Early Learning on IFRS as a Career Booster

Early learning as a career attitude can get you ahead. Gaining authentic expertise in international standards is a must for career advancement purposes in the short term. An accountant who establishes a position as “the reference” on IFRS will have great influence over the company and have more career choices. It also opens opportunities for an international career. Having a unified set of standards worldwide will allow financial comparison with global market players (even under different laws and regulations). As a local example, Argentinean CNV is promoting the implementation of IFRS for enlisted companies (proposal was confirmed on Nov. 2007, transition stages start on 2010).

IFRS allows more flexibility on information disclosure since they are based on principles rather than rules as US GAAPs. In fact, US GAAPs are so detailed and inflexible that prevented them to become our international standards (however they did not prevented accounting scandals). Perceptive companies learned from the experience of Sarbanes-Oxley about the length of time and the efforts to implement these requirements.

Companies that have international operations already reporting in IFRS and those that do not rely on professional services firms will be the best positioned for training purposes. It also includes auditing firms that have had to issue audit opinions on subsidiaries of European companies for several years.

All local accountants should get awareness-level training. This level covers the general framework, specially related to changes between US GAAPs and Argentine Accounting Principles for income recognition, inventories, fixed assets, interest capitalization, investments, business unions, conversion and indexation, leases, impairment, income tax, provisions and post closing adjustments. Deeper training on particular accounting issues is reserved for professionals who specifically deal with them in their roles.

The earlier a change is found, the easier it is to treat.