Wednesday, June 11, 2008

IFRS: Is there an "Official" Language - yesterday's question.

The answer to yesterday's question could be English - choice number 5. The answer could be 6 there is no "official" language of IFRS. The answer is not simple, read on.

This is the statement in the Preface to IFRSs. You can read this in the 2500+ exposure draft downloadable on the CICA's website (page 37).

The approved text of any discussion document, exposure draft, or IFRS is that
approved by the IASB in the English language. The IASB may approve translations in other languages, provided that the translation is prepared in accordance with a process that provides assurance of the quality of the translation, and the IASB may license other translations.

I understand that in Canada the CICA will continue to assure that it will provide an authoritative French version of IFRS going forward. This is one role the CICA will take going forward in the brave new world of IFRS-Canadian style.

You could say that as far as we are concerned in Canada the answer is 2 - English and French.

This language issue is interesting. It is difficult enough to order a salami sandwich in a foreign country. Try dealing with accounting for complex transactions. I would think this is especially true in a "principles-based" set of accounting principles such as IFRS. Still if there are variations in practice it would be the role of IFRIC to sort this out provided the issue was within its mandate.

I suppose that everyone would have to go back to the original IASB discussions in English?

I do not know how this all works out in practice. Do any of you have any experiences to relate to us in this blog?

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