Accounting & Auditing | Corporate Finance & Governance | Legislative / Regulatory

IFRS impact hits IT, education and beyond

GlobalSeems like everyone is talking about the SEC's timeline for IFRS adoption these days:

First, there's's Sarah Johnson, who says IT departments will play almost as big a role as finance teams when companies finally make the switch to IFRS. Writes Johnson: "Questions for CIOs and CFOs to contemplate include: How will running both IFRS and GAAP at the same time affect their method of updating their general ledger and chart of accounts? How should metrics and budgeting and forecasting applications be changed? Will differences in IFRS require new data entries? And how can they ensure that the data produced by the newly tweaked systems is clean?" Better make sure you've saved a seat at the table for the tech folks.

Next up are KPMG and the American Accounting Association, who claim that the first batch of accounting students who are properly trained in international standards likely won't enter the workforce until 2011. Only 5 percent of the professors to responded to a recent KPMG / AAA survey believe the Class of 2009 will have "substantial knowledge" of IFRS. “It is imperative that professors take the time to educate administrators on the overall impact of IFRS in business and present a needs assessment for their department and curricula,” said KPMG's Manny Fernandez.

Then, we have CFO magazine's Tim Reason and his lengthy interview with Sir David Tweedie of the International Accounting Standards Board. When asked what CFOs need to know about IFRS, Tweedie offered the following: "During the next three years, FASB and the IASB will make some major changes to financial reporting. So CFOs really want to get engaged, especially in the next 12 months, because that's when the discussion papers and early exposure drafts will come out. And we want the right answer; we don't want to do something stupid. So please, please tell us what you think of what we're doing." Read the complete interview here.

Finally, from The Accounting Onion (via the ever-watchful eye of Bob Jensen on the CPAs-L listserve) comes this critical look at IFRS. Author Tom Selling says the end result will be "chicken salad for issuers" as IFRS tries to be all things to all people. "... (Y)ou don't get to pick and choose under U.S. GAAP," Selling writes. "I can't speak of financial reporting elsewhere, but in the U.S. financial reporting environment, that's a good thing. It bespeaks volumes about the current leadership of the SEC that it thinks otherwise."

There'll undoubtedly be more to come, so read up, tell us what you think about IFRS, then check out some of these related resources:


Bill Sheridan