Over the past year, we remained flexible as we worked through and anticipated new challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
We continue to actively monitor the situation and evaluate how to best operate in this fluid environment. To ensure the safety of our members, stakeholders, and staff, we have held virtual meetings in fiscal 2022. We look forward to implementing a hybrid working model that leverages our lessons learned and creates opportunities for collaboration as we resume organizing in-person meetings in June 2022.
We welcomed five new members to our Council on April 1, 2022. As demand increases for talent across all industries and sectors, our flexibility, collaborative platforms, and remote meeting environment allows us to stay competitive with recruitment. We have witnessed a heightened interest from prospective members, which is indicative of our continued relevance and contribution to serving the public interest.
A key focus for us this past year was the growing area of sustainability standards and reporting. Together with the Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council (AASOC) and encouraged by the formation of the International Sustainability Standard Board (ISSB) by the IFRS Foundation, we created the Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting (IRCSS). The IRCSS’ mandate is to conduct a review of the governance and structure for establishing Canadian accounting, auditing, and assurance standards, and to identify what might be needed for the future – including sustainability standards. The IRCSS is currently deliberating on feedback received on its Consultation Paper, and we anticipate their final recommendations in the coming months.
We also look forward to the establishment of the ISSB’s Montreal centre, where the Board will host significant standard-setting responsibilities and associated functions.
These developments reflect global trends concerning the imperative need to address a broad range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters beyond the traditional financial reporting. The Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) and Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) will continue to engage with these matters in the coming year, as they navigate a rapidly evolving reporting landscape.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to be proactively thinking about economic and financial recovery, growth, and stability – both domestically and internationally. Shifting economies, rethinking, and rebalancing supply chains with greater attention to domestic self-sufficiency and global stability will put pressure on financial systems' integrity. Reporting systems will need to operate and manage these realities, which will bring unprecedented challenges to the forefront of our work. We will address these challenges head-on and support the Boards as they remain responsive to the changing reporting needs and developments related to emerging areas. The activities related to international standards will also continue to be important to ensure that Canada has a seat at the table when issues that matter to Canadians are discussed.
In closing, we would like to thank our members, staff, and volunteers for their dedication this year, particularly in the face of the ongoing pandemic. We are grateful for your continued efforts and hard work, day in and day out.
Miville Tremblay, CFA, ICD.D, Chair (to December 2021)
Lorraine Moore, MBA, ICD.D, Chair (Chair until 2025)
We monitor and evaluate the performance of both the AcSB and PSAB to ensure they consider the public interest and the needs of all stakeholders in standard setting. We ensure due process is followed by receiving regular reports from the Boards and reviewing the effectiveness of their processes. We also encourage the public to engage with the standard-setting process, such as by attending discussion group meetings and webinars online.
Our Performance Review Committee (PRC) monitors and evaluates the performance of the AcSB and PSAB on an annual basis. The Committee provided input into the Boards’ new Strategic Plans, 2022–2023 Annual Plans, and 2021–2022 Performance Reports. Lastly, the PRC has free-flowing dialogues with the Board Chairs on pressing issues that the Boards are managing.
We agreed that the AcSB had a successful year, with the following key achievements:
- Consulting broadly on its proposed strategies and issuing its 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.
- Responding to IFRS Foundation documents for comment related to sustainability, supporting the establishment of the ISSB, and strengthening the strategic direction of the IFRS Foundation.
- Remaining nimble and responding to priority issues raised by stakeholders – including expediting domestic amendments to extend the relief on accounting for lease modifications and responding to the reform of benchmark interest rates.
- Maintaining active engagement with Canadian stakeholders on current and future standard-setting projects.
- Making significant progress on key projects for private enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, and pension plans, including deliberating feedback on the Contributions Consultation Paper and issuing two Exposure Drafts for comments – Cloud Computing Arrangements and Pension Plans.
- Influencing global discussions by responding to many significant IASB documents for comment after extensive outreach – such as the IASB’s Agenda Consultation, Post-implementation Review of IFRS 9, Rate-regulated Activities, and Standards-level Review of Disclosures.
We agreed that PSAB met the objectives outlined in its revised 2021-2022 Annual Plan, with the following key achievements:
- Finalizing its 2022-2027 Strategic Plan after conducting extensive outreach and analyzing feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders.
- Beginning the implementation of the International Strategy by increasing awareness amongst stakeholders of the work being done by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), and engaging with the Chair, Canadian member, and staff of IPSASB to ensure they are aware of Canadian issues.
- Releasing the first Exposure Draft related to Employee Benefits and conducting extensive outreach with a diverse group of stakeholders.
- Finalizing the Government Not-for-Profit (GNFP) Strategy, Option 2 ‒ PSAS incorporating the PS 4200 series with potential customizations and beginning the development of an implementation plan for the GNFP strategy.
- Reviewing extensive feedback received for the Exposure Drafts on the Conceptual Framework and Reporting Model. Final approvals of the Conceptual Framework and Reporting Model documents are expected in the next year.