IASB Improves Accounting Requirements for Off-balance Sheet Activities

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has completed its improvements to the accounting requirements for off balance sheet activities and joint arrangements by issuing International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 10 Consolidated Financial Statements, IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements and IFRS 12 Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities.

The completion of this review brings the accounting treatment for off-balance sheet activities in IFRS and US generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) broadly into alignment, and concludes an important element of the IASB’s comprehensive response to the financial crisis.

  • IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements builds on existing principles by identifying the concept of control as the determining factor in whether an entity should be included within the consolidated financial statements of the parent company. The standard provides additional guidance to assist in the determination of control where this is difficult to assess.
  • IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements provides for a more realistic reflection of joint arrangements by focusing on the rights and obligations of the arrangement, rather than its legal form (as is currently the case). The standard addresses inconsistencies in the reporting of joint arrangements by requiring a single method to account for interests in jointly controlled entities.
  • IFRS 12 Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities is a new and comprehensive standard on disclosure requirements for all forms of interests in other entities, including joint arrangements, associates, special purpose vehicles and other off balance sheet vehicles.

Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the IASB, said: “These improvements tighten up the reporting requirements for the consolidation of subsidiaries and special purpose vehicles, and require the substance of joint arrangements to be revealed. The comprehensive disclosure requirements will help investors to understand better risks associated with the creation or management of special purpose vehicles. As a package, these changes will provide a check on off-balance sheet activities and give investors a much clearer picture of the nature and extent of a company’s involvement with other entities.”


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