The wait is nearly over? IFRS 17 is coming, are you prepared for it?

The new IFRS standard for insurance contract accounting (previously referred to as IFRS 4 Phase II, now expected to be IFRS 17) has been under development for many years. However, the IASB are now finalising the drafting of the final standard and we appear to be closer than ever to the final chapter in this particular saga.

A robust standard is clearly needed as current IFRS 4 allows a myriad of different accounting policies resulting in a lack of comparability, even within insurance groups.

The standard is expected in early 2017 with an effective date of 2020 or more likely 2021. The long lead time is a reflection of the complexities anticipated around implementation.

What should you be doing now?

  • Education and awareness training
  • Impact assessment (financial and operational)
  • Project planning, allowing the securing of budgets and resources
  • Considering interaction with ongoing or planned projects, specifically finance transformation work

A structured approach to IFRS 17 implementation project planning will help you overcome the challenges it presents but also build on the opportunities it provides.