24 dezembro 2007

Revolução na Contabilidade

A palavra revolução parece não combinar com a palavra contabilidade. Pelo menos é isto que Greiss, da Ernest & Young, num artigo para The Globe and Mail, escreve, quando comenta sobre as normas internacionais de contabilidade. Eis o artigo abaixo:

Revolution in accounting? Hard to believe, but yes
Rafik Greiss
The Globe and Mail - 24/12/2007

‘Accounting” and “revolution” aren't words one would normally put together in the same sentence. But the inexorable march of international financial reporting standards (IFRS) across the globe is nothing short of an accounting revolution.

First applied two years ago in the European Union, South Africa and Australia, the new standards are being used, accepted, or on the verge of being adopted by more than 100 countries – including Canada. By 2011, all publicly accountable companies in this country are slated to say goodbye to Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and hello to IFRS. Ernst & Young strongly encourages Canada's Accounting Standards Board to hold fast to its 2011 adoption time frame, especially in light of what's happening in the United States – the world's largest capital market.

(...) These market realities underscore the need for a single set of high-quality global accounting standards. At its core, IFRS is intended to bring more clarity to financial reporting globally by ensuring that businesses around the world tell their financial stories in a consistent, directly comparable way. The theory is that common standards should make it easier for buyers, sellers and other stakeholders to compare companies across borders. This should encourage the free flow of capital, goods and labour across borders – something that would be especially beneficial for Canada's relatively small economy – and help bolster investor confidence.

But revolutions aren't easy, and this one is no different. There are obstacles along the road to a common global reporting language, and the first wave of European adopters is experiencing some growing pains. Many are struggling with the concept of uniformity, and so financial statements still have hints of local flavours. But improvements are continuing since the first wave of global acceptance in 2005.

(...) Who will be affected?

IFRS will be mandatory for all “Publicly Accountable Enterprises,” which include listed companies and any other organizations that are responsible to large or diverse groups of stakeholders, including non-listed financial institutions, securities dealers and many co-operative enterprises. There are about 4,500 such entities in Canada. The effect on not-for-profit and privately held companies is yet to be determined.

Who is using IFRS?

IFRS are now required or permitted in more than 100 countries, including the European Union and much of the Pacific Rim. The U.S.'s Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is working with the IASB to align standards, with the long-term goal of a single set of quality standards.

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