ASIC has released its areas of focus for 30 June 2023 reporting. The areas are largely consistent with those communicated for 31 December 2022. ASIC remains focused on the continuing impacts of uncertainties, risks and evolving market conditions. ASIC urges greater focus on material, entity specific business risk disclosures in the Operating and Financial Review (OFR).

ASIC encourages listed entities to consider adopting recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as their primary framework for voluntary climate change-related disclosures. Such disclosures may be included in the OFR as they relate to material business risks.

Uncertainties and changing market conditions

Directors and management should assess how the current and future performance of an entity, the value of its assets and provisions, and business strategies, may be affected by changing circumstances, uncertainties and risks such as:

Government & geopolitical

  • Evolving COVID-19 restrictions
  • Commitments and policies on climate, carbon emission and transitioning to 'net zero'
  • Impact of climate change
  • Discontinuation of financial support
  • Russia / Ukraine conflict
  • Legislative/regulatory changes

Financial & commodity prices

  • Impact of rising interest rate on future cashflows and discount rates used in the valuation of assets and liabilities
  • Increases in energy and oil prices
  • Inflationary impacts

Workforce

  • Shortage of skilled staff
  • Expertise in staff

Market & customers

  • Customer preferences and purchasing trends
  • Technological changes and innovation

This list is not intended to be exhaustive and there may be other factors to consider in the circumstances of individual entities.

Uncertainties and market conditions may change from period to period and will impact companies differently. They may lead to a wide range of valid judgements on asset values and other accounting estimates. Directors should ensure that the circumstances in which judgements and forward looking information have been made, and the underlying assumptions and rationale for those judgements, are properly considered, documented and appropriately disclosed due to their value and importance to investors. Such disclosures include key assumptions and, where relevant, sensitivity analysis relating to these.

We agree with the importance of documenting the process and results of consideration by those charged with governance of key judgements on estimates and forward-looking information. Disclosures in the financial report about uncertainties, key assumptions and sensitivity analysis will continue to be important to investors. We encourage directors to take the time to critically consider the uncertainties they may face and how these have been reflected in the financial report.

Focus areas for 30 June 2023

The areas of focus identified by ASIC are broad, with the five major themes being:

  • asset values
  • provisions
  • solvency and going concern assessments
  • events occurring after the reporting date
  • disclosures (in the financial report and the OFR).
Read further discussion on each of these areas, including guidance for preparers to consider in addressing the focus areas, in our Reporting Update.