Have your say! Accounting Standards Board draft strategic plan

The chair of the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) invites you to comment on its draft strategic plan for 2016-2021. Please share this with others who will find it valuable.

Transparency, accountability, consultation and responsiveness are key aspects of the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB)’s activities. We call this “due process” and it’s critical to the integrity of the Canadian accounting standard-setting process and the quality of everything we do.

While each aspect is vital, as the AcSB chair, I have made consultation my personal mission: more input is better and getting fresh stakeholder perspectives is best. One component of the AcSB’s operations, for which consultation figures largely, is our strategic planning process. We’d like to hear whether you agree with our overall vision for the next five-year period and how it translates to our strategies for the different categories of financial reporting entities.

VISION AND OPERATIONS

Serving the public interest continues to be the board’s number one priority. It is done by maintaining high-quality accounting standards, contributing to global standard-setting and being accountable to stakeholders. Following world-class standard-setter best practices, the board will develop a formal research program and prioritize projects. We also want to increase stakeholder awareness of — and engagement in — the AcSB’s standard-setting activities.

LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD

The AcSB’s strategic planning process began with a comprehensive review of the effects of applying the new frameworks for different categories of reporting entities adopted in 2011, as well as the current financial reporting environment. A key part of the review was coast-to-coast consultations with more than 360 stakeholders at more than 40 roundtable discussions.

CORE STRATEGIES ARE NOT CHANGING

The strategies now in place 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
    • support the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)’s role as developer and issuer of authoritative guidance on IFRS, while retaining the right to also issue guidance for specific topics if warranted

Standards for private enterprises:

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

Not-for-profit organizations:

  • 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 Part III improvements project, while collaborating with the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) about NFPOs 
    • develop a process to manage future changes to Part III

Pension plans:

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

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

A draft of the strategic plan is available for public comment and includes questions to obtain further information, which will be considered before deciding on our proposals. Let us know your thoughts and viewpoints, because we do listen and stakeholder input does affect strategic planning.

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About the Author

Linda Mezon, FCPA, FCA, CPA (MI)

Chair, Accounting Standards Board

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