The disintegration of international boundaries necessitated the establishment of common business practices which are globally understandable, verifiable and accessible. Among business practices, accountancy is a dominant subject.
In this article, FinanceWalk introduces you to the concept of IFRS reporting, its career scope in India and how to pursue IFRS.
What Is IFRS?
International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) is a globally accepted language for business accountancy presentation which makes it comparable and understandable globally.
In simpler words, generalized parameters were established for publicly-traded company accounts presentation. The idea is to maintain account books which are reliable, relevant and globally comparable, and accessible by both internal and external users.
It’s a singular accounting language.
Scope of IFRS Reporting in India
The global recognition accredited to IFRS prompted Indian companies to follow suit. This also created another learning segment for accounting and finance professionals to learn about IFRS and improve their career prospects.
Increasingly, companies in India are adopting and choosing to recruit candidates with experience and knowledge in IFRS, apart from usual accounting and finance degrees.
As such, IFRS professionals enjoy high demand in India. The demand is higher because there is lesser number of IFRS professionals in India and moreover, experts can offer consultancy services to companies adopting IFRS standards and need assistance with migrating older accounts to newer accounting structures.
Youngsters entering the finance industry should consider getting IFRS certification to improve career prospects.
Ever since IFRS inception, the accounting reforms influenced changes in all business avenues dealing with accounting and finance.
Corporate and publicly-traded companies engaged or interested to function on a global scale through international stock exchanges, joint ventures and other modes has to obligatorily follow IFRS standards.
Indian companies are facilitating the learning of IFRS standards for its existing employees and hiring new candidates with IFRS skills. It is mandatory for people who are Financial Controllers, Financial Analysts, Accountants, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Accountants, Finance Managers, Bank Managers, Auditors and Portfolio Managers to be IFRS proficient.
The convergence of IFRS within the Indian industrial context led to the development of Indian Accounting Standards (IND-AS).
IFRS Opportunities for CA, CPA and CFA Experts
Professionals who have already done or are doing courses like Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Cost and Works Accountant, Chartered Accountancy (CA), Company Secretary (CS), Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and MBA in Finance or Accounting should opt for IFRS certification to become at par with global finance professionals.
The IFRS training happens with international paradigms and therefore, it equips them to work not only in India but abroad.
The introduction of IFRS in the Indian markets created a lot of employment opportunities. There are a lot of career opportunities for people with additional IFRS expertise because of the following reasons:
- Implementation of IFRS guidelines begins in India from 1 April 2011 for companies other than insurance sector, banks and non-banking financial companies. Companies who began implementing in this first phase need to hire IFRS professionals for smooth operational transitioning.
- Advisory companies involved with offering advisory services to accounting and finance firms need to hire IFRS professionals as consultants. Similarly, audit firms require the same to offer excellent IFRS implementation to their client companies.
- There is a high demand of IFRS professionals in the banking and insurance sector since they received guidelines to implement IFRS from 1 April 2013 and 1 April 2012 respectively.
- Skilled and experienced IFRS experts can begin their private consultancy for firms and enhance their income potential. Firms often hire financial consultants on retainer basis.
- If nothing else, the need for IFRS experts will rise in the finance education industry because institutes offering certification and diploma need to upgrade their education module with IFRS and therefore, they need experts to teach students.
In short, if you are in the field of accountancy, IFRS reporting skills become mandatory to find employment because every company needs people skilled in IFRS and the employment demand will increase in the next 5 years.
If you want to learn IFRS protocols, here are some recommended courses.
1. Certificate Course on International Financial Reporting Standards in 100 hours by ICAI for CA members.
2. Certificate Course on International Financial Reporting Standards Convergence in 2 months by ICWAI for university faculties, students, cost accountants, chartered accountants, company secretaries, senior and middle-level executives in various organisations like statutory bodies and multinationals.
3. Advanced Certificate Program on IFRS in 6 weeks by KPMG for 2+ years working professionals. However, the experience requirement is not necessary for MBA (Finance), CA, CWA and CS.
4. Diploma in International Financial Reporting in 3-6 months by ACCA for graduates holding 3+ years of experience in finance, commerce post-graduates holding 2+ years of experience in finance, auditors and practicing accountancy.
5. IFRS / IND AS Certification Programs in 40 hours for students and professionals attempting ACCA exam.
If you find any other course other than these, verify their authenticity and accreditation before signing up. Also, if you have doubts, check out the IFRS FAQ section visible in AICPA website; it will clear any other doubts.
Scope of Growth for IFRS Professionals
There is a huge scope of growth for IFRS professionals, especially for those who are beginning their career in finance than those with mid-level or senior-level accounting experience. The reason why IFRS is going to be the next big thing in India is because of the below given reasons.
(1) High IFRS Reporting Professionals Demand
The first phase of IFRS implementation in India targeted companies listed in stock exchange and with assets worth Rs. 1000 crores. The numbers of companies in this category are hardly 300 in total. However, in the second and subsequent phase of IFRS implementation, mid-level and small-level companies will be roped in and as such, the need for IFRS professionals will rise steeply.
(2) International Skills
Finance professionals entering the field at this time will have advantage over others because there are not many accounting professionals with practical and expert knowledge of international accounting standards. Having IFRS reporting skills will elevate your status in the high growing and demanding world of IFRS professionals.
(3) India & Abroad
Apart from India, 100+ countries have received permission to implement IFRS standards. Therefore, by being IFRS qualified, you are eligible to apply and work in these 100+ countries.
(4) Operational Hazards
IFRS is not simply about learning to transfer old accounts into the newly acceptable international accounting standards. IFRS is complex and difficult for any accounting professional without IFRS expertise. Moreover, the IFRS guidelines are continuously amended and companies have to follow the amendments. Therefore, the demand for IFRS experts rises significantly.
These four reasons are why you should purpose IFRS learning now.
Finance is a complex field, bringing forth endless learning and earning opportunities. Learning IFRS reporting will elevate you to the globally acceptable standard of accounting professionals. You can use the IFRS skills to work in India and/or abroad in employment, become a consultant and/or start your own consultancy firm.
If you have any questions on IFRS reporting, do not hesitate to ask below.