IASB chair provides update on current activities

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28 Jun 2018

At the IFRS conference in Frankfurt, IASB Chair Hans Hoogervorst provided an update on the use of IFRS Standards around the world and the current thinking of the IASB.

In his overview of the current state of IFRS adoption, Hoogervorst also referred to the Brexit, the current transatlantic tensions and the rise of protectionism in general. Hoogervorst then transferred his considerations to accounting. He noted:

In 2011, even before the Trump era, it became clear that the United States would not be adopting IFRS Standards anytime soon. Fortunately, the rest of the world reacted just as it does now in the face of the American challenge to the global trade system: rather than following the United States in retreat, the use of IFRS Standards continued to spread around the world.

In this context, he also addressed the situation in the EU and the fitness check on public reporting by companies. He urgently warned against making local modifications to IFRS:

Acting in ‘enlightened self-interest’ means foregoing a smaller self-interest to achieve a bigger self-interest. Even when our stakeholders may not agree with certain aspects of our Standards, they know it is not in their ‘enlightened self-interest’ to modify them. They know this could set in motion a process of gradual balkanisation of the world of IFRS Standards, undoing the benefits of a single set of global standards.

Following his general observations, Mr Hoogervorst provided an update on the developments in IFRS Standards. The topics he covered included primary financial statements, the implementation of IFRS 17, and wider corporate reporting as well as financial instruments with characteristics of equity, where the IASB has recently issued a discussion paper on this research project.

For more information, see the speech transcript on the IASB’s website. A video recording is also available.

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