IFRS Foundation trustees and IASB visit Canada

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation trustees visited Canada for the first time, along with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) chair and members, to listen to, and learn from, Canadian IFRS transition and implementation experiences.

“Canada is a very important member of the global IFRS community. Because of a strong Canadian presence, your thoughts and ideas permeate throughout our Standards.”

Hans Hoogervorst, chair, IASB

It’s a big deal when the IFRS Foundation trustees come to town:

  • First, because Canada plays an important role in developing IFRS. 
  • Second, because it’s the first time the IFRS Foundation has held a trustees’ meeting in Canada, again recognizing our prominence in global standard-setting.

The four-day visit in April 2015 was stakeholder driven so the trustees and the IASB could learn about Canadian perspectives on IFRS. In addition to one-on-one meetings with the visitors, stakeholders benefited from two other events arranged by the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC), the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) and the IFRS Foundation trustees.

IFRS VIDEO WEBINAR

IFRS and Global Standards: A Canadian Perspective (archived for viewing) — moderated by AcSB chair, Linda Mezon, and featuring IASB chair, Hans Hoogervorst, and IASB member Stephen Cooper, provided answers to questions submitted by over 6,500 webinar registrants.

Key themes were:

  • disclosure overload 
  • complexity in accounting standards 
  • global effective dates 
  • implementation concerns on revenue and credit impairment 
  • status of major ongoing projects, including Leases and Insurance Contracts

KEY STAKEHOLDER EVENT

AcSOC and the IFRS Foundation Trustees co-sponsored an event for 160 key stakeholders as an opportunity to exchange their views and experiences with Trustees and IASB members. They heard from:

  • academics
  • actuaries
  • preparers
  • risk management and treasury professionals
  • corporate directors
  • CEOs
  • regulators

The stakeholders represented a range of industries, including:

  • financial services
  • accounting services
  • telecommunications
  • mining
  • pension funds
  • private equity
  • real estate
  • entertainment
  • utilities
  • pipelines

The event featured a speech by the IASB chair and a panel discussion with prominent Canadians.

Hans Hoogervorst’s speech, Financial Reporting Standards for the World Economy:

  • described the mission of the IFRS Foundation and the IASB
  • provided a progress update on global standard-setting
  • recognized Canada’s role in working with the IASB, in support of the G20’s mandate to achieve a global set of standards
  • highlighted two major IASB projects on topics that are highly relevant in Canada:
    • revenue recognition
    • insurance

The panel discussion focused on demonstrating Canada’s role in working with the IASB in developing IFRS, in support of the G20’s mandate to achieve a global set of standards. In particular, the panel provided their views on working closely with their U.S. counterparts to reduce the differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP.

Panellists responded to questions from moderator AcSOC chair Kevin Nye about:

  • the adoption of IFRS in Canada
  • stakeholder engagement
  • “first-to-adopt” challenges
  • convergence with U.S. GAAP
  • non-GAAP measures
  • the desire for a “period of calm”

View the panel discussion, as panellists provide their perspectives as a:

  • regulator — Douglas M. Hyndman, chair and CEO, Canadian Securities Transition Office
  • preparer and director — Barbara G. Stymiest, corporate director, Blackberry Ltd., George Weston Limited and Sun Life Financial Inc.
  • auditor — Bill McFarland, chief executive officer and senior partner, PwC LLP (Canada)
  • financial statement user — Brad Darling, portfolio manager, Public Equities, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

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About the Author

Linda Mezon, FCPA, FCA, CPA (MI)

Chair, Accounting Standards Board

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