The SAICA Standards unit had the pleasure of hosting Dr Andreas Barckow, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) chairman, and board member and chair of the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), Mr Bruce Mackenzie CA(SA), in August. This was the first time since 2010 that an IASB international chair had visited SAICA and its South African members.
SAICA has a proud and long-standing relationship with the IASB. SAICA has actively advocated for the South African position and viewpoint to the many exposure drafts, requests for information, surveys and other fact-finding initiatives of the IASB since its formation. Over and above Bruce’s seat on the IASB board – the Africa seat − SAICA also has members sitting on further IASB/IFRS Foundation structures, including:
- The IFRIC
- The IFRS Advisory Council
- The Small Medium Enterprise Implementation Group (SMEIG)
- The IFRS Foundation
Furthermore, there are numerous CAs(SA) in the employ of the IASB, where they use their CA(SA) training and expertise to lead global financial reporting standard-setting.
The SAICA Standards unit arranged both a hybrid member update event as well as face-to-face engagements with key parties and stakeholders i to allow personal consultation with these key structures and the IASB board in an open and relaxed environment. Notably, the IASB was keen to hear the views of the SAICA structures as part of their global standard-setting approach. SAICA members also had the privilege of hearing from Dr Suresh Kana CA(SA), one of the trustees of the IFRS Foundation. Representatives from the following key stakeholders participated in these engagements:
- SAICA’s Accounting Practices Committee
- The Johannesburg Stock Exchange
- SAICA’s CFO Forum
- SAICA’s Members in Business (MIB) community
- SAICA’s MIB technical project groups
- The SAICA Executive Committee
- The SAICA Standards division
- The International Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
- The SAICA academic community
Discussions were in depth and mutually beneficial. Topics were wide ranging and included updates on the IASB’s recently released third agenda consultation agenda – where there will be a renewed focus on both the intangible assets standard and the cash flow statement. Other discussion points included current IASB projects such as the work on disclosures and primary financial statements, management performance measures, management, commentary, and goodwill, to name a few – all of which will have an impact on South African reporting in the near future.
Of particular interest to all parties was insight into the direction of IFRS for SME reporting in the near future. SAICA had been proactive in its advocacy submissions in the build-up to this project and is one of the leading IFRS for SME implementers globally.
The IASB also gave us their in-depth and first-hand updates and insight into further activities within the IFRS Foundation – notably insight into the recently formed sister body to the IASB, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), and how the relationship and synergy between it and the IASB may pan out, and the impact on global corporate reporting going forward. While this project is still in its infancy, SAICA shares the IASB’s enthusiasm and support for the establishment of global sustainability standards to further strengthen corporate reporting and the role that accountants, including SAICA members will play in this going forward.
The Standards team of SAICA would like to express its deep appreciation to the following individuals and structures for playing an active role in the success of this visit:
- SAICA Board Chairman – Vincent Motholo
- SAICA CEO – Freeman Nomvalo
- SAICA Chairman of Council – Kobus Swanepoel
- SAICA EXCO.
- SAICA Standards
This four-day visit reinforced the crucial role that SAICA members and SAICA play in the shaping of the corporate reporting landscape and how important and influential our voice is therein.
Thank you to the IFRS Foundation and the IASB for investing so much time and effort into SAICA. We will remember and honour this visit for years to come. I would like to conclude in the same way that our board chairman concluded his address at our members’ event: You [the IASB] have an open invitation to SAICA, to our members, and to South Africa.’