The financial reporting landscape is shifting rapidly as the reporting needs of stakeholders continue to evolve. There is a strong demand for more information, particularly from users, to support a better understanding of performance beyond what is currently reported in traditional financial statements.
This year, Canada’s standard-setting oversight councils commissioned an independent review of the current governance and structure for establishing Canadian accounting and assurance standards. This review also will consider and prepare for what might be needed in the future – including sustainability standards.
We recognize that our environment will be permeated with change for the years to come – but through it all – we will continue our standard-setting work with a focus on continuing to enhance the relevance of financial reporting. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago and its unexpected continuation taught us how things can change quickly. We learned to be nimble, pivot and adapt as needed. That said, we kept our focus on staying connected with our stakeholders to ensure we respond appropriately. From this experience, we are better equipped than ever before to be responsive during a time of change.
Fiscal 2021-2022 continued to test our ability in prioritizing our work to respond to issues of importance to our stakeholders, both from a domestic and international perspective. The ongoing pandemic necessitated a quick extension of the optional relief we provided last year on the accounting for COVID-19 related rent concessions. We also expedited the development and finalization of amendments in response to the interest rate benchmark reform. The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued many documents for comment this year and we had to prioritize topics of importance to Canadians in conducting outreach and influencing discussions.
As we move into the next year, we are consulting on two key domestic projects that we just issued Exposure Drafts for – Pension Plans and Cloud Computing Arrangements. We strive to develop technical, yet pragmatic proposals, and we are keen to hear from our stakeholders on whether we found the right balance.
As I reflect back on this year, and in fact the last six years of operating under our current Strategic Plan, I am proud of our Board, volunteers, and staff accomplishments. We recognize that financial reporting must continuously evolve to deliver relevant information in a changing world. I am confident that we built the right foundation for the coming years under our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan – with a reaffirmed vision to enhance the relevance of financial information and support the improvement of non-financial information reported to stakeholders.
Linda Mezon-Hutter, FCPA, FCA
Readying for the New Future
Making headway on key domestic projects
We received a lot of informative feedback on our Contributions Consultation Paper that we issued last year and made substantial progress in deliberating stakeholders’ comments. We also completed the development of Exposure Drafts on Pension Plans and Cloud Computing Arrangements. The Board’s advisory committees were instrumental in helping us develop the proposals. We look forward to hearing our stakeholders’ feedback on both Exposure Drafts.
Influencing the global discussions
This has been a very active year as the IASB consulted on over 10 of its projects. We held panel events, roundtables, and targeted meetings, and we invited IASB members and staff to take part to ensure Canadian views were heard on an international level. We also continued building relationships and exchanging views on topics of mutual interest with national standard setters in Australia, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.
Building the foundation for the future
We listened to our stakeholders’ feedback on our proposed strategies and issued our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan. This Strategic Plan serves as a compass for us as we navigate the changing times. Sustainability reporting needs are evolving, and we continue to stay actively engaged in the dialogue internationally and in Canada. The IFRS Foundation created the International Sustainability Standards Board this year, and in Canada, the Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting in Canada thinks there is a need for a Canadian sustainability standards board. Our three core strategies call for us to continue to work with and learn from other Canadian and international standard setters to provide our stakeholders with high-quality and relevant standards that serve the public interest.