IASB Enhances Financial Instruments Disclosures

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued amendments that improve the disclosure requirements about fair value measurements and reinforce existing principles for disclosures about the liquidity risk associated with financial instruments.

The amendments form part of the IASB’s focused response to the financial crisis and addresses the G20 conclusions aimed at improved transparency and enhanced accounting guidance. The improvements also reflect discussions by the IASB’s Expert Advisory Panel on measuring and disclosing fair values of financial instruments when markets are no longer active.

Responding to the calls of policymakers, many investor groups and other interested parties, the IASB is bringing the disclosure requirements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) more closely into line with US standards. The amendments to IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures introduce a three-level hierarchy for fair value measurement disclosures and require entities to provide additional disclosures about the relative reliability of fair value measurements. These disclosures will help to improve comparability between entities about the effects of fair value measurements.

In addition, the amendments clarify and enhance the existing requirements for the disclosure of liquidity risk. This is aimed at ensuring that the information disclosed enables users of an entity’s financial statements to evaluate the nature and extent of liquidity risk arising from financial instruments and how the entity manages that risk.

The amendments to IFRS 7 apply for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2009. However, an entity will not be required to provide comparative disclosures in the first year of application.


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