Meet the Experts – tackling tremendous financial reporting change

13 November 2017

I’m very much looking forward to welcoming all those attending Meet the Experts next week. I’m finalising my introductory slides as I type so time is getting short! We’ve got plenty of content this year, with sessions hosted by investors, preparers, regulators and cyber security experts – so there’s truly something for everyone involved in the financial reporting space.

We’re currently in a year of tremendous change for financial reporting, with a number of complex new accounting standards coming in that will affect the majority of companies. At Meet the Experts we’ll be hosting sessions giving a technical focus on the three main new standards: IFRS 9, IFRS 15 and IFRS 16.

Below I’ve listed a few suggested actions for companies, along with what you can expect from this year’s conference.


The new financial instrument standard affects both financial and non-financial services companies. All affected should now be in the midst of their transition programmes looking at the underlying detail to work out what the impact will be.

There are disclosure requirements in your upcoming financial statements to say what you think the impact of the new standard will be, and the more detail you can give there the better. You also need to be ready for next year when the standard goes live, as numbers will be impacted and for many it’ll be a substantial change. For example, anyone with a December year end who wants to hedge account has only a matter of weeks now to get the appropriate documentation updated! At Meet the Experts we’ll be looking at some of the complexities of this standard in more detail and gleaning from the practical experience of those who have been through the transition exercise.


The new revenue standard has an impact on anyone who has revenue - which is hopefully most companies! For those impacted, there’s a lot of work to do in respect of this standard. It’s based on contracts, so actually identifying your contracts and the contractual terms is a key first step.

Given where we are in the cycle, most companies are beyond the ‘finding the contract’ stage and looking at developing the underlying systems to capture additional data that’s required by the standard, with a view to not only getting the numbers right next year but to disclosing as much information as possible in this year’s financial statements as to what they think the impact will be. There’s a lot of work that’s ongoing and we’ll be hearing at this year’s conference on some of the pitfalls.


IFRS 16 will be coming into effect in 2019, so there’s a little bit more time for companies. This doesn’t mean they should put off preparations though. IFRS 16 will affect anyone who has leases, so in my experience, much like IFRS 15, that will mean most companies! It will have a significant impact on the balance sheet and on the profit and loss account too so companies should be thinking about the impact and identifying where their leases are.

The earlier companies think about the impact on their financial statements, and disclose the impact to investors and other users, the better. Indeed, it has an impact broader than financial statements, for example, don’t overlook the impact on covenants and bonus schemes!

Other accounting changes

It may seem like the standard setters have been focusing on just the three main standards mentioned which we see having a significant impact over the next couple of years. But actually there have been a number of other changes in financial reporting too covering topics ranging from tax to cash flows. Attendees will be hearing from the standard setters on some of these, but companies should be assessing the impact now, as even in advance of applying the new standards you’ve got disclosures to make around the likely impact in the following years’ financial statements.

So, a lot to think about! As stated, this is a year of tremendous change – but at Meet the Experts, we’ll seek to equip attendees with the tools, latest knowledge and information to stay ahead of the curve. Coupled with direct interaction with standard setters, we’ll aim to leave you as prepared as possible.

Should you wish to attend Meet the Experts, you can purchase tickets here.

This week's guest blogger is Dave Walters, Partner in Accounting Consulting Services and host of Meet the Experts.




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