Japan urgently needs to consider ways to
adopt IFRS, according to the Japanese Institute of Certified Public
Accountants (JICPA).

The institute cites the continued spread of IFRS, including the
recent moves in the US, as factors behind its claim, which comes in
the wake of a four-day European tour where representatives visited
European firms, standard setters, institutes and regulators to hear
about their experiences in the shift to international

The nation signed an agreement with the International Accounting
Standards Board (IASB) to accelerate convergence with IFRS in
August last year. However, no date has been set for convergence.
The JICPA said the overall opinion from Europe was the switch to
international standards was “challenging but successful”. The
institute also identified a series of observations and issues that
must be addressed in Japan.

The first is that listed companies should be given the option of
using IFRS only for their consolidated financial statements, while
Japanese GAAP should remain used for non-consolidated financial

The institute also noted that improved and enhanced education
and training on IFRS is indispensable for the profession, students,
and most importantly, the members of the business community who are
responsible for preparing financial statements.

The institute said is it also essential Japan seeks more
involvement in standard-setting by the IASB and to establish
various channels for such involvement. “Further, we believe that
IFRS adoption is a prerequisite condition to be met if Japan is to
become involved and wield influence,” the institute said.

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The institute is now considering a series of steps that it
expects to develop into a conversion road map.

These include study and deliberation on measures to address
issues in auditing expected to arise from the application of the
principles-based IFRS.