Top 10 Finance and Accounting Issues for 2012 from Resources’ Expert

As we’re all aware, the FASB and the IASB have been focusing their efforts in the past several years on convergence activities to converge US GAAP with IFRS.  As we move into 2012, Resources Global Professional’s Colleen Cunningham, Global Managing Director of Accounting & Finance, highlights some of the biggest issues that she sees for the coming year, including…

  • Revenue recognition standards expected to be finalized;
  • Lease accounting standards to be finalized;
  • Conflict Minerals;
  • SEC decision on IFRS.

Check out Colleen’s Top 10 Finance and Accounting Issues for 2012 at her blog.

Preparing for conversion to IFRS? policyIQ offers a project management and communication tool!

While IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) adoption in the United States continues to move forward at a very slow pace, it does continue to move forward.Many corporations have already begun to prepare for the move towards conversion to the IFRS practices – and Resources Global Professionals and the policyIQ team are ready to assist those organizations in their efforts.

Keeping with this month’s theme of team communication we will take a closer look at how an IFRS team can utilize a checklist in policyIQ to track and share project status.A checklist is a great method of communicating what is expected and then ensuring those expectations are met.

How can policyIQ be used to support an IFRS conversion process?

The first phase in any IFRS conversion project is to understand the organization.Regardless of how well you think you know your organization, it is recommended that you start with a full assessment of the organization.This assessment is designed to best understand the working of the company and be able to accurately estimate the scope of the conversion project. The IFRS team at Resources Global has created an Enterprise Assessment Checklist that reviews the various divisions of an organization utilizing policyIQ Form Templates.The Enterprise Checklist is divided into 5 main areas covering all major business areas including management, internal initiatives, business units, functional departments and reporting.Each of these general topics is then divided into sub areas and then each of the sub areas has a set of questions that comprises one Form Checklist_FolderTemplate.

Communicate Project Status

Since IFRS conversion projects often consist of a group of people, often geographically dispersed, there is a high need to consistently and continuously communicate. By creating a Public Form Template, Forms can be assigned by a project manager or they can be grabbed and completed by anyone on the team. From an open communication standpoint, everyone on the team can see all the pieces of the checklist when utilizing Public Forms. Also remember that all Form Templates can be utilized as many times as necessary. This is extremely helpful when an organization has many business units, where a Form may need to be submitted by each of the business units in a specific area.

Another way that policyIQ creates open communication is by providing the ability to make Form Responses visible in the Home module. In an IFRS conversion project, any team member can check the Completed Checklist Folder at any time to see answers relevant to what they are working on.This allows the entire team to have visibility into the status of the project. To have completed Form Templates automatically directed into a specific Folder, simply specify that Folder on the Form Template.

Finally, reporting on a checklist offers overall visibility into the status of the project. From reports, the project manager can assess what forms have been assigned, which are in progress and which are completed. Visibility such as this is vital when tackling a large project such as IFRS implementation.

Want to learn more about the IFRS Conversion tool built by Resources Global Professionals?

Contact us for more information about the policyIQ tools and services to help your company get prepared!

Staying current with IFRS – As easy as 1 – 2 – 3

As finance and accounting professionals, it is important to keep up to date with all that is happening on the IFRS front. The IASB and the US FASB continue to move towards their goal of creating a common set of high quality standards. Many changes to IFRS are taking place, with new standards being issued and older standards being revised or replaced.

IFRS EVERYWHERE

A clear sign that IFRS is becoming top of mind for everyone – IFRS will be included in the CPA exam starting in 2011. Is your IFRS knowledge where it needs to be? Here is a sample question (borrowed from the Journal of Accounting), do you know the answer?

Question: Under IFRS, changes in accounting policies are

A. Permitted if the change will result in a more reliable and more relevant presentation of the financial statements.

B. Permitted if the entity encounters new transactions, events, or conditions that are substantively different from existing or previous transactions.

C. Required on material transactions, if the entity had previously accounted for similar, though immaterial, transactions under an unacceptable accounting method.

D. Required if an alternate accounting policy gives rise to a material change in assets, liabilities, or the current-year net income.

* Make your guess and see below for the right answer. (Hey – don’t cheat!)

Keep yourself up to date!

The AICPA (American Institute of CPAs) launched www.ifrs.com to help CPAs get ready for the arrival of IFRS. This website is full of useful information including FAQs, trainings, publications and a blog. A great way to keep up to date on all things IFRS, is to add the RSS feed from the www.ifrs.com site to your policyIQ site.

It is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.

1)  Copy this link:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/ifrsblog

2)  In the Home Module of your policyIQ site, navigate to the RSS Feeds items in the left navigation

3)  Select Add from the table toolbar and then paste the URL.

a.  Reminder – The Available to Everyone checkbox will add this RSS feed to everyone’s list of RSS feeds. If this checkbox isn’t available to you, no worries, it just means you don’t have permission to add RSS feeds

RSS-Feeds2

RSS-Feeds3

Unlike some RSS feeds that overwhelm you with too much information or extraneous “news”, the IFRS Blog from www.ifrs.com is good about only posting when there is substantive news. You can be sure to stay on top of critical developments, without wasting your time on information you don’t need!

* The correct answer is A. How did you do?

Remind me, what is IFRS?

Remind me, what is IFRS?

Wait; don’t stop reading because you are thinking that only the Accounting department needs to know about IFRS.    IFRS will impact almost all areas of an organization including IT, Operations, Manufacturing and certainly the Finance Department.

As a reminder, IFRS stands for the International Financial Reporting Standards.  They are the judgment-based financial reporting system that the US is likely moving towards.   These standards are different from the rules-based system of U.S. GAAP that is currently followed in the United States.

Let’s start at the beginning and discuss the difference between a rule-based system and a principles-based system.

IFRS-chart3

Those of us that just experienced a harsh winter can remember lots of times recently when driving 55 miles per hour was out of the question.  A principles-based system allows room for the individual to make decisions based on what they know to be true and what they think will be best.   In a rules-based system you follow the rules, always, without question.

The current roadmap proposes that US companies will need to be IFRS compliant by 2015.   Europe is currently utilizing IFRS and Canada companies have a 2011 due date.   What is the feedback time and time again from companies that have been there?  Start early!   In the coming months we will post IFRS information and updates on this blog and we will tell you about Resources Global Professionals’ relationship with IASeminars and the many IFRS specific training opportunities available to you.   Read the press release here.

IFRS-globeHere are some IFRS stats for you to consider:

  • – So far, more than 12,000 companies in almost 100 countries have adopted IFRS
  • – This is 40%+ of the Fortune Global 500 companies
  • – The SEC estimates that US companies will spend 0.13% of their revenue on transitioning from U.S. GAAP to IFRS
  • – IFRS conversions are underway in Canada, India, Japan, Mexico and more

 

For an expert opinion on what is next in IFRS, please read the Resources Global Finance and Account blog with recent posts on updates in IFRS – http://www.resourcesglobal.com/blogs/fna/

We will also talk about the role that policyIQ may take in your IFRS project.   Feel free to contact us with any questions – support@policyIQ.com.