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Proactive Project on Conceptual Framework

EFRAG and the National Standard Setters of France (ANC), Germany (ASCG), Italy (OIC) and the UK (FRC) are collaborating to investigate aspects of the Conceptual Framework they believe are particularly significant to European constituents.

The aim of this is to facilitate the participation of European constituents in this critical debate for the future of IFRS and to ensure ultimately that the revised conceptual framework reflects an underlying accounting model that European stakeholders believe is conducive to robust and effective financial reporting standards.

In addition, the publication “Getting a Better Framework – Our Strategy” has the aim to help to illustrate some of the major issues that will arise in the process of developing the new Framework, to explain the strategy of the accounting standard bodies for engaging with the IASB in its development of the Framework, and to encourage others within Europe to engage in the development of the new Framework.

Given the vast scope of the project, and in order to facilitate obtaining input from European stakeholders in an open and proactive way, the accounting standard bodies have agreed to publish bulletins each covering a topic as well as a regular newsletter on project updates.

This activity is taking place as the IASB is restarting its work on this project with the ambition to complete it by 2015.  The work on the Conceptual Framework is the most important development in financial reporting since the restructuring of the IASB and the adoption of IFRS for use in Europe.

On 11 April 2013, the first three Bulletins resulting from this partnership, open to comment until 5 July 2013,  were published. The three Bulletins are:
- Prudence. This Bulletin considers the role of prudence when developing accounting standards.
- Reliability of financial information. This Bulletin discusses whether the replacement of reliability with faithful representation and the loss of the idea of a trade-off between relevance and reliability is appropriate.
- Uncertainty. This Bulletin considers whether uncertainty is best dealt with solely as a matter of measurement or should continue to play a role in either or both the definition of an element and the recognition criteria.

On 8 July 2013, two Bulletins were published:
- The role of the business model in financial reporting. This Bulletin considers whether financial reporting based on the business model notion provides useful information.
- The role of a Conceptual Framework. This Bulletin considers: the purpose of the Framework for the IASB; the completeness of the Framework for setting requirements; the role of the Framework for preparers; the decision-making process derived from the Framework; and the consequences of a revised Framework for existing IFRS.
Comments are invited by 30 September 2013.

On 10 September 2013, two Bulletins were published:
- Accountability and the objective of financial reporting. This Bulletin discusses whether financial statements should provide information that is useful for an assessment of management’s accountability (or stewardship) and whether this objective is adequately reflected in the IASB’s Conceptual Framework.
- The asset/liability approach. This Bulletin considers whether defining equity, income and expenses on the basis of the definitions of assets and liabilities: implies that the presentation of relevant information on income will be subordinated to information on assets and liabilities; provides an appropriate basis for reporting performance; requires that all assets and liabilities are recognised; and/or implies that all assets and liabilities are to be stated at fair value.
Comments are invited by 15 November 2013.

On 10 February 2014, the Bulletin Complexity was published. The Bulletin reflects in detail on the causes of complexity in accounting and suggests that additional guidance in the Conceptual Framework could be of help to minimise complexity.

Comments are invited by 30 April 2014.

The comments received will be considered in developing views so as to best express European views in the IASB consultation process.

Newsletter – February 2013

Newsletter – March 2013

Newsletter – April 2013

Newsletter – June 2013

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