Canadian Accounting Standards Board confirms changeover date to IFRS



    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - The Canadian Accounting Standards Board (AcSB)
has confirmed that use of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
will be required in 2011 for publicly accountable profit-oriented enterprises.
    IFRS will replace Canada's current Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles (GAAP) for those enterprises. These include listed companies and
other profit-oriented enterprises that are responsible to large or diverse
groups of stakeholders. The official changeover date is for interim and annual
financial statements relating to fiscal years beginning on or after January 1,
2011. Private companies (non-publicly accountable enterprises), and
not-for-profit organizations are not required, but are permitted, to adopt
IFRS in 2011.
    The AcSB originally proposed the 2011 changeover date in January 2006
when it announced its plan to adopt IFRS. It has now confirmed the date after
a rigorous review of Canada's readiness for changeover, including
consultations with the public, regulatory authorities, and the independent
Accounting Standards Oversight Council.
    "With the date firmly established, enterprises can plan for the
changeover with certainty about the timetable," said Paul Cherry, Chair, AcSB.
 "A significant challenge lies ahead but it will be made far more manageable
if business leaders prepare early."
    Companies will have to provide comparative IFRS information for the
previous fiscal year. Therefore, enterprises must be ready to prepare
comparative information a year prior to the 2011 changeover date. "This
clearly demonstrates why planning for the transition to IFRS must begin now,"
stressed Cherry.
    The Oversight Council, the governing body of AcSB, discussed the
changeover date at its meeting last week. According to Doug Hyndman, Chair,
the Council was satisfied that the AcSB had followed due process in setting
the date and agreed with the decision to confirm the 2011 changeover.
    "A firm date provides a focus for action in preparing Canada for the
changeover to IFRS," said Hyndman. "In short, companies, investors, and
advisers were all looking for a confirmed date so they can make the
commitments necessary to prepare. Now they have it."
    With businesses increasingly making decisions in a global context, the
move to IFRS will place Canada on the same reporting playing field as more
than 100 other countries, including the U.K. and other EU nations as well as
Australia.
    Welcoming the Canadian announcement, Sir David Tweedie, Chair of the
International Accounting Standards Board said: "Canada has always shown
leadership in promoting the cause of international standards. Its confirmation
of the changeover date is welcome news, as it brings another country with a
well-established capital market one step closer to the adoption of
International Financial Reporting Standards. The pace of movement to a global
marketplace has accelerated and underlines why a single set of standards is so
important. The goal is a global framework of clear, understandable, relevant
and consistent information for investors, and today's announcement brings that
goal nearer to achievement."
    "We recognize this is a significant decision affecting many Canadian
companies," noted Cherry. "Business leaders can be confident that the
Accounting Standards Board has carefully considered both the costs and
benefits, and that adopting IFRS will serve Canadians well in the emerging
global economy."


    BACKGROUND

    The Accounting Standards Board

    The Accounting Standards Board establishes financial accounting and
reporting standards for use by Canadian companies and not-for-profit
organizations. It also participates in the development of internationally
accepted accounting standards. The Board sets its financial accounting and
reporting standards after an extensive process of consultation with
organizations and individuals that are interested in or affected by the
standards. The standards contribute to enhanced decision making by continually
improving the quality of financial and other information about organizational
performance reported by Canadian entities.

    The Accounting Standards Oversight Council

    The Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) and the Public Sector Accounting
Board (PSAB) are each accountable to the Accounting Standards Oversight
Council (AcSOC), an independent body established in September 2000 by the
Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Reporting to the public and
consisting of up to 25 prominent business and government leaders, AcSOC brings
a broad perspective to complex issues facing standard setters in both the
private and public sectors. The Council supports the AcSB and PSAB in setting
accounting standards in Canada and in contributing to the development of
internationally accepted accounting standards. The Council's responsibilities
include appointing AcSB and PSAB members, providing input on strategic
priorities and evaluating the performances of the two boards. Council members
include regulators, investors, preparers and auditors of financial reports.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange and interview, contact: Tobin
Lambie, CICA Manager, Media, (416) 204-3228, tobin.lambie@cica.ca

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Accounting Standards Board (AcSB)

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