Relevant feedback on group accounting, or: if you care about my happiness you’d get rid of it

The IASB is calling for feedback on the IFRS Standards for group accounting—IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements, IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements and IFRS 12 Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities.

Here’s how the news release summed that up:

  • The Request for Information has been published as part of the Post-implementation Review (PIR) of these Standards.
  • PIRs are carried out to assess the effects of a new Standard after companies have applied the requirements for some time.
  • IFRS 10 sets out requirements for the preparation of group—consolidated—financial statements; IFRS 11 addresses how to account for interests in joint arrangements; and IFRS 12 sets out the information to be disclosed in the notes to the financial statements about interests in other companies.
  • These IFRS Standards have been effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2013.
  • The Request for Information, published today, seeks feedback on applying the Standards and on the information provided to users of financial statements.
  • The Board will use the feedback on the Request for Information to determine whether any further action is required.
  • Hans Hoogervorst, Chair of the International Accounting Standards Board, said: “Post-implementation reviews are an opportunity to check that our Standards do the job they were intended to do. I encourage all stakeholders to help us in the process by providing relevant feedback.”

Comments are to be received by May 10, 2021, and no doubt most commentators will put together thoughtful submissions. However, courtesy of my mole at the IASB, I received access to some of the early ones, which for the most part appear slapped together quickly, largely irrelevant, and much as I hate to say it, barely worthy even of basic respect. See for yourself…

  • I am the CFO of a company with nine wonderful profitable wholly-owned subsidiaries and one horrible loss-making one. We apply IFRS 10 and our consolidated statements look awful because of the hopeless entity that drags down all the others. This is obviously not acceptable to us but under stupid IFRS 10 we can’t find any way out of it. This is something you urgently have to change.
  • IFRS 10 is a total tool of the corrupt patriarchy. All it does is whine on about power, and control, and using power to generate returns, and more such bourgeois self-satisfied propaganda. As long as our conversation is governed by this kind of complacent mind-control, we have no hope of achieving the virtuous revolution we’re all working towards. We need a new model in which those who seek to control are placed at the bottom, and their returns are distributed for the good of the many
  • I use IFRS 10, 11 and 12 a lot, and I guess they’re fine as they are, but it bugs me that they’re numbered so far down. Some of the best numbers are allocated completely inappropriately- for example IFRS 1 is given to first-time adoption which you could basically throw away now because everyone’s already adopted IFRS except total losers who’ve missed their chance. IFRS 2 is given to share-based payments which I don’t even want to get into because I’ll lose my cool.  And IFRS 4’s going to be vacant! So you need to stop playing around and fix the numbers.
  • We’re probably not the first ones to tell you this, but my buddies and I can’t take IFRS 11 seriously because of that “joint arrangements” thing. Whenever it comes up, all we do is make jokes about rolling joints and then arranging them, or “jointly venturing” outside for a smoke, and on and on. It stopped being funny years ago, but we can’t stop going there, probably because we’ve smoked so much weed that our brains are fried and it’s hard to think of anything new. The best way to help us out would probably be just to get rid of that whole standard.
  • I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years. We share a really good relationship; but there are times when my boyfriend just doesn’t want to talk especially when we fight. He goes silent and withdraws and it’s extremely frustrating when he does that. I want him to talk and know what he is thinking. However he just wants to be left alone, and to stare into his IFRS standards, especially at IFRS 12 which he says is his favourite. I am not a nag and I don’t yell or shout when I am fighting with him. But I have no choice to express my displeasure when he gives me the silent treatment. I am not sure why he behaves this way, but I think he believes at those times that IFRS 12 makes more sense and adds more to his life than I do. I think that if IFRS 12 didn’t exist, it would really help our relationship, and if you cared about that as you should, you would get rid of it.

Well, maybe that last one at least has a point…

Once again, happy holidays!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, or perhaps of various disaffected others.

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