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IASB Vice-Chairman speaks about the future of financial reporting

  • Speech — dark green Image

Jun 23, 2014

At this week’s IFRS Conference in London, IASB Vice-Chairman Ian Mackintosh spoke about the Board’s current and new work programs and discussed the evolution of the IASB’s priorities in light of the use of IFRSs as “as the de facto global set of standards for financial reporting.”

Mr. Mackintosh noted that the Board’s current program consists of the two remaining major convergence projects with the FASB (financial instruments and leases, which are “approaching completion”) as well as the insurance accounting project. Its new program consists of IASB-only projects.

He noted that the IASB expects to issue a final version of IFRS 9, Financial Instruments, next month but that "despite our best efforts, we were unable to reach agreement with the FASB on impairment."

Although Mr. Mackintosh indicated that only a minority of companies will be affected by the new standard on leases, he stressed that the changes “will not be without cost to preparers” and noted that the IASB has “already made some pragmatic decisions to help keep costs to a minimum.”

Regarding the insurance accounting project, Mr. Mackintosh stated that the Board’s intent is to reduce the diversity that has developed under IFRS 4, Insurance Contracts.

In discussing the IASB’s new projects, Mr. Mackintosh highlighted the Board’s review of the conceptual framework and noted that the IASB expects to publish an Exposure Draft later this year. He also discussed the Board’s project on financial disclosures.

In addition, Mr. Mackintosh remarked about the evolution of the IASB’s priorities regarding IFRSs. He noted that the spread of IFRSs around the world has led to a change in priorities for the IASB since the goal is no longer to simply increase the number of IFRS users but to deepen the collaboration with IFRS jurisdictions around the world and to encourage consistent application and implementation of the standards. He also stated that he does "not buy the argument that cultural differences mean that a 'one size fits all approach' cannot work” and that the IASB and staff “work incredibly hard to develop principle-based standards that can be adopted by countries around the world, regardless of their stage of economic development and their legal culture.”

Mr. Mackintosh’s speech is available in its entirety on the IASB’s Web site.

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