Speech by the IASB Chair – Better Communication of Financial Statements

Read the IASB Chair Hans Hoogervorst’s speech delivered at the IFRS Foundation Conference in Zurich. He focuses on the IASB’s plans to prioritize improvements to the communications effectiveness of financial statements based on IFRSs — a main outcome of the recent Agenda Consultation and his priority in his second term as Chair. As reported by The Standard.

Better Communication

30 June 2016

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Date: 30 June 2016

Event: IFRS Foundation Conference, Zurich

Speaker: Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman, International Accounting Standards Board


Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be with you here in Zurich, one of the world’s great financial centres and home to many global corporations. There are well over 300 participants from more than 50 countries at this Conference, which makes this event a great place to talk about our work to develop a global language of financial reporting.

Today, I will talk to you about the work of the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) and how it has changed financial reporting around the world. I will also share with you my insights into what will be the central theme of our work in the next five years.

Changing financial reporting around the world

Every organisation needs a clear, crisp definition of its mission. Last year, I led a working party that set out to describe more clearly the relevance of IFRS Standards to the global economy. The outcome of that project was a brand new mission statement for the IFRS Foundation. The essence of the statement is explained in the following two-minute video, which has been viewed more than 20,000 times. Please take a moment to watch it.

So there you have it. Our mission is to develop Standards that bring transparency, accountability and efficiency to the global economy. This is certainly a worthwhile goal. But what does it mean in practical terms? How are we doing against this objective? What is left to do?

When the Board began its work in 2001, it was clear what needed to be done. First, the Board needed to upgrade the old International Accounting Standards developed by its predecessor body, the International Accounting Standards Committee. Second, it needed to persuade jurisdictions around the world to switch from national to international standards.

Fifteen years later, we have made good progress on both fronts. Let me talk about each in turn.

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