IFRS transition – Some thoughts
Transformation to IFRS brings about substantial change to the way we treat, present and disclose the figures in the financial statements. These changes often shift the baseline metrics Vis a Vis thestakeholder, often triggering change[s] in the behavior of the stake holders. The change management involves managing the 3rd party interest during and post IFRS implementation – thus larger in scope.
Let me illustrate the above with the following examples.
 Let us assume that the existing method of revenue recognition under goes a substantial change as a result the financial KPIs are breached. Employees whose pay [variable pay, incentive etc] is linked to these KPIs will stand to lose for none of their fault. This is bound to lead to morale related problems.
 While arriving at the distributable income meaning dividend etc, it is a common practice to ensure that the solvency related ratios does not breach the threshold. The idea is, the outflow by means of dividend etc should not obscure the solvency of the firm.In some countries the solvency test is mandatory.IFRS sometimes can play mischief here.
IFRS incent higher net assets which include internally generated intangible assets- developmentcosts , for example; recognize the percentage-of-completion method of accounting for construction contracts etc, enable the measurement of certain financial assets and investment property at their fair value, and provides with a fewer opportunities to recognize the liabilities.
The presentation and disclosure of assets in the financial statement is driven by substance over form. For example the inclusion of leased assets in the Balance sheet is based on facts and circumstances [control,Risk and Reward]; this will impact the dependencies like depreciation.
If the above practices are different from the existing ones, an element of unrealized profit sneaks in; any distributedincome based on such profit is bound to injure the liquidity.
The creditors may perceive this as detrimental to their interests,which could impact the flow and the cost of debts.
The above besides we have plethora of treatments driven by considerations like impairment, hedging, assets held for sale …….
How to manage these issue ?
The best way is to identify the vulnerable areas during the advisory phase of the IFRS implementation project. The “Business”, H R and other relevant stake holders should be extensively involved and the scenarios examined.
The scenarios should be added to the impact testing and also be conceived in the future cash flows – both long term andshort term projections.
The KPIs, KRIs etc should be suitably modified so they remain true to the accounting treatments.