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Proposed amendments to the IFRS for SMEs

Armen Hovhannisyan Armen Hovhannisyan

The IASB has published an Exposure Draft of proposed amendments to the IFRS for SMEs, its self-contained Standard aimed at the needs of private companies. To date the IFRS for SMEs has been adopted by over 80 countries around the world.

At the time of its issue, the IASB stated that it planned to undertake an initial comprehensive review of the IFRS for SMEs after two years had passed in order to assess the experience that entities would have had in implementing it by then and to consider whether there was a need for any amendments.

As many jurisdictions started using the IFRS for SMEs in 2010, the IASB began its initial comprehensive review in 2012, issuing a Request for Information to seek the views of those who have been applying the Standard. Following this consultation, the IASB’s SME Implementation Group (SMEIG) – on which Grant Thornton has been represented by South African partner Frank Timmins – developed a set of recommendations on possible amendments to the IFRS for SMEs to assist the IASB in undertaking its initial comprehensive view.

Apart from the proposal to change the section in the Standard dealing with Income Tax (which was based on an Exposure Draft that proposed revising IAS 12 ‘Income Taxes’ but which was never finalised), the proposed amendments would make only minor changes to the IFRS for SMEs. This is in keeping with the IASB’s aim that the Standard should provide a standalone, simplified set of accounting principles for entities that do not have public accountability and that typically have less complex transactions than entities operating under full IFRS.

In our letter, we express

  • broad support for the specific proposals within the Exposure Draft
  • concern over the expansion of the undue cost or effort concept

the need for a clearer framework for future revisions of the IFRS for SMEs.