Implementing IFRS regulations in your accounting software

January 1, 2011? A date that has come and gone. It’s assumed that your firm is up to speed with IFRS, but do all your clients understand that the new standards are mandatory for private enterprises, beginning on or after January 1, 2011?

Is your client’s accounting software up to the task?  Whether you’ve already experienced the frustrations of an implementation, or if you suspect that it could be a problem (because they haven’t started yet), tackling or completing an IFRS implementation can be managed effectively with a really basic initial approach:

  • Conduct BPR (Business Process Engineering) first to make sure that their processes become compliant, then
  • Select the accounting/ERP/business management software that best fits/supports the needs of those processes.

Most modern and sophisticated accounting/ERP software has been updated to handle the changes that IFRS implementation has forced.  So, which software will be the best?

Along with making sure that the software meets the new process needs, you should also ensure that the software is:

  • Scalable, so that user numbers and functionality can expand to meet future needs.
  • Built with the latest technology, and based on a widely-used database system (i.e. SQL Server, Oracle, etc.).
  • Capable of “out-of-the-box” functionality with little need for programming-based functional customization, but…
  • Flexible, and easy enough, for the user to make configuration changes, customize reports, and run queries.

Whichever software system you choose to recommend to your client, of course make sure that it supports the most important IFRS requirements pertinent to them, but at the very least, includes:

  • Consolidated reporting for multiple companies, divisions, subsidiaries, multi-currency, and multi-lingual environments.
  • Simplified ability to duplicate their database during a transition period.
  • Ability to change the Chart of Accounts, and transfer values between GAAP and IFRS standards for the transition period.
  • Different ways to recognize revenue.
  • Impairment handling.
  • How to depreciate assets.

Amongst the great resources available to assist with an IFRS implementation, you may find the following links valuable:

  • IFRS with the International Accounting Standards Board.
  • The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants IFRS Transition Guide

The faster you help your clients complete their transition to IFRS, the faster they’ll get over the change, and can continue to focus on the success of their business.

They’ll thank you for it!