IASB hosts public forum to discuss disclosure overload

by Richard Crump

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13 Nov 2012

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International Accounting Standards Board

DISCLOSURES IN FINANCIAL STATEMENTS have become so bloated that a public forum has been set up to tackle the issue.

The IASB said it will host a public disclosure forum in London next year to improve the quality of financial reporting disclosures.

The forum will bring together investors, preparers, auditors, regulators and standard setters to get a better understanding of the issues related to disclosure overload.

It will discuss the current state of financial report disclosures, concerns about disclosures in financial reports, ways to improve the clarity of financial reports and provide input into the disclosure, and presentation sections of the IASB's Conceptual Framework project.

"It has become increasingly clear that we are suffering from disclosure overload. However, there are many reasons why this is the case. Standard setters are not blameless, but neither are preparers, auditors or regulators," said Hans Hoogervorst, chairman of the IASB.

"However, no one should expect quick wins. One investor's disclosure clutter is another investor's golden nugget of information. Taking information away is never easy."

Last month, the FRC has published a discussion along similar lines. In particular, the paper covered the reduction of clutter in financial reports by avoiding duplication in disclosures and using tests of materiality more rigorously.

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