IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) is the result of decades of pursuing a universally accepted set of accounting and financial reporting standards. This pursuit began back in the 1970s and slowly gained momentum over the years, especially over the last decade.
Currently, there are more than 113 countries permitting or requiring IFRS reporting, including those of the European Union. A survey conducted in late 2007 by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) indicates that the majority of accounting leaders around the world agree on the importance of a single set of accounting standards for economic growth.
eBrief: Get On Board the IFRS Train
In this eBrief, we’ll discuss:
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For many companies, especially those that have multinational operations, complying with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is synonymous with extra workload. Whether the company has already begun the adoption process or are bracing themselves for a major change, they should know that IFRS, in fact, is not as scary and daunting as they seem.
Businesses should develop a mindset that facilitates IFRS transition by understanding key benefits of IFRS. The two primary groups that can benefit from IFRS adoption are:
With IFRS in place, investors get greater financial and operational transparency so they can more accurately compare the health and performance of one company with that of others, and, as a result, make better fact-based investment decisions. If a business can convey a promising outlook, the pool of potential investors and lenders will expand.
After implementing IFRS, businesses will be able to measure their operations and company finances more precisely, setting the stage for improved business performance. They will also gain better insights into the operations of their competitors, customers, and partners as they make the transition. Some specific benefits of IFRS compliance include:
Regardless of where you fall on the adoption timeline, one thing is clear: IFRS requires major changes in the way most companies measure and report business performance.
If you’re just getting started in the transition process, you’re probably asking yourself, “Will transitioning to IFRS do anything for my business beyond satisfying a regulatory requirement?”
Read the whitepaper "Adopting IFRS: A challenge for some, Well worth it for everyone" to understand:
Undoubtedly, there are quite a few benefits of IFRS adoption. Many multinational companies and national regulators endorse IFRS because it would be easier to compare the financial results of reporting entities from different countries if public companies’ financial statements were prepared using the same standards, allowing investors to understand opportunities better.
Also, large public companies with multiple charts and books in multiple jurisdictions would be able to use one accounting language enterprise-wide and present their financial statements in the same language as their competitors. Another benefit, as pointed out by the AICPA, is that in a truly global economy, financial professionals, including CPAs, will be more mobile, and companies will be able to respond more easily to the human capital needs of their subsidiaries around the world if one standard is used.
Building business efficiencies and greater competitiveness for North American companies. Regulatory authorities are on track to make the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) a requirement for all publicly-traded companies in the US, Canada, and Mexico over the next few years. For public companies in these countries, the transition to IFRS will be the most significant regulatory change in many years and one with the potential to directly impact overall competitive position.
The impetus for the change is clear—create a consistent international approach to financial accounting so investors can better compare the financial performance of companies operating in different countries and, by doing so, foster deeper and more liquid capital markets that facilitate economic growth.
However, the specific implications for the companies who must transform their financial accounting from the applicable Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to IFRS are less clear. Will the adoption of IFRS simply mean companies must undergo a costly technical conversion of their internal accounting processes? Or will the change represent a more fundamental business transformation that leads to greater efficiency and a more competitive position, both domestically and internationally? Or will it be a combination of the two?
Since first becoming a mandatory requirement in European Union countries in 2005, IFRS has become the financial accounting standard in more than 100 countries. With more than 70,000 customers worldwide, many of whom have made the transition to IFRS, Infor™ has had considerable direct experience helping companies make the transition and in observing how the change has impacted their business. Based on our experience, we believe there are distinct competitive advantages that can be realised as part of the IFRS transition process.
Explore the business process changes that US and Canadian companies have to make to transition from their respective GAAPs to IFRS in our whitepaper, which is available to download today!
Globalisation has made the transition from VAS accounting to IFRS accounting a pressing issue for many organisations. It does not only apply to global companies operating in Vietnam but also to Vietnamese companies with foreign capital investment, which helps increase mutual understanding and trust for foreign investors, who do not have an insider’s knowledge of VAS.
The transition from VAS to IFRS requires that new concepts to be established and old concepts be changed. Companies moving from VAS accounting to IFRS accounting will have to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge to handle transactional information for detailed records and disclosures, as more strictly required by IFRS.
Although this takes time and effort, adopting IFRS will lead to many benefits. Under the consistent financial reporting standards of IFRS, the company’s financial position is reflected more accurately and consistently, allowing worldwide managers and investors to make better decisions.
Furthermore, using IFRS accounting can help companies have a better understanding of its value in the global market. This is especially beneficial when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, comparison with competitors, forging cooperation with foreign partners and attracting foreign investors.
In our view, companies are best served when they take an integrated approach to build an IFRS framework. Toward that end, they need a fully integrated solution ideal for supporting the IFRS adoption. A key element is the ability of enterprise applications to work in conjunction with financial management ones to meet a wide range of accounting requirements and processes mandated by the International Financial Reporting Standards.
Financial management solutions should provide specific support for the requirement of companies reporting in both IFRS and VAS. By supporting multiple charts of accounts, fiscal calendars, and accounting currencies, they should deliver fully automated capabilities to comply with multiple accounting practices. The ability to have multiple representations of core financial data will make it possible to understand the impact of IFRS adoption on their businesses without imposing a significant burden on the financial teams.
Here are some capabilities that enterprise solutions should have to cater to specific IFRS requirements:
Adopting IFRS alongside VAS requires technical, strategic, and operational changes. There also will be an unavoidable impact on information technology (IT) systems, as companies change the way they manage and report on numerous business activities. Hence, companies should employ a methodical approach when building the IFRS framework.
There are three major phases:
In the initial phase, a company should assess its readiness for IFRS. Since IFRS has an impact far beyond the accounting department, the assessment should address all parts of the company that have a role to play in transitioning to IFRS. Some of the specific focus areas:
With your company’s readiness for the IFRS framework determined, the next step is to develop strategies that each part of the business will need to implement. This phase is more detailed and action-focused.
The development of specific IFRS-related business changes is followed by a Delivery phase. In the Delivery phase, you begin implementing your IFRS compliance strategies. This requires several steps, including:
One of the steps in an effective IFRS implementation strategy is to assess the impacts of IFRS on the whole organisation. Reporting and disclosure (e.g., financial statements) are likely to be at the forefront of major changes.
The preparation of the first IFRS financial statements may require the capture of information that was not collected under a company’s previous GAAP. Hence, businesses need to identify the differences between IFRS and their previous GAAP in advance so that all of the information required can be produced.
Specifically, the opening IFRS balance sheet should include a reconciliation of:
The reconciliations should give adequate detail so users can understand the material adjustments to the balance sheet and income statement, and distinguish changes in accounting policies from the correction of errors identified during the transition.
Some adjustments included in the opening IFRS balance sheet will depend on other adjustments (such as deferred taxes and any noncontrolling interests). Therefore, some balances should be calculated after other adjustments have been processed. In general, the recommended sequence of adjustments is as follows:
As a manner of presentation, for income statements, the entity should select a method of presenting its expenses by either function or nature. While businesses are encouraged to use one of these on the face of the income statement, putting it in the notes is permitted. Additional disclosure of expenses by nature is required if a functional presentation is applied.
Also, balance sheet items (asset/liability) should be separated and shown as current and non-current (short term/long term) items.
Purchasing a new management software, particularly a cloud-based accounting solution, is not a passing trend of the century.
In a study conducted on 3,000 accountants worldwide by Sage People in 2018, 67 per cent of the accountants stated that they "have their heads in the cloud"; more than half of the respondents have already adopted cloud-based solutions.
As cloud computing is becoming more mainstream, early adopters are now reaping their benefits. Many IT experts and accountants believe that the future is in the cloud.
Why wait? Download our whitepaper "The Next Big Things in Accounting Software" today!
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