Accountants called on to address new ‘de-cluttering initiative’

A financial reporting specialist has called on accountants to help inform businesses about amendments to a key accounting standard which will impact all financial reports from 30 June 2017.

In 2015, the Australian Accounting Standards Board revised the AASB 101 ‘Preparation of Financial Statements’ by virtue of AASB 2015-2 ‘Disclosure Initiative (Amendments to AASB 101)’.

Speaking to Accountants Daily, Financial Reporting Specialists managing partner Vik Bhandari expressed concern that many businesses aren’t aware that the standard is applicable to annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016.

“Reports due on 30 June 2017 year end will be looking to implement the 2015 amendments for the first time,” Mr Bhandari said.

“The top end of town is on board, but the smaller businesses need to get on board too.”

Mr Bhandari said that the amendments essentially aim to ‘streamline’ or ‘de-clutter’ financial reports.

“I actually think streamlining falls into three parts and preparers can do all of them or some of them,” he said.

“One is reordering the notes in to a more logical layout, two is actually reposition the accounting policies and embed them in the notes, and three is removing any notes that add no value.”

Mr Bhandari said that accountants have a responsibility to inform their clients about the amendments.

“Some companies have got onto it quite early on and others, when I ask if they've heard of this de-cluttering initiative, they say no, what is it?. So a lot of people actually aren't aware of it,” he said.

“The top end of town is aware of it and is doing it, so the big four are aware of it and telling it to their clients, but the rest of the accounting world is less aware of it.”

 

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