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What is an IFRS officer?
IFRS consultants are the specialists for the »International Financial Reporting Standards« (IFRS) and advise finance and accounting on all questions relating to accounting according to international standards. Your tasks include both testing and monitoring activities as well as the operational maintenance and optimization of the processes that are used in accounting – always with the aim of keeping the required rules up to date and thus protecting companies from the disclosure of incorrect information and from the to avoid the consequences that follow.
IFRS consultants are guarantors for reliability in times of change
IFRS speakers must constantly keep their knowledge and skills up to date with the requirements defined by a body with the beautiful name »International Accounting Standards Board« (originally »International Accounting Standards Board«, abbreviated to IASB). This body determines the international accounting rules and changes them if there is a need for change. This has happened seventeen times since it was renamed International Financial Reporting Standards in 2001 (until 2000 they were called International Accounting Standards – IAS), plus interpretations and pronouncements. In addition, all changes to the IFRS rules must be approved by the EU, which can lead to changes that are usually minor. The task of the IFRS officer is to
Adhere to standards, but use discretion
The practice of dealing with IFRS shows again and again that their rigid application does not work in every case and that there can be different evaluation criteria. Knowing these and using them for the benefit of the company is also one of the tasks of IFRS consultants – and blurs the boundaries between staff and line functions, because IFRS consultants not only check the information for accounting, but also through their suggestions and also influence the discussion with management – always within the legal framework, of course – and because their recommendations are also included in forecasts.
This influence is becoming more and more important, also and especially against the background of increasing digitization. This undoubtedly contributes to accelerating the collection and processing of numbers and reporting, but is currently still reaching its limits when it comes to interpretation. This will remain so for a while, because only 16% of companies in Germany see themselves as pioneers in the field of digitization, while around half describe themselves as »in the midst of upheaval«*.
Both the progressive internationalization as well as the requirement to comply with the IFRS offer IFRS consultants good future prospects both in companies and as external consultants for introduction and implementation.
* Study potential analysis Reality Check digitization by Sopra Steria and the FAZ Institute, 11/2020.
The most important things in 5 seconds
- Education: Commercial training and/or business studies with a focus on international accounting (IFRS) / several years of relevant professional experience
- Starting salary: €45,000
- Top salary: €64,000, sometimes significantly more for temporary special assignments (e.g. introduction, implementation)
- Opportunities for advancement: Primarily through the expansion of their tasks
What does an IFRS officer do?
IFRS officers are responsible for compliance with the rules of the »International Financial Reporting Standards« (IFRS) in the company. Their specialist knowledge enables them to carry out comprehensive “IFRS supervision” in the following tasks, among others:
- Account reconciliation of the various accounting departments of a company (general ledger and sub-ledgers)
- Creation of cash flow calculations
- Consolidation of debt and capital accounts according to IFRS
- Creation and review of reports for the management and their review before passing them on to third parties (supervisory board, auditor)
- Maintaining and optimizing the accounting processes and structures
- Supervision of the annual financial statements / preparation of the balance sheet and balance sheet appendix work
- integration of new companies
How does one become an IFRS speaker?
- Commercial vocational training and/or an economics degree with a focus on international accounting (IFRS)
- Practical experience in accounting/controlling and in dealing with HGB and IFRS in a company or an auditing company
How much does an IFRS consultant earn?
Individual notifications, possibly project work: €106,085 – €114,715 Consultant for IFRS accounting: €70,253 – €75,330 Consultant for IFRS projects: €114,652 – €125,415
What do you expect from the IFRS consultant?
- Sound knowledge of accounting according to HGB and IFRS
- Experience in dealing with ERP systems and with MS Office, especially Excel
- Affinity for numbers and IT
- Analytical, structured thinking
- Independent working
- ability to impart knowledge
- Willingness to take on responsibility
- Communication and discussion skills
- Fluent English and business fluent
Opportunities for advancement as an IFRS consultant
IFRS consultant positions are staff positions. In this respect, the salary tends to increase with the size of a company and the associated increase in the scope of tasks and responsibility. As a rule, the task content does not change fundamentally.
IFRS consultants grow in their companies, but can of course also be promoted through a change of company and/or industry. They are also sought-after and well-paid consultants for companies that are introducing IFRS or converting from HGB to IFRS.
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