Keynote address at the stakeholder event at the meeting of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation

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08 Jul 2019

At the stakeholder event at the meeting of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation in Munich on 26 June 2019, Dr Nicolas Peter, Chief Financial Officer of BMW AG, gave the keynote address.

In his speech, Dr Peter lauded the work of the IFRS Foundation/IASB and the German standard-setter DRSC, which he noted has become a strong voice in Europe in recent years.

He then went on to state that BMW decided in 2001 to follow IFRSs and that looking back that was "definitely the right decision" as uniform accounting standards are more valuable today than ever before.

He admitted that such a comprehensive set of rules also raises certain challenges for ongoing business operations and that BMW had to spend a substantial amount of money on personnel and IT costs. And he also noted that not all reported figures are truly comparable and that increasingly earnings are being adjusted permanently for one-time effects - which, as he said, BMW does not do.

Dr Peter also noted while companies are busy implementing new standards, stakeholders' interest in forecasts is increasing - as is the interest in non-financial information. However, he noted, he sees limited possibilities for standardisation in this area.

Concluding his speech, Dr Peter turned to Europe again and noted growing efforts by the European Commission to regulate European companies even more closely and even to discuss the possibility of “EU-IFRS” yet again. He stated:

We firmly believe in the benefits of a globally standardised body of rules — which has always been the core idea of IFRS. For that reason, we oppose the concept of special EU-IFRS. In the volatile global political environment in which we currently find ourselves, it is more important than ever to stress the importance of a common regulatory space. It is easy to forget how far the introduction of common standards has brought us. We now take many of these things for granted.

Please click to access the full transcript of the speech of Dr Peter on the IASB website.

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