EU enforcers make common cause

In order to be awarded CPD units you must answer the following five random questions correctly. If you fail the test, please re-read the article before attempting the questions again.

  1. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), was formed to ensure the effective and consistent application of European Securities and Markets legislation and more specifically that of International Financial Reporting Standards in financial statements. ESMA has highlighted the areas of focus for European national regulators when performing their reviews of December 2012 financial statements. Which of the following areas is not an area of focus for the European regulators?

  2. As a result of the financial crisis, transparency of information related to financial instruments has become a top priority for investors, issuers and regulators. IFRS 7, Financial Instruments: Disclosures, requires entities to disclose certain information to users. Which of the following disclosures is incorrect in terms of the disclosures required by IFRS 7?

  3. As a result of the sovereign debt crisis, the investors' focus has been on how this crisis impacted on the financial performance and financial position of listed financial institutions. Which of the following disclosures is not being monitored by ESMA?

  4. IAS 39, Financial instruments: Recognition and Measurement, requires that entities assess whether there is any objective evidence that a financial asset is impaired. An impairment loss is recognised if and only if such evidence exists. When does objective evidence of impairment exist?

  5. IAS 39 states that a significant or prolonged decline in the fair value of the investment below its cost is additional objective evidence of impairment. What guidance does IAS 39 give on the determination of what constitutes a 'significant or prolonged' decline in fair value?

  6. There are currently different practices in judgements made on the level of provisioning and disclosures for re-negotiated loans. What does IAS 39 state is the accounting treatment of a loan which is renegotiated on substantially different terms.

  7. The current economic situation increases the likelihood that the carrying amounts of assets might be higher than their recoverable amounts. The market value of many listed companies has fallen below their book value, which potentially indicates impairment and thus the need for an impairment test. What aspect of the financial statements should entities pay particular attention to,according to ESMA?

  8. The IFRIC is discussing the notion of high quality corporate bonds currently and ESMA believes that entities should wait for a clarification to come from IFRIC and should not change their approach to determining discount rates as regards post employment benefit obligations. In the meantime, ESMA emphasises that there is a particular need for transparency in this area. What event has caused ESMA to issue the above advice?

  9. The measurement of provisions involves significant management judgment and could in the current market circumstances be subject to more uncertainty. The strong link between provisions and the risks an entity is subject to makes a case for high-quality disclosures. What have European enforcers found as regards the disclosures relating to provisions?

  10. IAS 36 requires detailed disclosures on estimates used to measure the recoverable amount of cash-generating units (CGU) to which significant goodwill or intangible assets with indefinite lives is allocated. ESMA emphasises the need to use assumptions that represent realistic future expectations and would expect issuers to provide entity specific information related to assumptions used, when preparing discounting cash flows (such as growth rates, discount rate and consistency of such rates with past experience) and sensitivity analyses. Which of the following IFRS requires similar disclosures on the assumptions made about the future, and other major sources of estimation that have a significant risk?