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IFRS Supervisory Convergence

IFRS Supervisory Convergence

ESMA’s main role is to promote the consistent application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and foster convergence of enforcement practices across Europe. With this aim, ESMA makes use of a number of tools for the enforcement of financial information and the consistent application of financial reporting standards.

ESMA Guidelines

ESMA Guidelines on the enforcement of financial information, issued in 2014, are applied by enforcers to ensure that financial information provided by issuers in harmonised documents comply with the requirements resulting from the Transparency Directive. They constitute a key step in fostering convergence across Europe by further building a common approach to the enforcement of financial information and reinforcing coordination among enforcers.

ESMA Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures, issued in 2015, promote the usefulness and transparency of Alternative Performance Measures included in prospectuses or regulated information.

Adoption of European Common Enforcement Priorities (ECEP)

Since 2012, ESMA identifies on a yearly basis ECEP in order to promote the consistent application of European securities and markets legislation and IFRS. Those priorities are a key focus of the examination of issuers’ financial statements and are made public so that listed companies and their auditors take due account of them when preparing and auditing IFRS financial statements.

Issuance of statements and opinions

In order to promote the consistent application of European securities and markets legislation, ESMA regularly issues statements and opinions in order to promote European legislation and IFRS. In 2011 and 2012, ESMA issued a Public Statement on "Sovereign Debt in IFRS Financial Statements" and one on "Treatment of forbearance practices in IFRS Financial Statements of Financial Institutions”.

Extracts of enforcement decisions

Since 2007, ESMA regularly publishes extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the IFRS.

A list of all the decisions published in the Extracts from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement is regularly updated.

Reports

ESMA performs regularly reviews of accounting practices in response to specific market developments, changes in accounting principles or as a follow-up to previous studies.

Furthermore, ESMA addresses comment letters to the IFRS IC on convergence issues.

Other regular activities

The annual report provides an overview of the activities of ESMA and the accounting enforcers in the European Union, when examining compliance of financial information provided by listed issuers on regulated markets with the applicable financial reporting framework.

In July 2014, ESMA and the IFRS Foundation signed a Statement of Protocols for their cooperation on IFRS.