Global Standards for the world economy

Sunday 28 February 2021

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Development and publication of a Discussion Paper

Although a Discussion Paper is not mandatory, the IASB normally publishes it as its first publication on any major new topic to explain the issue and solicit early comment from constituents.

If the IASB decides to omit this step, it will state why.

Typically, a Discussion Paper includes:

  • a comprehensive overview of the issue;
  • possible approaches in addressing the issue;
  • the preliminary views of its authors or the IASB; and
  • an invitation to comment.

This approach may differ if another accounting standard-setter develops the research paper.

 Discussion Papers may result either from:

  • a research project being conducted by another accounting standard-setter; or
  • as the first stage of an active agenda project carried out by the IASB.

In the first case, the Discussion Paper is drafted by another standard-setter and published by the IASB. Issues related to the Discussion Paper are discussed in IASB meetings, and publication of such a paper requires a simple majority vote by the IASB.

If the Discussion Paper includes the preliminary views of other authors, the IASB reviews the draft Discussion Paper to ensure that its analysis is an appropriate basis on which to invite public comments.

For Discussion Papers on agenda items that are under the IASB’s direction, or include its preliminary views, the IASB develops the paper or its views on the basis of analysis drawn from staff research and recommendations, as well as suggestions made by the IFRS Advisory Council, Consultative groups and standard-setters and presentations from invited parties.

All discussions of technical issues related to the draft paper take place in public sessions.