IASB Vice-Chairman reflects on the progress of the IFRS

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10 Nov, 2014

On 10 November 2014, IASB Vice-Chairman, Ian Mackintosh gave a speech on how significant changes that occurred in IFRS over the past decade may be coming to an end and what should be expected from the IASB in the future.

Mr Mackintosh began by stating that most of Europe and many other parts of the world have already made the transition to IFRS and that “IFRS is a decade-old news story.” He noted the following:

  • The European Union’s adoption of IFRS on 1 January 2005, with Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa adopting soon after.
  • IFRS becoming the predominant reporting language for most global industry sectors.
  • Survey of 138 countries showed that 114 countries require the use of IFRS; while the remaining countries surveyed have shown positive progress towards IFRS.

Next, he commented on the more than 12 year collaboration by the IASB with the FASB to develop converged high quality standards. He mentioned that the convergence project has had several achievements (segment reporting, business combinations, fair value measurement, and revenue recognition) as well as setbacks (financial instruments).

Further, he provided his expectation for the IASB for the next decade. He believes there would be a “period of calm” in the standard-setting process after the IASB completes its leases, insurance, and conceptual framework projects. However, he noted with next year’s agenda consultation, constituents will have a chance to comment on the future path the IASB will take.

Lastly, he goes on to emphasise the need to consistently implement IFRS across all jurisdictions. Several steps the IASB has done to achieve consistent implementation include:

  • Public consultation during each phase of standard-setting.
  • Co-operation with national and regional accounting standard-setters.
  • Emerging Economies Group to gain perspective of countries without deep and liquid capital markets.
  • Islamic Finance consultative group to consider the effect of IFRS for Shariah-compliant transactions.
  • Expanding the role of the IFRS Interpretation Committee to address divergence in practice.
  • A Statement of Protocols with the IOSCO and ESMA to share information on the implementation of IFRS worldwide.
  • Education Initiative.

Text of the full speech is available on the IASB's website.

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