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The Move to IFRS in Australia. ASEM IFRS Seminar Professor David Boymal Chairman Australian Accounting Standards Board. The Move to IFRS in Australia. Before 2005 Australia harmonised with IFRS but had written own Standards A few topics not harmonised: IAS 39 Financial Instruments

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the move to ifrs in australia

The Move to IFRS in Australia

ASEM IFRS SeminarProfessor David Boymal

Chairman

Australian Accounting Standards Board

the move to ifrs in australia2
The Move to IFRS in Australia

Before 2005

  • Australia harmonised with IFRS but had written own Standards
  • A few topics not harmonised:
    • IAS 39 Financial Instruments
    • IAS 19 Employee Benefits
    • IAS 38 Intangible Assets
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The Move to IFRS in Australia
  • We found that our previous attempt to harmonise did not produce 100% compliance
  • The big auditing firms identified many subtle differences between IFRS and previous Australian GAAP
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The Move to IFRS in Australia

After 2005

  • Apply IFRS for periods commencing1 January 2005
  • The AASB is retained to:
    • convert IFRS into law
    • write non-IFRS Standards
    • contribute to the development of world-wide Standards
    • develop interpretations
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The Move to IFRS in Australia
  • The main reason for adopting IFRS is to improve the credibility of financial reporting in Australia
  • In order to achieve this we need to be able to state 100% compliance
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The Move to IFRS in Australia
  • 100% compliance can only be achieved by verbatim adoption of IFRS
  • Without 100% compliance, the exemptions in IFRS 1 cannot be utilised, which would make it nearly impossible to adopt IFRS
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The Move to IFRS in Australia

Implementation Problems

Application to other sectors

  • IFRS written especially for the for-profit business sector
  • Australian Standards are sector neutral
  • Difficulties in applying IFRS to the not-for-profit private sector and the government sector
  • Australia needs to add paragraphs to adapt IFRS for the other sectors
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The Move to IFRS in Australia

Implementation Problems

Interpretations

  • IFRS are principles-based
  • Interpretations are needed
  • At times Australian interpretations may not be consistent with interpretations in other countries
  • IFRIC interpretations not forthcoming or not timely
  • Big auditing firms have their own world-wide interpretations – driven from London
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The Move to IFRS in Australia

Implementation Problems

Burden on smaller companies

  • IFRS are designed for large listed companies
  • Heavy burden to apply IFRS to smaller entities
  • A need for different requirements for SMEs
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The Move to IFRS in Australia

Implementation Problems

First-time Adoption

  • The initial year of adoption is particularly difficult
  • Extensive re-education
  • IASB has moved on and cannot amend the Standards to help first-time adopters
  • Need someone else to obtain advice from
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The Move to IFRS in Australia

Contributing to World-Wide Standards

  • The basis on which Australia adopted IFRS is as an active participant in the process
  • The AASB actively participates in IASB projects:
    • as a commentator on all IASB proposals
    • as a research leader
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