The Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) supports the objective of harmonizing accounting standards internationally. We have been active in the development of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) for many years.
We have worked with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) since its inception in 2001. Before then, we worked with the IASB’s predecessor body, the International Accounting Standards Committee, since its founding in 1973.
The IFRS Foundation estimates that 29,000 of the 53,000 companies listed on the 90 major securities exchanges in the world use IFRSs. Profiles published by the IFRS Foundation provide information about the use of IFRSs in individual jurisdictions.
In January 2006, we decided to move financial reporting for Canadian publicly accountable enterprises to IFRSs. Our 2016-2021 Strategic Plan, “Accounting Standards in Canada: At the Leading Edge of Financial Reporting,” explains that this decision does not mean that we simply wait for the IASB to issue IFRSs. We work hard to influence the development of IFRSs. We follow a multi-step process to approve new and amended IFRSs for incorporation into Canadian GAAP (see Canada’s profile for more information).
One of our objectives is to add value for publicly accountable enterprises by maintaining a strong global presence. We are at the international table when issues important to Canadians are discussed, ensuring our stakeholders’ perspectives are considered.
The AcSB on the International Stage
In March 2013, we were named an inaugural member of the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF), which serves as the technical advisory body to the IASB. Established by the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation, this single forum replaces multiple bilateral memorandums of understanding with various national and regional standards bodies.
In June 2015, we were appointed to a second term for three years. Our Chair represents the Board at the ASAF meetings.
We also participate in other international committee meetings, such as:
- World Standard Setters — A forum for those responsible for setting financial reporting requirements in jurisdictions around the world.
- International Forum of Accounting Standard Setters (previously National Standard-Setters) — A grouping of national accounting standard setters from around the world and other organizations that are involved in financial reporting issues.
- Bilateral meetings with standard setters from other jurisdictions, such as Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States.
We also respond to documents issued for comment by the IASB. We strongly encourage Canadian constituents to monitor IASB projects and respond to these documents as well.
Pictured: Linda Mezon, AcSB Chair, and Hans Hoogervorst, IASB Chairman
Canadians on the International Stage
Canadian academic, Professor Tom Scott, was appointed as a member of the IASB. He joined the organization in April 2017 for an initial five-year term.
The IASB members liaise with national standard setters in order to promote convergence of accounting standards through common activities, wherever possible. We are frequently in touch with both the IASB staff and Board members on issues that are significant to Canadians.
In fact, we work with the IASB in many different ways, including supporting these Canadians who serve on IASB committees:
IFRS Foundation Trustees
- Sheila Fraser — Vice-Chair
IFRS Advisory Council
- Micheline Dionne — International Actuarial Association representative
- Paul Fitzsimon — Member
- Lynda Sullivan — HUB Global Insurance Group representative
IFRS Interpretations Committee
- Reinhard Dotzlaw — Member
- Richard Burton — Member, Global Preparers Forum
- Murtaza Dean — Member, Effects Analysis Consultative Group
- Douglas French — Member, Global Preparers Forum
- Helen Killoch — Member, IFRS Transition Resource Group for Impairment of Financial Instruments
- Tom Koryna — Member, Insurance Working Group
- Richard McCabe — Member, Consultative Group for Rate Regulation
- Robert Morgan — Member, Capital Markets Advisory Committee
- Tim Murray — Member, Consultative Group for Rate Regulation
- Michel Picard — Member, Consultative Group for Rate Regulation
- George Prieksaitis — Member, IFRS Transition Resource Group for Impairment of Financial Instruments
- Karen Stothers — Official Observer, IFRS Transition Resource Group for Impairment of Financial Instruments
- Lynda Sullivan — Member, Insurance Working Group
Working with the U.S.
Like us in Canada, the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has its pulse on international accounting standard-setting activities. The FASB is also an inaugural member of the ASAF and was reappointed for a second term.
The proximity between Canada and the U.S. and the connection between the two countries’ capital markets leads to collaboration on many levels, including the support of Canadian representatives on the following committees:
- Xihao Hu — Member, Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council
- Karyn Brooks — Member, Joint IASB and FASB Transition Resource Group for Revenue Recognition
- Robert Morgan — Member, Joint IASB and FASB Transition Resource Group for Revenue Recognition