This note outlines the process for adopting New Zealand equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (NZ IFRS) for the Government reporting entity.
The Accounting Standards Review Board announced in December 2002 that reporting entities must adopt NZ IFRS for periods beginning after 1 January 2007, with earlier adoption optional. The Minister of Finance announced in 2003 that the Crown will first adopt NZ IFRS for its financial year beginning 1 July 2007.
Treasury is managing the adoption of NZ IFRS for the consolidated financial statements of the Government reporting entity. Individual entities included within the consolidated financial statements of the Government reporting entity are responsible for ensuring their own NZ IFRS preparedness. Treasury provides guidance to these entities and facilitates implementation on common issues.
The phases for implementing NZ IFRS for the financial statements of the Government are:
- Submissions on standards - reviewing and commenting on NZ IFRS exposure drafts to ensure they are applicable to the public sector. While a significant amount of this phase’s work has been completed, exposure drafts continue to be issued for revisions and additions to approved NZ IFRS.
- Policy choice - developing NZ IFRS accounting policies for the financial statements of the Government and implementation guidance. Policy development is nearly complete with draft NZ IFRS policies recently provided to entities for consultation. Developing implementation guidance will be ongoing as issues arise in implementing NZ IFRS.
- Systems and transition – updating disclosures and systems to capture the policy changes. These systems and transition tasks are currently underway. The intention is to capture comparative NZ IFRS data throughout the 2006/07 financial year in parallel with current reporting requirements.
- Full adoption - refining forecasting policies under NZ IFRS, preparing the 2007 Budget on an NZ IFRS basis, and publishing NZ IFRS financial reports for the Crown. The first interim report will be for the period ending 30 September 2007. The first audited financial statements will be for the year ending 30 June 2008.
The potential areas of impact from adoption of NZ IFRS may change materially as implementation unfolds and new standards are promulgated.
At this time it is expected that the recognition requirements and classification and measurement choices in the financial instrument standard, NZ IAS 39, are likely to have the greatest impact on reported results compared with current accounting policies. For example, current accounting policy is to record receivables and advances at amounts expected to be collected in cash. Under NZ IAS 39, which requires all financial assets to be initially measured at fair value, long-term receivables and advances that do not earn a market rate of return will have a lower value. Similarly, carrying amounts will change where financial instruments currently measured at cost after initial recognition are subsequently measured at fair value.