Investors are still not sufficiently informed regarding the potential impact of the new reporting standards on financial instruments (IFRS 9) and revenue recognition (IFRS 15) that will come into effect next month. A start has been made on the inclusion of non-financial information in annual reports. These are the findings of two surveys published by the AFM today.
The financial reporting of listed companies is an important source of information for example for investors wishing to form an opinion regarding a company’s financial position and performance. The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) are the financial reporting standards that listed companies must use when preparing their annual reports. As a result of these standards, financial statements are more comparable.
New standards to take effect soon
The new standards IFRS 9 ‘Financial Instruments’ and 15 ‘Revenue’ become mandatory with effect from 1 January 2018, while the new IFRS 16 ‘Leases’ will come into effect one year later. In addition, with effect from the 2017 financial year, Public Interest Entities (PIEs) with more than 500 employees will have to include non-financial information in their management report. For example, on risks and performance in areas such as the environment, social and HR policy, observance of human rights and combating corruption and bribery.
Survey of the preparation
The AFM has carried out a survey of the introduction of the new standards in which 103 listed companies took part. A further 77 organisations participated in a survey of the inclusion of non-financial information in their management reports. The AFM’s intention was to draw attention to timely and correct introduction of the new standards.
Most of the companies in this survey stated that they had made a start on introducing the new standards. Attention is still needed with respect to the identification of risks and non-financial performance indicators, and also to the development of policy on human rights. In addition, a quarter of the companies stated that they were fully applying integrated reporting.
Insufficient information on the impact of IFRSs
The survey also revealed that investors are still not sufficiently informed with respect to the impact of IFRS 9 and IFRS 15. Most companies say they will inform investors on the potential effects of IFRS 9 and IFRS 15 in their 2017 financial statements. It is also clear that IFRS 16 (‘Lease’) will significantly affect the reporting of most listed companies.
The AFM will test compliance in 2018
The AFM expects to see a quantitative disclosure of the effects of the introduction of IFRS 9 and 15 in the 2017 financial statements. The same applies to IFRS 16, in case of early adoption.
The AFM will test compliance with the new rules on non-financial information in 2018. The AFM advises companies to take account of the EU Guidelines and the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures.
The AFM is committed to promoting fair and transparent financial markets.
As an independent market conduct authority, we contribute to a sustainable financial system and prosperity in the Netherlands.