“You have been living in a bit of a building site for much of the last decade. However, the good news is that the majority of the structural work is now complete. The heating and plumbing systems are now in good shape.” With these words Hans Hoogervorst described his impression of the progress made in recent years at the start of the IFRS Foundation Conference in Zurich.
On the eve of his second term of office as chairman of the IASB, he outlined what will be the central theme of the next five years: the development of IFRSs to provide “better communication”.
The Disclosure Initiative and the Materiality Practice Statement are crucial to this objective. There will be further work on the format of financial statements and performance measurement, and on definitions for the most common aggregates, such as operating income or EBIT.
There will also be a consideration of electronic reporting needs, and the IASB will take a look at the role it should play in non-financial reporting.
While the coming years are unlikely to be marked by projects on the scale of those which have now been completed, they should see more subtle changes to the standards, whose importance should not be understated.