The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a set of priority issues to be used by EU national competent authorities in their assessment of listed companies’ 2012 financial statements.

ESMA has defined these common enforcement priorities in order to promote the consistent application of European securities and markets legislation and IFRS. Listed companies and their auditors should take due account of the areas set out in the Public Statement when preparing and auditing the IFRS financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2012.

The common financial reporting topics refer to the application of IFRS in relation to:

  • Financial assets;
  • Impairment of non-financial assets;
  • Defined benefit obligations; and
  • Provisions, contingent liabilities, and contingent assets.

ESMA and the national competent authorities will monitor the application of the specific IFRS as outlined, with national authorities incorporating them into their reviews. ESMA will collect data on how European listed entities have applied the IFRS requirements in relation to these topics and will publish the results.

National competent authorities may find it appropriate to publish statements in their respective jurisdictions alerting listed companies on additional matters related to the application of IFRS, and therefore the enforcement process will not be limited to the matters specifically mentioned in this Statement.