IFRS Implementation
At the beginning of 2005, an unprecedented number of enterprises and countries around the world adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as their basis for preparing financial statements.
Following this widespread international adoption of IFRS, it has become clear that various stakeholders, including regulators, preparers, users and auditors continue to encounter practical implementation challenges. These challenges typically relate to issues of institutional development, enforcement and the capacity for technical implementation.
In light of this situation, ISAR has recognized that IFRS implementation is an important long term process that could benefit from additional study and sharing of experiences.
The aim of UNCTAD´s work in this area is to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to improve their financial accounting and reporting practices in order to better attract investment and better manage existing resources.
The objective of UNCTAD´s research on IFRS implementation is to draw lessons learned on the practical issues of IFRS implementation and to share these lessons with member States that are either implementing IFRS or that are considering doing so in the future.
Since the 22nd session of ISAR, the Secretariat has conducted a number of country level case studies on IFRS implementation. These country case studies have culminated in the 2008 UNCTAD publication “Practical implementation of international financial reporting standards: Lessons learned”. This publication incorporates the case studies presented to ISAR at the 23rd and 24th sessions (see below for details). The publication includes an overview of the case studies that identifies key institutional, enforcement and technical issues, and presents lessons learned from the various country experiences.
The work on IFRS implementation continued in 2008 with new case studies. For the 25th session of ISAR, four case studies were developed covering Egypt, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In 2007 for the 24th session of ISAR, three case studies were developed covering Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey, along with a summary report identifying the main issues that emerged in the case studies.
In 2006 for the 23rd session of ISAR, five case studies were conducted covering Brazil, Germany, India, Jamaica, and Kenya, along with a summary report of the main issues.
UNCTAD´s work on IFRS implementation began in 2005 during the 22nd session of ISAR with a general overview of the practical issues surrounding IFRS implementation.
Note that the case studies, summary reports and the 2005 overview are available in all six official UN languages: the non-English versions can be downloaded from the ISAR documents page for each session.
Ongoing Activities
In partnership with other international organisations, academic institutions and accounting experts around the world, UNCTAD continues to build a collection of relevant case studies on the practical issues of IFRS implementation. The Secretariat continues to disseminate this information and to provide expert commentary on this subject at conferences around the world. Organisations wishing to learn more about the work of UNCTAD in this area are welcome to contact us at isar@unctad.org.

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