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The challenges of IFRS transition in Alberta

The Alberta Securities Commission has released its 2011 Corporate Finance Disclosure Report. According to the report:

The adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards was a significant undertaking for reporting issuers and affected virtually every capital market participant in some respect. It placed a significant additional resource requirement on those already dealing with an environment of continued market volatility and increasing financial market complexity.

Not surprisingly, during this transition year, the commission came across several problems with reporting issuers’ IFRS conversion filings. These included:

  • Missing financial statements, mainly the “Statement of Changes in Equity”
  • Documents describing the impact of the transition did not go into sufficient detail
  • “Boilerplate” accounting policy disclosure, meaning reporting issuers failed to describe adequately the new policies they had chosen and applied
  • Failure to disclose IFRS 1 exemptions taken
  • Inconsistent use of new terminology
  • Mixed GAAP disclosure in MD&A
  • The appropriate discount rate for decommissioning liabilities

The report includes lots of useful information, specifically for reporting issuers in Alberta, but any company making the transition to IFRS should benefit from perusing the commission’s observations and expectations.

Of course, the report also describes the commission’s corporate disclosure review activities and other information relevant to Alberta businesses, along with numerous examples, tips and reminders.

The commission also offers archives of many of its webinars.

Here’s the Events & Presentations page.

Here’s the “2012 Corporate Finance Review Sessions” webinar.


Adam Gorley
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor

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Adam Gorley

Editor at First Reference
Adam Gorley, B.A. (Phil.), is a researcher, content provider and editor. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks and Internal Control blogs, HRinfodesk and other First Reference publications. His areas of focus include broad human resources issues, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and government policies, information technology and labour market trends.Read more
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