Issuer’s fair disclosure about COVID-19 impacts

On 29 May, IOSCO (the International Organization of Securities Commissions, which brings together market regulators such as ESMA, the European Securities and Markets Authority) issued a press release encouraging preparers of financial statements to publish fair disclosure on the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

Keywords: Mazars, Thailand, IFRS, IOSCO, COVID-19

31 August 2020

IOSCO emphasises that, in the context of the current uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, a reliable and timely financial reporting is critical for the markets to function properly. In these circumstances, IOSCO emphasises that investors and other stakeholders are all the more in need of financial information that is high-quality, transparent and entity-specific, including information on the impacts of COVID-19 on the entity’s financial performance, financial position, liquidity and future prospects.

More specifically, IOSCO:

  • reiterates the importance of disclosures on the impact of COVID-19 on the amounts recognised, measured and presented in the financial statements;
  • underlines the importance of complete financial information which, in light of the high level of uncertainty, should be transparent and entity-specific, particularly as regards significant judgements and estimates (for example, estimates of the impacts of COVID-19, assessment of going concern issues, judgements and estimates used to assess impairment of goodwill, etc.);
  • reaffirms the need for issuers to be mindful of the elements of Alternative Performance Measures (APMs or non-GAAP measures) to ensure they are not potentially misleading;
  • notes that interim financial statements will require more detailed disclosures on material information and management’s responses to the situation;
  • reminds auditors of their responsibilities to report on Key Audit Matters, and how they addressed these matters;
  • encourages preparers to find the right balance between taking advantage of extensions to reporting deadlines, and their responsibility to provide timely and comprehensive financial information.

The IOSCO press release is available here.