By the end of the month, the IASB will have received the comment letters on its proposals for clarifying IFRS 15. Although they arise out of the work of the Joint Transition Resource Group (TRG), the amendments put forward by the IASB differ from those proposed by the FASB in its own consultation documents. So the desire of the two boards to develop twin standards has not managed to overcome the difference of philosophy between IFRS and US GAAP. During this ‘pre-interpretation’ phase, the FASB has made clear its appetite for a ‘rule-based’ approach. Leopards don’t change their spots.
As 2015 gets under way, discussions on the application of IFRS 15 are in full swing! Many technical subjects have now been discussed by the Joint Transition Resource Group, and already the idea of amending the standard as published has made some headway, at least on the FASB side.
As we foresaw, the FASB and the IASB have decided to introduce amendments to their twin standards ASC 606 and IFRS 15 on revenue recognition. Although the amendments (and their due process) are likely to differ between the two Boards, the FASB taking a more prescriptive approach, they should not affect the principles of the standard, or the convergence achieved between the two accounting frameworks on the recognition of revenue.
As rumoured over the past few weeks, the FASB is to publish a draft amendment proposing to defer the mandatory effective date of Topic 606, the US equivalent of IFRS 15. This decision will put pressure on the IASB to decide whether it will also defer the effective date. Meanwhile, much discussion continues over potential amendments to the two standards.
As expected, following the FASB decision to defer the mandatory effective date of Topic 606, the IASB has now followed in its wake. An exposure draft will shortly be published proposing to defer the effective date of IFRS 15 to 1 January 2018. These decisions are a consequence of the work conducted in the TRG on the implementation difficulties of these twin standards, which will result in the upcoming publication of proposed amendments.
As scheduled, the IASB has published its exposure draft, proposing a one-year deferral of the mandatory effective date of IFRS 15. This exposure draft is to be followed by a second, scheduled for July, proposing amendments to the standard (in the form of clarifications and additional examples) ensuing from the work of the TRG. Although further TRG meetings are scheduled, the IASB is not planning to make any further amendments.
The IASB is making progress with its proposed amendments to IFRS 15, following on from the work of the Transition Resource Group.