IASB makes first move on redesigning accounts

The first stage of a project that will transform the way financial accounts
are presented was unveiled yesterday, signalling a move towards US standards.

The International Accounting Standards Board has released for public comment
proposed amendments to IAS1 on presentation of financial statements. The changes
result from the stage one of the joint project with their US counterparts on
performance reporting.

The eventual aim is to take another look at the presentation and display of
information in financial statements, but the changes set out at this stage would
simply see the international accounting standards brought into line with its US

Under the proposals, a company would present all income and expenses
separately from changes in its equity that arise from transactions with its
owners. They would have a choice of presenting income and expenses in a single
statement or in two statements. A company would also be required to include in
its set of financial statements a statement showing its financial position (or
balance sheet) at the beginning of the previous period.

‘We believe that these proposals offer benefits to users of financial
statements by aggregating information with shared characteristics and providing
additional trend information, and at no extra cost to those who prepare the
information,’ said IASB chairman Sir David Tweedie.

‘Our work on the second phase of the project will continue in the coming
months with continuing deliberations at the board level and consultations with
interested parties throughout the world.’

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