Wednesday, September 9, 2009

IFRS – What’s In It For Me? (Part II)

In my previous blog, I wrote about the positive aspects of a Canadian college student studying the new standards (the IFRS) that will take effect in Canada in 2011. There are four positives and to even things up, below are the negative aspects of this adoption as far as a college student studying accounting is concerned:

NEGATIVE: Your college or university may find it hard to look instructors or professors who are not “capable” of teaching IFRS because of lack of a working knowledge of these standards. Don’t get me wrong, I am not questioning your professor’s capability but let’s face it, the standards as your professors studied them then are rather different from the IFRS that will be adopted in 2011. Your professors studied for a long time to fully-comprehend Canadian GAAP. With so short a time and with so many new standards to study, I’m not really sure the professors have ample time to assimilate and comprehend everything. For their sake and for the students’ sake, I hope they will gain enough expertise and knowledge on IFRS to teach them to college students such as you.

NEGATIVE: A lot of curriculum and other educational materials have inadequate amount of content regarding IFRS. This makes it difficult for students like you to get ample practice on IFRS-related problems. Although some college books (and review books) are now being revised to take into account these new standards, there may not be enough of these materials to meet the needs of the college students.

NEGATIVE: Assuming that you are already into accounting standards, you may need to shift focus from Canadian GAAP to IFRS, which is not an easy thing to do. In the first place, studying any GAAP is big endeavor; shifting from local GAAP to IFRS can be quite daunting. Mention the fact that you’re going to study all these in just a few years and you’ll really be tempted to throw up your hands and give up.

NEGATIVE: Issuances of new IFRS and improvements on the issued ones are ongoing processes. After the first general adoption in 2005, 2009 marks the year when some major improvements and new standards are issued. Fortunately (or unfortunately), since Canada has not yet adopted the IFRS, all these improvements and new standards are already integrated in the IFRS Canada will adopt by 2011. For a student, this means the learning curve for IFRS is still going up (and up and up, with no end in sight, yet).

So there you have it. The four negatives complete the second part of this blog. I hope the negatives I mentioned above don’t put you off from studying accounting and becoming CAs later on. I do hope you will focus on the positives and stay on track to become an accountant (and a CA) someday. Don’t worry about these changes; these are really part of our profession. Dynamism is what keeps the accounting profession (and any profession for that matter) alive. If you need any help about IFRS or if you’re starting to bang your head against the wall (figuratively, I hope), just drop me a note. Till then, good luck!


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