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IASB vice-chairman reflects on the progress of the IFRS

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Nov 10, 2014

On November 10, 2014, IASB Vice-Chairman Ian Mackintosh gave a speech on how significant changes that occurred in IFRSs 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 IFRSs and that “IFRS is a decade-old news story.” He noted the following:

  • The European Union’s adoption of IFRSs on January 1, 2005, with Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Africa adopting soon after.
  • IFRSs becoming the predominant reporting language for most global industry sectors.
  • Survey of 138 countries showed that 114 countries require the use of IFRSs, 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, Mr. Mackintosh 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 emphasized the need to consistently implement IFRSs across all jurisdictions. Several steps the IASB has taken to achieve global implementation include:

  • Public consultation during each phase of standard setting.
  • Cooperation 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 IFRSs 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 IFRSs worldwide.
  • Education Initiative.

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

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