Data & Technology
AASB launches Digital Standards Portal for public beta testing
By Keith Kendall
Chair, Australian Accounting Standards Board
Published Fri 26 Aug
A feature of the present suite of (for-profit) accounting standards, based in Australia on the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), is their comprehensiveness and robustness.
<p>There will always be areas that may be improved and disagreements over the appropriate accounting treatment.</p> <p>However, not to minimise the importance of these areas, it is apparent that such matters are quite specific and not endemic to the system.</p> <p>This was particularly borne out during the initial two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>During this time, the viability of hitherto solid businesses was brought into question and many previous accepted assumptions could no longer be relied upon in the midst of what amounted to a virtual economy-wide shut down, increased government economic intervention and the inability of people to move freely as required.</p> <p>Under such circumstances, any structural problems with the system of financial reporting would become very apparent.</p> <p>While some concerns did arise in this manner, these were quite narrow, lending support to the conclusion that the system as it presently stands is sufficiently robust to continue to serve the Australian economy at a high level.</p> <p>Recognising this important position, the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) is dedicating an increased proportion of its efforts to improving the usability and accessibility of the system.</p> <p>As part of this push, during the course of 2022, the AASB has developed its digital AASB Standards Portal in which, for the first time, Australian accounting standards will be available in a fully digital format.</p> <p>This goes beyond the searchable PDF documents that have been available for some time. Rather, this new portal incorporates numerous much more advanced features, including cross referencing between standards and pronouncements, as well as enhanced search functions.</p> <p>This project was undertaken as a result of stakeholder feedback, including academic research, identifying digitising the standards as a prime area in which the usability of the standards could be improved significantly.</p> <p>The Portal has just reached beta testing stage. Standards are being progressively loaded into the system, with a sufficient number now included where the portal is in a position to be tested.</p> <p>Reflecting the AASB’s present enhanced commitment to stakeholder engagement, the beta testing process has been made public, meaning any interested party may participate without the need for prior registration.</p> <p>Members of FINSIA with an interest in accounting standards are strongly encouraged to log into the portal and provide any feedback during this public test period, which is open as at the time of writing.</p> <p>The portal may be accessed <strong><a href="https://standards.aasb.gov.au/">here</a></strong>. There are a limited number of standards presented loaded, although this number is increasing progressively. As this is a beta test, it is expected that there are areas for improvements and, consequently, the contents of the portal should not be relied upon. The AASB encourages and welcomes any and all feedback, which may be sent to <strong><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a></strong>.</p>