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Hans Hoogervorst discusses the IASB's future strategy at African conference

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24 Aug 2016

At the Joint IFRS Foundation, PAFA, and ICPAK Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst gave a speech titled ‘Latest developments and future focus'. He discussed (1) how Africa can use IFRS to achieve economic progress and (2) the IASB's new 'better communication' initiative.

Mr Hoogervorst provided his usual remarks on IFRS adoption around the world and then reflected on Africa's role in the global economy. He noted that "Africa, and in particular Kenya, is making good progress, putting in place structural reforms and adopting international norms for sound financial systems.  IFRS Standards are part of this package, as recommended by the Financial Stability Board, the World Bank and IOSCO."

He went on to discuss the IASB's work plan and focused on the board's future priorities. Mr Hoogervorst discussed the 'better communication' theme that he unveiled during a speech in June 2016. After explaining that the board's goal is to improve the communications effectiveness of IFRS-based financial statements, Mr Hoogervorst reassured the audience that the IASB would "not propose to cut back the information provided, nor to dramatically increase it." He elaborated on the primary financial statements project, which he called the "central building block" of the 'better communication' effort:

This project will potentially result in a facelift of what is often called the ‘face of the financial statements’. Its focus will be to improve the organisation of the statements of financial performance (profit or loss and other comprehensive income), the statement of cash flows and the statement of financial position, also called the balance sheet. We might also try to find a better way to present some elements of Other Comprehensive Income, which is currently a conundrum for most investors.

Mr Hoogervorst also listed the other projects that are meant to improve the communications effectiveness of financial statements:

  • disclosure initiative project;
  • the development of a materiality practice statement;
  • digital reporting efforts.

The full text of Mr Hoogervorst’s speech is available on the IASB’s website.

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