IFRS 15 & 16: Could Your Organisation Face a Skills Shortage?


Laura Paterson

At Cedar, we know the foundation for providing an unrivalled service lies in understanding the opportunities and challenges our clients face, which is why our regular series of breakfast briefings is so useful. Held at The Wolseley, just a stone’s throw from our new offices, and taking place over their famous breakfasts, we’re also confident they’re extremely enjoyable!

Our first event in February, The Impact of IFRS, took place on Tuesday 13 February. Hosted by Chris Morrison, Head of our Recently Qualified Finance Practice, it was attended by representatives from companies including Tate & Lyle Sugars, Re:Sources UK (Publicis), WorldRemit Ltd, ASOS, BT and Stolt-Nielsen Limited.

One of the first topics on the agenda was IFRS 15: Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which specifies how and when a reporter will recognise revenue, as well as requiring that they provide users of financial statements with more informative, relevant disclosures. Discussions ranged around the complexity and sheer number of contracts and there was a strong sense that businesses heavily reliant on subscriptions will find the new standards particularly burdensome.

Indeed, as a result of teams already struggling to cope with the increased workload, many of those present are actively recruiting to fill the gaps. Frustratingly, however, it’s proving difficult to find the right technical skill sets and experience and concerns were raised around compliance and the possibility of deadlines being missed.

Conversation then moved on to IFRS 16: Leases, which looks set to have a huge impact on both the retail and leisure sectors as it specifies how a reporter will recognise, measure, present and disclose leases. Attendees shared ways businesses with multiple sites might best prepare and the implications this might have. Again, though, there was a sense that many businesses just aren’t prepared for the 2019 deadline and that current guidelines are insufficient.

Worryingly, the area remains under-resourced as many businesses are simply putting off thinking about it and, like IFRS15, it’s a complex area that could prove challenging due to a shortage of expertise.

All those present agreed that the chance to unpick and share complex issues with peers had been tremendously useful. For our part, the need to support clients in addressing the skills shortage is something we’ll be working hard on. So, whether you’re a candidate with the right skills and experience, or an organisation looking for just such a person to join your team, then call us on: 0203 002 8050.