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FRTAP Poland: Community of practice on applying IFRS

October 2011 - May 2012, Warsaw

As part of the FRTAP program for Poland, the CFRR has set up a Community of Practice (IFRS CoP) on applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Poland. The IFRS CoP brings together a group of around 25 professional accountants working in regulatory and standard-setting bodies in Poland, including the central bank (NBP), the financial regulator (KNF), the finance ministry and major Polish stock exchange listed companies.

The IFRS CoP held a series of workshops between October 2011 and May 2012 with the aim of enhancing and sharing expertise about the implications for Polish companies of new and revised IFRS. The workshops also discussed issues that have arisen in the application of current IFRS in the financial statements of Polish listed companies. During these workshops, the group heard presentations from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), representatives of Polish listed companies and other experts.

The group discussed a range of topics that participants had proposed themselves. It considered first how the conceptual framework that underlies IFRS helps in applying the standards on property, plant and equipment, intangible assets, and financial assets and financial liabilities.

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What is a CoP?

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of active practitioners who work in the same area and seek to learn from each other's experience. CoPs have proved useful in spreading specialist knowledge and innovations in the World Bank and many other organizations.

For more background information on CoPs see these articles from Wikipedia and the World Bank Institute.

The group then discussed the practical application of several new IFRSs, including IFRS 9 (financial assets and financial liabilities), IFRS 10 (consolidated financial statements), IFRS 11 (joint arrangements), IFRS 12 (disclosure of interests in other entities) and IFRS 13 (fair value measurement). It also discussed the potential implications of the IASB’s proposals for revised standards on revenue from contracts with customers and leases. The group made extensive use of case studies and surveys drawn from the IFRS financial statements of Polish listed companies. One survey dealt with the extent to which Polish listed companies already use fair value measurement for assets and liabilities.

The group’s discussions of issues that have arisen in the application of current IFRS included consideration of IFRS 3 (business combinations) and the assessment by management on whether a reporting entity is a "going concern".

The IFRS CoP will be starting a new program of six monthly workshops in January 2013. Participants will continue to review the IASB’s proposals for changes to IFRS but will also discuss compliance and other policy issues surrounding the application of IFRS raised by the Ministry of Finance.

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