would be adopted in this country. With that announcement,
came a learning curve — and a hiring curve — noted Don New-
ell, a partner and national leader of IFRS services with Deloitte
& Touche LLP in Toronto.
“In Canada, it wasn’t a tidal wave or a flood of hiring. It was
more a sedate flow of hiring,” he said. “In part, this was because
the process was spread out over a long period of time.”
That timeline gave Canadian accountants an opportunity to
learn the language of IFRS. It also offered companies a chance
to bring in accountants from elsewhere who already had those
skills. “A lot of firms have done an OK job in securing resources
from other countries,” said King.
That same approach will likely be used by countries that fol-
low Canada and convert to IFRS. “For countries that haven’t
yet converted, individuals with IFRS experience will be highly
valued,” said Newell.
“The next country to go is the United States,” he added.
“That’s a massive country. It might work
out that by the time we Canadians are
well versed the U.S. is ready to go.”
The U.S. is not alone in its quest for
conversion expertise. “We’re seeing
a strong global demand for individu-
als with IFRS expertise,” said Bootle.
“Countries that are currently undergoing
or considering the transition to IFRS can
benefit from the expertise of those who
have already experienced it and learned
Those valuable lessons go beyond
understanding the intricacies of IFRS.
“IFRS accounting is valued, but so is the
experience with the conversion process,”
It’s a double-edged opportunity, noted King. “Companies are
looking for IFRS experience—particularly IFRS implementa-
In fact, it’s the combination that counts, said Bootle. “IFRS
technical knowledge alone equips an individual to capably deal
with the technical elements of accounting change,” he said.
(But) this knowledge must be combined with other business
skills to solve business problems related to converting to IFRS,
both in terms of how companies prepare information and how
readers use that information.”
Knowledge alone is not enough to bring to market. Expe-
rience is critical, and that is what Canadian accountants are
acquiring as the relentless march to 2011 continues. “Accoun-
tants should get very familiar with IFRS standards,” said Newell.
“You need to understand what the words say but also how they
apply in practice.”
Right now, practice is the magic word, and Canada is a fertile
training ground for those transferable skills. “Recent research
indicates many firms have held off full implementation of IFRS.
This year and early 2011 you will see a heavy demand for IFRS
staff,” said King.
This means that there are increased job opportunities within
Canada’s boundaries as well as outside. “Presently, many con-
versions are in progress. But many conversions have not yet
started. Moreover, many financial statement users do not yet
understand how IFRS-generated information will affect their
decision-making frameworks,” said Bootle.
article text for page
< previous story
next story >
Share this page with a friend
Save to “My Stuff”
Subscribe to this magazine