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Canadian GAAP at a crossroads

Which path should private companies choose: ASPE or IFRS?

Canadian GAAP at a crossroads

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.

Making an informed decision
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. Key decision-influencing considerations should include:

  • What are the business and strategic considerations, now and in the future?
  • How do the two sets of reporting standards differ?
  • When should a company make a decision?
  • Will adopting one set of standards now preclude adopting the other option in the future?
  • What’s involved in preparing for and managing an effective conversion?
  • Will additional choices be introduced in the future?

Canadian GAAP at a crossroads was developed by Deloitte’s Private company services specialists to answer these questions. It’s designed to help private enterprise decision-makers weigh the limitations and advantages of both ASPE and IFRS. In addition to outlining general considerations, it provides a snapshot of several specific standards – clearly defining how the proposed ASPE and IFRS standards compare to their current Canadian GAAP counterparts. While the publication is by no means intended to provide a comprehensive comparison, it is certain to provide a catalyst and framework for more in-depth discussion.

Download Canadian GAAP at a crossroads updated in April 2011

Relevant industries

Consumer Business
Technology, Media & Telecommunications

Relevant services

Assurance & advisory

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