In 2017, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the accounting industry around the world, updated its International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in one of the most sweeping reorganizations in decades. The new rules are divided according to industry, as well as split between large corporations and the small- to medium-sized businesses that make up the bulk of Canada’s entrepreneur class. The new rules cover how and when to report certain holdings, especially financial assets, and the IASB is insistent that auditing teams and financial analysts at each company bear ultimate responsibility for implementation. The rules affect basically all businesses in over 100 countries, and the change has left business owners everywhere wondering how to get their teams up to speed on the new standards before the 2022 deadline for implementation.
If you’re in charge of the accounts at a small business, this changeover is less imposing than it seems. The board wrote the rules for your company in plain language, with fewer requirements than are imposed on bigger corporations. Still, it’s not a bad idea to do some online research to get a feel for how your reporting requirements have changed and to reach out for advice well in advance of the implementation date.
If your company is big enough to bear the weight of the updates, it’s important to get everybody on the same page as early as possible. You can start by getting special training in what’s being changed so you can be the go-to resource for your firm. As the resident expert, you can manage the transition team when the time comes, as well as lead a board meeting where senior management is briefed on the new rules.
It’s also a good idea to conduct a review of your company’s data collection policy to ensure it complies with the new rules. You might also want to review your IT security protocols and other areas of business where you expect the changes to challenge your company the most. Though the final deadline for reporting was set for five years after the rules were drafted, it’s never too early to prepare.
Changes to IFRS mean lots of work for everybody. Start getting ready now, and enjoy a smooth transition to the new normal.