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18-20 October 2011, Sarajevo
As part of the REPARIS program and in response to the need for strengthened financial reporting education, the CFRR, in conjunction with the IFRS Foundation, organized a three-day intensive “Train-the-Trainers” course on the IFRS for SMEs in Sarajevo on 18-20 October, 2011.
The full system of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) was designed for public interest enterprises (PIEs) and has been adopted by the EU for the consolidated financial reports of listed entities on a regulated market. However, it is too complex and burdensome for smaller companies. The IASB drew up the IFRS for SMEs reporting standard for countries that were seeking a simpler financial reporting requirement for such companies. Two REPARIS countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia) have already adopted the IFRS for SMEs and others in the region are considering doing so.
As the IFRS for SMEs is a relatively new standard, there are few educational materials on it currently available, especially in local languages. The train the trainers course was intended to familiarize those responsible for training accountants and auditors in REPARIS countries, whether in universities or as professional trainers, with the main elements of the IFRS for SMEs and to provide a range of teaching materials which they could subsequently use to pass on to their colleagues and students.
While the event was principally directed to participants from countries that had adopted or were considering adopting the IFRS for SMEs, learning about the IFRS for SMEs is also useful for accountants and auditors from countries which are not planning to adopt the standard but are committed to adopting full IFRS for PIEs. In particular, the IFRS for SMEs provides a useful introduction to the practical application of principles-based accounting and so represents a stepping stone towards full IFRS for those who are learning modern financial reporting.
41 participants from the eight countries participating in REPARIS attended the course, which was given by Michael Wells from the IFRS Foundation and Liam Coughlan and Pascal Frerejacque from the CFRR. The course provided an intensive introduction to the IFRS for SMEs, covering all the main elements of the standard over three days. At the end of each session, participants completed a quiz to test how well they had absorbed the content and then discussed the results. Participants who completed the whole course were given a certificate to confirm their attendance.
Participants reported that the course and the learning materials, which were translated in local languages, will enable them to deliver teaching courses that they would be organizing on the IFRS for SMEs.