The move to IFRS-based financial reporting needs careful consideration in terms of knowledge management and internal and external communication. For those closely involved with the transition, they will need to acquire an in-depth understanding of the new accounting and disclosure requirements. For others within the organisation, education will be needed on the broader principles of IFRS, its business impacts and commercial implications. Members of non-accounting functions may require in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect of an IFRS requirement in order to assess its implications on a specific area of the business. Education and training should be a priority consideration in the overall transition project.

As well as communicating the IFRS message internally, there needs to be a well-thought-out communication strategy for external parties. Shareholders, investors, lenders and other users need to receive clear and timely information on the progress of the transition to IFRS, and its accounting and wider impacts. If this information is not well communicated, there might be a loss of confidence in the reporting entity's financial information, which, when mixed with the potential for a lack of understanding of the reported results, could lead to adverse reactions from individuals, the market, and organisations such as credit rating agencies.

This chapter explores the issues that need to be addressed in respect of educating and ...

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