Summary of the discussions at the IFRS Foundation's stakeholder event in Zurich

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04 Feb, 2015

The 'IFRS in Continental Europe' stakeholder event jointly organised by the IFRS Foundation and TREUHAND-KAMMER, the Swiss Institute of Certified Accountants and Tax Experts, on 2 February in Zurich not only saw a speech by IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst but also a lively debate on the motivation of Swiss listed companies moving away from IFRS and turning towards Swiss GAAP FER.

As Mr Hoogervorst had pointed out in his keynote address preceding the panel discussion, the high complexity IFRSs in comparison to Swiss GAAP FER, particularly regarding goodwill, pension accounting and disclosures, is one reason often cited for turning away from IFRSs. Panelists discussed (a) whether companies leaving IFRSs were exceptional cases or whether more were to be expected in the future (especially in connection with the upcoming Leases standard), (b) the reaction of capital markets to companies moving from IFRSs to Swiss GAAP FER, and (c) the topic of 'one size does not fit all' and the appropriate cost-benefit ratio for smaller listed entities.

In conclusion, all panelists agreed that rivaling accounting standards would lead to an ideas competition. However, they all also agreed that IFRS ensure a good international comparability, which is important to investors.

The complete summary of the discussion (including a list of panelists) and the event in general is available on the TREUHAND-KAMMER website.

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