Q & A Database

The GIPS Standards Q&A database contains questions and answers (Q&As) on various searchable topics that provide additional interpretation on an issue. Q&As are considered to be authoritative guidance and must be followed in order to claim compliance with the GIPS standards.

Content from prior Q&As was included in the GIPS Standards Handbook as much as possible and many Q&As were archived. Change the Status drop-down filter to "Archived" to see the archived Q&As.

The GIPS Standards Helpdesk is available for individual questions and typically responds to inquiries within 3 business days.

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1 Result
  • Archived

    Effective: 1 March, 2001 - 31 December, 2013
    Categories: Benchmarks
    Source: Investment Performance Council (IPC)

    If the firm changes the benchmark for a composite, should the benchmark be changed historically for the composite?

    When making this decision, the firm should consider that the GIPS standards are an ethical set of guidelines for presenting composite performance. The firm must keep in mind the spirit of fair representation and full disclosure of the Standards when considering this retroactive change. Changes to the benchmark primarily intended to make historical performance look better by lowering the benchmark return, violate the spirit of the Standards. Because benchmarks are continually evolving, if the firm deems the new benchmark is a more representative test of the effective implementation of an investment strategy, the firm may consider changing the benchmark retroactively. In most cases, however, it may be most appropriate to change/ the benchmark starting in the current period. The firm must disclose the date the benchmark is changed and the reason it has been retroactively applied. In addition, firms are encouraged to continue to present the old benchmark.

    Please also see updated Q&A