IFRS: time is not on our side

Louis Armstrong sang it like this:

We have all the time in the world
Just for love
Nothing more
Nothing less
Only love

Nothing more, nothing less? But surely we have time for at least one thing more – to implement IFRS? Oh wait, here’s some news coming in…

September 2004 “Implementation of IAS 39 is one of the biggest accounting shake-ups in history. However, it’s much more than an accounting issue,” said Ms Hurworth. “Organizations were at varying stages in their conversion. Time is running out as the deadline is now only months away.”

July 2005 Management in every company will be responsible for the operational planning and implementation of the IFRS transition, but ultimate responsibility lies with those charged with governance. Time is fast running out for boards that have not so far played their full role.

October 2009 Mr. Bent concluded, “Even though we’re in the final quarter of 2009, we still encounter public companies in Canada that are not yet prepared for the impact that IFRS conversion will have on their IT systems. There is still time to prepare, but time is running out. That said, the only thing worse than not preparing for the conversion is getting it wrong. Whether you’re tapping the expertise of your own staff, or getting professional counsel, get it done and get it done right.”

July 2010 The pace of activity has been slower in some industries and among smaller public companies, often reflecting these companies’ assessment that their transition will be easier than that of larger public companies. The AcSB has always expected this difference. Awareness of the 2011 changeover date is very high and the AcSB has continued various communication activities to remind those who have been slower to act that time is running out.

December 2013 On 15 November 2013, Commissioner Barnier warned ECOFIN Ministers convergence appears less likely to be achieved and made clear that time is running out and that Europe desperately needs a new impairment standard.

June 2016 As the effective date of IFRS 15 is fast approaching, one key decision needs to be made soon – how and when to transition to the new standard. Identifying the optimal approach depends on a range of issues, so the answer may not be straightforward. Time is running out.

November 2016 EFRAG will likely issue its final endorsement of the new standards in the first quarter of 2017. This means time is running out for EU companies to research and understand the new standard — and to react appropriately.

January 2017 2017 is critical for preparers to finalise their detailed plans for applying in 2018 two key Standards, IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers. Published in 2014, the long lead times for implementation reflect the complexities for sectors such as financial services and telecoms. But all IFRS preparers are affected to some extent and time is running out.

March 2017 The challenge of ECL measurement under IFRS 9 is obvious. The new standard requires significant judgement, time and effort to adopt – and time is running out. Most banks do not need to start from scratch – they can use much of the information they already have for other purposes – adjusted to ensure compliance with IFRS 9.

May 2017 With the 1st January 2019 deadline for implementation fast approaching, companies should already be making sufficient headway with their IFRS 16 implementation projects. As we progress further into 2017, time is rapidly running out.

September 2017 In this edition, we remind entities that time is running out to implement the ‘triple threat’ three new accounting standards on revenue, financial instruments, and leases.

October 2017 It’s understandable why companies would want to take a shortcut. ASC 606 is effective for calendar-year end public business entities on January 1, 2018, with a one year delay for other entities. IFRS 15 is effective for all entities in a matter of a few months and, based on recent surveys, companies are way behind. Time is running out!

December 2017 2018 is fast approaching which means the inevitable January deadline for reporting under IFRS 9 is upon us. The new standard brings key improvements to accounting by moving towards a principle-based, forward-thinking model. Time is running out and IFRS 9 is a complex application to implement, bringing to light concerns around what challenges an application of this standard may create for financial institutions.

February 2018 Risks include not being compliant with their statutory reporting requirements, misstatements of disclosures in the first IFRS 15 financial statements and more. It’s not too late for entities to start, but a streamlined approach is crucial and time is running out.

All right, I admit I was wrong; there is in fact no time left to implement IFRS, and there never has been, and never will be. Louis Armstrong was right, dammit! Just focus on love!

As it is now depressingly clear to all of us that time is running out, the opinions expressed are those of, I suppose, despair itself.

(This has been another instalment in our occasional series: Great Cliches of IFRS).

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