Date posted: 30/10/2016 4 min read

The Future of Financial Reporting: A Question of Influence

How can Australia and New Zealand influence the international reporting landscape?

In Brief

  • This future[inc] piece is a nine-part video series
  • The videos feature interviews with leading IFRS commentators from our region
  • A wide range of perspectives are covered; standard-setters, professional accounting bodies, investors, advisors and preparers

As your family grows, it gets harder for individual members to have their voices heard. The IFRS family is getting bigger by the day and the privileges enjoyed by the first born, or early adopters, will inevitably come up against politics and sibling rivalry.

Today, 122 countries require the use of IFRS in their capital markets. European Union countries were among the first to adopt IFRS and maintain strong levels of influence through the EFRAG alliance. Australia and New Zealand were also early adopters, transitioning to IFRS equivalents around 10 years ago. Large, influential countries like China, India and Japan are all on a path to full adoption of IFRS.

As we look to the future of financial reporting, how can countries like Australia and New Zealand avoid developing ‘middle child syndrome’?

Since 2007, our accounting standards have essentially been a pass-through: our standard-setting boards making changes to IFRS text only in the rarest of circumstances. We know from our Future of Financial Reporting Survey earlier this year that our members do have strong views about IFRS and would like to see changes to a number of standards, but if we want that to happen, we need to have a seat at the international table and have our voices heard. We need to influence. If you want to criticise the government, you have to stand up to vote.

But how effective are the voices of two relatively small countries on the other side of the world? Are we in a position to influence? Does our vote count?

These are some of the themes explored in Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s latest future[inc] offering, The Future of Financial Reporting: A Question of Influence – a nine-part video series launching this week, featuring interviews with leading IFRS commentators from our region.

We look at the current international financial reporting landscape from the perspective of standard-setters, professional accounting bodies, investors, advisors and preparers and discuss how IFRS adopters can influence the global reporting agenda to achieve desired domestic outcomes.

With the rise of digital technologies, shifts in economic power and moves away from historical financial reporting towards more integrated outputs, we also consider whether the current landscape fits us well for the future.

In the first video, Punching above your weight in the IFRS family, Ian Mackintosh FCA and Sue Lloyd talk about Australia and New Zealand’s influence on the global stage, the importance of financial statements as a communication tool and how by thinking globally, countries can work together to achieve better reporting outcomes. Ian was the inaugural vice-chair of the IASB and Sue is the current vice-chair.

Other interviews in the series include key IFRS influencers and commentators from IFAC, the AASB, the NZASB, the investor community, practitioners/advisers, board audit committees and the preparer community, so stay tuned for further instalments.

The series can be found on YouTube and will also feature on our social media channels over the next few months. Have your say on the issues raised by joining the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn. We would love to hear from you.

Australia and New Zealand are not the middle child. Together, we can influence the future of financial reporting.

Future of Financial Reporting

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