On the road again — with the AcSB’s next strategic plan

The AcSB’s new strategic plan outlines the board’s vision, how it intends to operate and the broad policy objectives that will guide its standard-setting activities. Here are some highlights.

The Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) wraps up four months of outreach and consultation on September 17 — that’s the deadline for stakeholders to comment on the 2016 to 2021 Draft Strategic Plan. This is the last call for feedback on a plan that will guide the board’s standard-setting activities for the next five years. You can provide a written response or come to one of the roundtable discussions.

The strategic plan outlines the AcSB’s vision, how it intends to operate and the broad policy objectives that will guide its standard-setting activities. The proposed strategies affect all major categories of reporting entities: publicly accountable enterprises, private enterprises, not-for-profit organizations and pension plans.

Stakeholder discussions

Between July and September, I travelled coast to coast to hear stakeholders’ views on the board’s proposals. Join me and your colleagues at one of the discussions in September:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 8, in Halifax;
  • Wednesday, Sept. 9, in Montreal;
  • Friday, Sept. 11, in Ottawa; and
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15, in Toronto

Highlights — core strategies aren’t changing

The strategies for the different categories of reporting entities will not change, but we plan to improve how they are being implemented. Here are the highlights of our strategic plan.

Publicly accountable enterprises:

  • support the application of IFRS in Canada;
  • encourage a common date for global adoption of new IFRS, while retaining the right to select an effective date that is right for Canadians; and
  • support the International Accounting Standards Board’s role as the standard-setter that develops and issues authoritative guidance on IFRS, while retaining the right of the AcSB to also issue guidance for specific topics if warranted.

Standards for private enterprises (Part II of the CPA Handbook — Accounting):

  • maintain the standards established in 2011;
  • issue principles-based standards and take steps to further support the exercise of professional judgment;
  • assess possible changes to Part II against established criteria and maintain the annual improvements process; and
  • ensure major changes take effect no more often than every two years.

Not-for-profit organizations (Part III of the CPA Handbook — Accounting):

  • maintain the separate set of standards addressing the specific need of this sector (for non-specific needs, entities are directed to Part II);
  • continue with the improvements project, keeping the Public Sector Accounting Board informed of our progress; and
  • develop a process to manage future changes to Part III that takes stakeholder input into consideration.

Pension plans (Part IV of the CPA Handbook — Accounting):

  • maintain the separate set of standards in Part IV; and
  • monitor the need to start a project to improve accounting standards for pension plans.

Learn more by listening to the archived webinar The AcSB’s Next Strategic Plan here.

Last chance to bend our ear

As the AcSB chair, I have made consultation my personal mission — more input is better and getting fresh stakeholder perspectives is best. Let us know your thoughts; we can’t take your issues into consideration unless we hear from you.

Go to www.frascanada.ca/ to comment on the 2016 to 2021 Draft Strategic Plan.

What’s next?

The AcSB will review stakeholder comments and consider how the feedback may change the plan in the fourth quarter of 2015.

About the Author

Linda Mezon


Linda Mezon, FCPA, FCA, CPA (MI) is chair of the Accounting Standards Board.

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