Australia and New Zealand to harmonise Standards, more closely align with IFRSs

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08 Jul 2010

The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and New Zealand Financial Reporting Standards Board (FRSB) have issued joint exposure drafts of proposals to harmonise Australian and New Zealand Standards in relation to entities applying IFRSs as adopted in Australia and New Zealand.

The exposure drafts propose to eliminate many of the IFRS-related differences between the two countries for for-profit entities and represent the first phase of a longer-term project to harmonise accounting requirements in Australia and New Zealand. For-profit entities applying Australian Accounting Standards or NZ IFRSs in full already make an explicit and unreserved statement of compliance with IFRSs, and the proposals would not impact this ability. Deloitte (Australia) has issued an Accounting alert explaining the proposals. The exposure drafts make the following observations:
Both Australia and New Zealand have adopted financial reporting standards based on IFRSs. However, on transition to IFRSs each jurisdiction independently modified the source IFRSs for reasons relevant to that jurisdiction. Certain aspects of IFRSs as adopted in Australia are not the same as IFRSs as adopted in New Zealand. Partly as a result of direct initiatives of the AASB and the FRSB and partly as a result of the Joint Prime Ministerial Statement of Intent and the Single Economic Market Outcome Proposals issued in August 2009, the Boards initiated this project aimed at achieving converged standards in respect of for-profit entities applying full Australian or New Zealand standards.
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