IFRS: Striving for uniform adoption dates

Learn about the meeting between Canada’s Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) representatives working on achieving uniform adoption dates among the companies that apply International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Canada’s Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) is actively working on achieving uniform adoption dates among the companies that apply International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Not having uniform adoption timing ultimately undermines the goal of IFRS — consistent standards across many jurisdictions. Temporarily, it can also put countries at different vantage points.

In October 2015, Linda Mezon, chair, AcSB, and several board members met in Toronto with:

  • Roger Marshall, European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) interim president, chair of the British standard setter and board member representing Great Britain
  • Andreas Barckow, president of the German standard setter and EFRAG board member representing Germany

International processes

Globally, individual jurisdictions follow independent processes as a way of scrutinizing accounting standard recommendations and to ensure they are in keeping with both national and international goals. However, the processes can differ.

In the E.U., for example, approval takes several steps. First, EFRAG conducts a technical staff review and then advises its board. Recommendations are then presented to the European Commission — the executive body of the E.U. responsible for proposing legislation and implementing decisions.

The E.U. generally endorses IFRS within seven to 19 months, whereas in Canada, the process is shorter. The recently approved IFRS 9, for example, took approximately six months for approval in Canada.

Comments from the meeting

“Jurisdictional reviews and endorsements are mandated by law,” explained Marshall. “We all have particular laws and other requirements which may require more time before adoption. Standard setters can best understand these circumstances and aim for common effective dates by continuing to work closely together. ”

Barckow added: “Our discussions in Canada have been helpful in giving us a greater awareness of the disadvantages of differing adoption dates.” Mezon echoed that thought: “We will keep the conversations going, given that greater awareness can lead to better coordination.”

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