16. January 2015
The requirements in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), in particular in IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors, make a distinction between how an entity should present and disclose different types of accounting changes in its financial statements.
Currently, requirements for presentation and disclosure of a change in an accounting policy are much stricter than for a change in an accounting estimate. The requirements for changes in accounting policies aim to make a company’s financial statements comparable over time.
In practice, however, companies sometimes struggle to apply changes in accounting policies retrospectively. It is also not always easy to see a distinction between changes in accounting policies and accounting estimates (which are accounted for prospectively).
Organismo Italiano Contabilità (OIC) is helping the IASB to understand investor views on accounting changes by conducting a short survey that you can find here.