The heaving IFRS bookshelf!

I realize of course that after a work day revolving heavily around the three volumes of the red book, the last thing you might want to do at night is unwind with even more IFRS-related reading material. But if you dig deeply enough into the library, there’s something there for every taste. See for yourself!

Weymouth Stroud and the Case of the Missing Disclosures by Paula Welk. The first in a long-running series of quirky detective novels introduces the eccentric Stroud, a brilliant private investigator whose cases explore the intersection of accounting transgression and bloody murder. In this scalding page-turner, Stroud deduces that the key to the violent death of a high-profile Chief Financial Officer may lie in the omission of a significant related party disclosure: was it an oversight, or a secret window onto a dark world of skullduggery? The novel also marks the first appearance of his assistant Amelia, who amusingly insists on seeing the malign influence of non-GAAP measures in every shadowy corner.

The New International Standards of Sex by Lally Lipton. Lipton, a respected sex therapist and personal counsellor, suggests here that whatever your question may be about what to do in the bedroom, the answer lies subtly hidden in the pages of IFRS. With great skill and empathy, she illustrates how the IFRS 3 requirements for business combinations provide a road map for better identifying and appreciating your partner’s assets; how the IFRS 15 guidance on revenue assists in uncovering all the underappreciated aspects of the implied contract between you and your partner; how IFRS 9 triggers recognition of a whole world of complex mutual possibilities; and so on. This sixth edition restores the controversial application of “defined benefits plans”, suppressed from some earlier printings.

I Married a Standard-Setter by Rosemary Francis. A classic autobiography by the long-suffering spouse of a former IASB member. Francis watched and worried as her husband devolved over the course of his tenure from a bright-eyed, cheerful academic into a neurotic, barely functional shut-in, his world gradually coming to consist of little more than an endless round of meetings, backing materials and consultations, unable to distinguish his wife from his fellow Board members (and not even just the female ones). Thankfully, after a lowest ebb involving a near-fatal overdose on a series of draft illustrative examples, Francis’ husband started to turn his life around, and today lives an existence almost free of all standards, except those he applies to tending his beloved rose garden.

The Modern IFRS Songbook by Will Wiener and Jolly Garber. Wiener and Garber, best known for the long-running musical Pants! Pants!, deliver the words and music for fifty original compositions, collectively exploring IFRS in all its highs and lows, its joys and woes. While the songs are designed to be sung around the piano, less musically-inclined readers may profitably approach the volume as a collection of poetry. Highlights include the wistful “Our Temporary Differences,” the tragic “You Understated my Value in Use,” and the rollicking “I Was Wrong to Use My Right of Use Asset.” All together now!

The Annotated Man by Ray Quickley. In this futuristic post-modern epic, the protagonist Martin 13 finds himself living inside the text of the annotated IFRS standards, a stunningly-imagined hidden universe in which cross-references constitute the bridges between nations, and a new agenda decision is capable of washing away a continent. In the horrifying climax, Martin finds himself pursued through hundreds of pages by an errant reference to the basis for conclusions which, freed of its limiting context, transforms itself into a dragon-like monstrosity; order is only restored by the heroic intervention of a long-forgotten dissenting opinion. Prepare to expand your horizons!

Your New IFRS Cookbook by Rita L. Feinster. How often have you had to put your perusal of accounting standards to one side because of a rumbling stomach? Thanks to this updated collection of IFRS-inspired recipes, you can now align intellectual and physical nourishment. For starters, there’s the perennial favourite, a hearty soup made out of easily identifiable level 1 inputs, or a healthy salad of freshly harvested biological assets, all lovingly measured along the way at their fair value less costs to sell. For the main course, perhaps a hearty “qualifying asset” stew, tastily garnished with capitalized borrowing costs. For dessert, dig deeply into a “hybrid contract” pie, relishing all the sweetly embedded derivatives that your spoon separates along the way. The writer playfully suggests that afterwards, you’ll want to lie back and relax with a mind-altering “joint arrangement.” If you know what she’s getting at!

Of course, I need to be very clear that the above descriptions were provided by the publishers and that their inclusion in this article doesn’t constitute a positive review. I wouldn’t know, given how the only books I read are the kind where you take your pencil and join the dots…

Once again, happy new year!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author (or authors…)

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