International Accounting Panel to Mull Improvement Proposals

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By David R. Jones

The organization that oversees development of international financial reporting standards is set to discuss in the next few months how to bolster its operations.

Trustees of the London-based IFRS Foundation. which supervises the International Accounting Standards Board in setting global standards, will evaluate recommendations for improvements contained in a July 31 report on how accounting professionals perceive the foundation.

“The staff are currently considering the report’s findings and will report any recommendations to the Trustees at their November 2017 meeting,” IASB staff told Bloomberg BNA in an Aug. 1 email response to questions.

Perceptions of the IFRS Foundation: Reputation Research Findings, prepared by market analytics company Ebiquity, Plc. surveyed 127 accountancy professionals, IASB advisers, and others.

The report found that the foundation enjoys a solid reputation overall. The profession says it is accomplishing its mission of harmonizing worldwide accounting standards.

Yet almost half of those interviewed see the foundation as acting too slowly in responding to events. “Detractors raise what they see as a tendency to be too technical or conceptual,” the analysis said.

Suggested Improvements

The report suggested the foundation can enhance its work by:

  •  engaging more with investors, analysts, small businesses, and others that the report said are under-represented in standard setting;
  •  closely examining how standards are put into practice, especially by smaller companies and in developing economies;
  •  “making its processes more efficient without sacrificing the quality of its due process”; and
  •  tapping the worldwide network of IASB advisory panel members to serve as advocates for the foundation’s activities.
The foundation should start its outreach to under-represented groups by working with their trade and professional organizations, according to the report.

Expand Digital Technology Use

“The Foundation could also look toward greater use of digital technologies in its communications as interviewees believe that this would help reach more diverse audiences,” the report said.

The foundation already works with national standard setters, accountancy groups in emerging economies, and investors to boost its operations, the Aug. 1 email said.

“How we can further our engagement with these groups will be part of the discussions with the Trustees,” IASB staff said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David R. Jones in London at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: S. Ali Sartipzadeh at asartipzadeh@bna.com

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