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Singapore listcos not ready for IFRS convergence; chartered accountants body unveils roadmap to help

MANY listed companies are not prepared for the looming International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) convergence which kicks in next year, a survey found.

According to a recent poll by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), 31 per cent of the 235 listed companies surveyed have not started any preparation work for the convergence, while 25 per cent are only at the early stages of preparation work.

All Singapore-incorporated companies listed on the Singapore Exchange are required to apply a new Singapore financial reporting framework that is identical to the IFRS for annual periods beginning on or after Jan 1, 2018.

In the survey, only 9 per cent - or 21 of the respondent firms - had substantially finished assessing the impact of IFRS 1 - "First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards". Of the 21, only three have completed the process and can say that they are in compliance with IFRS.

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To get companies back on track, the ISCA has developed the IFRS Convergence 2018 Implementation Roadmap, a publication in collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), ISCA president, Gerard Ee, announced on Tuesday.

This roadmap will "provide guidance on how to navigate the maze of accounting change that the IFRS convergence exercise requires", Mr Ee said in his welcome address at the Singapore Accountancy & Audit Convention 2017 on Tuesday.

The financial quarter ending March 2018 is set to be the first time that Singapore-listed companies will announce a set of IFRS-compliant interim financial statements, making financial reporting in Singapore comparable to its counterparts worldwide.