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IASB discussed the distinction between a change in accounting policy and a change in accounting estimate; no decisions were made

 20 May 2015


The IASB met on 20 May to discuss the Principles of Disclosure project as part of its Disclosure Initiative.

Agenda Paper 11A: distinction between changes in accounting policies and changes in accounting estimates

The IASB discussed a paper prepared by the Italian standard-setter (OIC) about possible amendments to IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors. The paper proposed that the IASB should amend the existing definitions of accounting policies and changes in accounting estimates in order to clarify that:

  • changes in the measurement bases that are specified in relevant Standards are changes in accounting policies;
  • changes in the measurement bases include changes in cost measures and, therefore, changes in the methods used to determine different cost measures are changes in accounting policies; and
  • changes in inputs, assumptions and methods that are used to make an accounting estimate are changes in accounting estimates.

No decisions were made at this meeting. The IASB asked the staff to further develop the proposals in the direction proposed in the paper.

The IASB tentatively agreed that when the proposed amendments are fully developed they should be published as an Exposure Draft and not as part of the forthcoming Principles of Disclosure Discussion Paper. Eight out of the thirteen IASB members present agreed with this decision.

Agenda Paper 11B: changes in accounting estimates—new disclosures

The IASB discussed a paper prepared by the Italian standard-setter (OIC) about possible amendments to the requirement to disclose the nature and amount of a change in an accounting estimate in paragraph 39 of IAS 8. These proposed amendments would require an entity to disclose the reason(s) for a change in an accounting estimate that has a material effect on its financial statements.

No decisions were made at this meeting.


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