Opportunity knocks – new career paths in IFRS!

The wonderful possibilities for advancement in and around the IASB

When the burdens of life get me down, I like to fantasize about escaping to a brighter existence, of the kind you might have if you worked for the IASB. Just consider the possibilities of this real-life opportunity:

  • “We are looking for an experienced and knowledgeable hedge accounting practitioner to join the Financial Instruments team and to support the Technical Director with the delivery of hedge accounting-related technical work.
  • Specifically your responsibilities will include:
  • Develop proposals on hedge accounting-related issues for consideration by the IASB and facilitate decision-making on the issues identified by:
  •   Undertaking research to support proposals.
  •   Initiating and leading small group meetings with IASB members.
  •   Drafting recommendations and presenting them to the IASB.
  • Consult with a wide range of external stakeholders from industry and the accounting, investment, regulatory and standard-setting communities in order to ascertain their views and to share research, materials and information about the organisation, technical projects and the standard-setting process.
  • Act as a credible and authoritative representative of the IASB by participating in formal meetings and presentations
  • Prepare and review a range of papers and documents including staff papers, discussion papers, exposure drafts, IFRSs, IFRICs, press releases, project summaries, feedback statements, effect analyses, web summaries, Q&A summaries and PowerPoint presentations.”

Well, maybe that’s not actually my bag. On the contrary, it’s hard to imagine how one could maintain any kind of positivity and mental equilibrium, spending day after day thinking about nothing except the details of hedge accounting. I suppose people exist who might love the job, maybe some of the same people who can lose themselves in a particularly esoteric and slow-moving online game for days on end, but wouldn’t a person who loved hedge accounting that much almost automatically not be “credible and authoritative” by any other kind of human standard? Anyway, I assumed this must represent the trough of IFRS-related job opportunities, but then my mole at the IASB alerted me to some less widely-advertised, perhaps even less desirable open positions. And I think you’ll agree with me, some of these make a life of constant hedge accounting sound positively balmy:

Hoogervorst decoy In an age of frequent and unpredictable threat, the IFRS Foundation has identified a need for an individual to convincingly substitute for and represent IASB Chair Hans Hoogervorst in situations of heightened risk. The individual must be capable, with minimal cosmetic assistance, of convincingly impersonating Mr. Hoogervorst, of delivering speeches with appropriate grace and eloquence, and of accepting injury without complaint. Consistent with our usual policies, individuals of any gender and ethnicity are encouraged to apply.

IFRIC Shrink The IFRS Foundation acknowledges that no one of course cares about IFRIC and their trivial issues, as long as they stay out of the way of the adults, but IFRIC members can suffer from depression and anxiety as they become aware of this reality. The dedicated IFRIC counsellor will devote him- or herself full-time to helping IFRIC members adjust to their demeaning role in life, attempting to boost their self-esteem and prepare for their eventual return to a useful existence. Given the substantial impossibility of this task, performance targets for the position will be set very low.

Embodiment of impairment risk To assist staff in engaging with the complex requirements of IAS 36, the IASB has created a position for a staff member to embody, by his or very presence, a significant decline in recoverable amount. By manifesting such qualities as unrealized potential, chronic underperformance and minimal future prospects, this valued staff member will stimulate further reflection about impairment-related issues, possibly leading to a productive new era of loss recognition. Must be willing to be written down to zero on a daily basis.

Accounting Messiah Inspired by occasional references to the annual bound volumes as the “IFRS Bible,” the IFRS Foundation intends to explore the feasibility and desirability of establishing IFRS as a modern-day religion, in the general vein of Scientology, but with accountants instead of celebrities. This individual will lead our efforts in this area, developing supernaturally-tinged explanations of how compliance with key aspects of IFRS leads to a higher state of consciousness, and possibly to erotic communion with alien beings. He or she will earn a performance bonus, based on a percentage of the donations extracted from worshippers. Actual miracles not required.

Cannon Street crack whore Aware of its reputation for excessive stuffiness and sterility, the IFRS Foundation hopes to import more colour and diversity into the geographic area immediately surrounding its headquarters at 30 Cannon Street, London. The constant presence of a plainly and comprehensively “fallen woman” of suitably wretched appearance will provide an “ice-breaker” for meetings, and support a positive sense of the Foundation’s endeavours by providing a vivid example of how much worse life can get. Actual whoring not required.

And, if that goes well, I hear they’re going to be in the market for a deputy crack whore. Happy new year!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author

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