The International Accounting Standards Board will provide a “period of calm” for the accounting industry to understand and implement the new major accounting standards, while boosting activities to support implementation.
IASB commits to ‘period of calm’ to digest new standards
Speaking at the World Congress of Accountants in Sydney, IASB board member Ann Tarca said the board would be increasing its range of activities to support implementation for IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers, IFRS 16 Leases and IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts.
“We’re trying to help people improve their understanding of the standards, we’re trying to get this consistent application because we believe it is necessary to maximise the benefits,” said Ms Tarca.
“We do appreciate the time and effort it is taking for people so our focus is on a period of calm where we will work on other things to allow you the time to engage on those big standards and get them implemented to your satisfaction and to the benefit of the world’s capital markets.
“We’re doing this to support consistent application because this is the bedrock of IFRS standards, we have to have a consistent application around the world and we are looking at more than 140 countries – that is widespread application.”
Ms Tarca said that apart from webinars and information on its redesigned website, the industry should also be keeping an eye out for decisions coming from the interpretations committee.
Earlier this year, then CA ANZ reporting leader Ceri-Ann Ross highlighted the slow establishment of implementation plans from entities, considering the complexity around the new standards.
“Unlike many other changes to accounting standards, these aren’t ones that can just be fixed by a quick calculation or journal adjustment at the year end,” said Ms Ross.
“The reason why we’re concerned about the slow uptake is that even though the first year end that these will apply isn't until 31 December 2018 or 30 June 2019, the implementation plan for these standards needs to happen now.
“Those companies that have gone ahead and done implementation work, the key message from them is that it is harder than you think, it’s much harder than you think.”
Despite the ramifications, around six out of 10 Australian businesses have yet to reach out to accounting professionals to better understand the implications on their business.
PwC’s report on the new accounting standards earlier this year also found that less than one in 10 of Australia’s largest companies had completed their impact assessment for each of the three standards.
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