Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Canadian GAAP at a crossroads: Which path should private companies choose: ASPE or IFRS?

In 2011, private companies will start issuing financial reports based on either Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises (ASPE), or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Although both sets of standards are derived from the existing Canadian GAAP-based CICA Handbook – which will be phased out that same year – there are distinct differences between the two financial reporting systems. Much discussion has revolved around the more demanding disclosure requirements of IFRS; however, that’s just one of many factors private companies need to consider.

The first step in making an informed decision is analysing the business, accounting and stakeholder considerations, and the impact of choosing ASPE versus IFRS. While both sets of standards enable credible financial reporting, allowing capital providers and other stakeholders to monitor the performance of the enterprise, the choice ultimately comes down to weighing the differences between the two sets of standards against the information needs of stakeholders and intermediaries. The answer will not be the same for everyone.

(For more information, visit the Deloitte website and read Canadian GAAP at a crossroads, updated in April 2011.)