There are more than a few eye-catching headliners around about IFRS 17 – “a whole new perspective”, “a game changer”,” a light shining through darkness”, “the dawn of a new era”- all of which, of course are true.
IFRS 17 is a big, new standard for a big, old industry. It changes fundamentally the way in which an insurance entity reports its financial dimensions and results for a given period and over time. After investing 20 or so years of development effort into IFRS 17, the IASB are highly confident in their expectation that it will bring greater transparency and comparability about the profitability of both new and existing insurance contract business. The requirement to report the insurance and financial result separately will not only help to achieve this expectation but will also provide analysts and others with better information about the overall quality of insurance entity earnings.
The impact on individual insurance entities will be highly variable depending on their previous policies and practice, and the nature of the insurance business they contract, especially whether it is short tailed or life. There will consequently be many and varied impacts on the reported numbers and metrics.
Preparing for and implementing IFRS 17 will be problematic and challenging. It will require considerable effort to gain an initial understanding of the impact on the reported numbers as well as the upgrades to process and systems to ensure they can provide IFRS 17 compliant data. This will require, from an early stage, coordination and dialogue between functions such as Actuarial, Finance and IT in executing an IFRS 17 implementation project. Furthermore, dialogue with business users and investors should be early and extensive in order to minimise the possibility of and impact of any “unpleasant surprises”.
Our course is designed to help kick off these processes. It is aimed at not only preparers and users of accounts but also implementation team members and will help them get to grips with IFRS 17 by providing, at the very least, an initial working knowledge of the rules, how the numbers are constructed and presented and the story that they are telling.