Trans Tasman Accounting Standards Advisory Group - Minutes

9am, Friday 26 August 2005

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower, Level 22, 188 Quay Street, Auckland.

Participants:

Jim Murphy (Treasury - Aust) – Chairman
Professor David Boymal (Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB))
Charles Macek (Financial Reporting Council (FRC) - Aust)
Peter Mumford (Ministry of Economic Development (MED) - NZ)
Bill Palmer (Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA))
Joanna Perry (Financial Reporting Standards Board (FRSB) - NZ)

Alan Cameron AM (Cameron Ralph Pty Ltd) – by speakerphone
Amelia Chin (Ministry of Economic Development (MED) - NZ)
Geoff Connor (Ministry of Economic Development (MED) - NZ)
Keith Rushbrook (Accounting Standards Review Board (ASRB) - NZ)
Stephen Powell (Treasury - Aust) – by speakerphone
Peter Taft (Treasury - Aust) – by speakerphone
Kerstin Wijeyewardene (Treasury - Aust)

Agenda Items

Agenda item 1: Preliminaries

Apologies

Apologies were noted from Warwick Hunt (Accounting Standards Review Board (ASRB) - NZ) and Peter Lowe (Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) - Aust).

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Group held in Melbourne on 6 May 2005 had been circulated for comment and, following minor changes, placed on the TransTasman Group web page at the FRC website and on the ASRB website in March.

Agenda item 2: Regional Forum on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

The meeting discussed the forum preparations including the broad objectives the Forum, the contents of each session, and administrative issues.

Administrative issues

The Group noted the change in venue to the Shangri-La in Sydney, following inspection of alternative options. Australian Treasury was of the view that the Shangri-La was a superior venue both in terms of facilities and location.

The Group noted that responses have been received from most invitees, and that most countries invited will be well represented. Further invitations will be sent if required.

The Group noted that speakers and Panel members were being confirmed, and that questionnaires had been sent to all the participant countries in the Forum. MED officials will be compiling the questionnaires for the purpose of preparing the presentations. Work was being undertaken to cater for media coverage of the Forum.

Agenda item 3: Protocol of co-operation between the AASB and FRSB

The AASB and FRSB presented the finalised protocol setting out their aspirations and co-operative arrangements, and acknowledged the TTASAG Secretariat’s assistance in drafting the protocol. TTASAG members agreed that the protocol was drafted at an appropriately high level, and set out what was currently already happening between the accounting setting boards. The Chairs of the AASB and FRSB agreed to sign the document in the near future.

Agenda item 4: Review of the New Zealand Financial Reporting Act 1993

MED officials updated the Group that while a decision has been announced by government on one of the issues in its review, namely the issue on the filing of reports by large non-issuer companies, the majority of decisions will be made by government after the upcoming general election.

The Group was supportive of the decision made by New Zealand and the move towards not increasing the regulatory burden on businesses.
Small-medium entities (SMEs)

The Group noted the differences between Australia and New Zealand’s current financial reporting requirements, and agreed to follow up on considering the similarities and differences of the regimes in more depth after the IFRS Regional Forum. The Group agreed that a background paper would be circulated setting out the current positions in Australia and New Zealand, and that this item will be discussed at the next meeting.

The Group also noted that the IASB has released a discussion document on SMEs. New Zealand will take into account the results of this discussion document as well as Australia’s current requirements in finalising proposed changes to its current financial reporting requirements.

Agenda item 5: General Business

Prospective financial information

The Group noted the issue of whether there should be a distinction between a “forecast” and a “projection.” The Group agreed that a background paper would be circulated setting out the current positions in Australia and New Zealand, and that this item will be discussed at the next meeting.

Report to Ministers

The Group agreed that the annual Report to Ministers on the activities of TTASAG would be drafted after the IFRS Regional Forum.

Next meeting

The Group agreed to meet next in the morning of Tuesday 6 December to coincide with that month’s AASB meeting in Melbourne, Australia.

Chairmanship of next meeting

The Group agreed that Warwick Hunt would take over Chairmanship of TTASAG from the next meeting. Given Warwick’s role as Chief Executive Officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers, this appointment is also subject to the approval of the Board of Partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

List of Actions

  • Work to continue on the regional forum on IFRS, including follow-up with the Forum facilitator, speakers, panel members, and participants (FRSB, Treasury and MED).
  • Work to continue on other administrative matters including the venue, compiling the questionnaires, and media coverage (Treasury and MED).
  • Following the Forum, a Report to Ministers on the activities of TTASAG to be drafted (Treasury and MED).
  • Background papers to be prepared for the next meeting setting out the current state of play in Australia and New Zealand in relation to the use of “projections” and “forecasts” in financial reports (AASB and FRSB).
  • Background papers to be prepared for the next meeting setting out Australia’s and New Zealand’s current financial reporting requirements (AASB and FRSB).
  • The next meeting to be held in the morning of Tuesday 6 December to coincide with that month’s AASB meeting in Melbourne, Australia (MED).

The next meeting is to be chaired by Warwick Hunt subject to the approval of the Board of Partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers (Warwick Hunt).