Canadian standard-setter sees role as international mediator

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21 May 2015

The Canadian Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) has issued its Draft Strategic Plan 2016 – 2021. Internationally, the AcSB proposes that it will continue its efforts to encourage the IASB and the FASB to narrow the differences between their respective sets of standards. It will also monitor the effective date decisions of jurisdictions applying IFRSs and work with others to encourage a common date for global adoption of new standards.

Given the frequency of cross-border activities and comparisons made between Canadian and U.S. entities operating in the same industries, Canada has traditionally liaised closely with the FASB. The AcSB intends to use this advantage to help IASB and the FASB to find continued ways to converge their respective sets of standards. To this end, it proposes to "assist in the identification of qualified Canadians to serve on the advisory groups of those two Boards, and liaise with the FASB on matters of mutual interest".

The AcSB has adopted a policy of incorporating into Canadian GAAP new or amended IFRSs, as issued by the IASB, after completing its own due process, which is usually within three to eight months of their release by the IASB. As a consequence, Canadians can find themselves among the first to adopt, and interpret, a significant and complex new or amended IFRS - with all the challenges, risks and costs associated with it. Therefore, the AcSB proposes to "work with the IASB, securities regulators and standard setters in other jurisdictions to minimize the challenges faced by Canadians in being among the first to adopt and interpret significant and complex new or amended standards" - if possible by encouraging a common date for global adoption of new standards. This would of course also add to increased international comparability.

Please click to access the Draft Strategic Plan 2016 – 2021 on the AcSB website.

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