS financial statement. These causes are:

  • Changes in accounting policies (changes in accounting policies) (IAS 8.14),

  • Changes in Estimates as part of the assessment (changes in accounting estimates) (IAS 8.32-.40) and

  • the Correction of mistakes (errors) (IAS 8.41-.49).

For the recording of changes in IFRS financial statements, two different approaches can generally be considered (IAS 8.5):

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