Own credit risk

The topic of own credit risk generates perhaps more strongly held views than any other accounting topic. For example, in around 2011, the IASB was developing a discussion paper on insurance contracts. Some of us visited one of the largest insurers in the world. They knew almost nothing about the project. But they had heard… Continue reading Own credit risk

Does it matter that companies don’t consolidate pension funds?

Some people wonder why companies present pension liabilities net of the related plan assets. They suggest that instead companies should consolidate their pension plans. People making that suggestion think it would lead to companies presenting pension liabilities (gross) separately from the plan assets. This post explains why introducing a requirement to consolidate pension plans would… Continue reading Does it matter that companies don’t consolidate pension funds?


When the IASB developed the 2018 version of its Conceptual Framework for Financial Statements (2018), it created a set of principles that it believed would provide a more coherent base for its future decisions on recognition. The post summarises how those principles differ from the recognition criteria contained in the previous (2010) version of the… Continue reading Recognition

What does diluted EPS measure?

IAS 33 Earnings per Share requires listed companies to disclose not only basic earnings per share (EPS) but also diluted EPS. It seems that there is not widespread: This post explores the objective of the approach, the reason why the IASB’s predecessor (IASC: International Accounting Standards Committee) selected it and implications for any possible changes… Continue reading What does diluted EPS measure?

IASC’s project on discounting

The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) added to its work plan a project on discounting (or present value) in 1998. IASC was the predecessor of the International Accounting Standards Board (the IASB). When the IASB came into being in 2001 and took over from IASC, the IASB decided not to continue with the project. In… Continue reading IASC’s project on discounting

Why it’s hard to measure deferred tax on investments in subsidiaries

IAS 12 Income Taxes prohibits recognition of most of those deferred tax liabilities (and deferred tax assets) resulting from investments in subsidiaries. This post examines why that prohibition exists. In summary, when that prohibition applies, the parent has a deferred tax liability (or deferred tax asset). The parent must disclose the underlying ‘temporary difference’. But… Continue reading Why it’s hard to measure deferred tax on investments in subsidiaries

Saying how likely something is: way forward

IFRS standards use too many different terms to say how likely it is that an event will occur. And different people using IFRS Standards interpret those terms in different ways. Those clear messages appeared in a research report issued in 2016 by the Korea Accounting Standards Board (KASB) and Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB). I… Continue reading Saying how likely something is: way forward

Those mushrooming effective date paragraphs

The IASB has a problem with effective date paragraphs.  There are far too many of them and their number keeps growing. I believe it is time to find a better approach to writing these paragraphs. What does the IASB do now? When the IASB amends a standard, it also adds to that standard a paragraph… Continue reading Those mushrooming effective date paragraphs

Did a dead man write IAS 1?

There is a strange but persistent rumour that IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements was written by Sir Henry Benson (later Lord Benson), the first chairman of the IASB’s predecessor, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). If true, this would have been a remarkable feat. Benson’s term as IASC chairman finished in 1976 and he… Continue reading Did a dead man write IAS 1?