Technical excellence, approachability, and the ability to solve problems practically. That's what comes to mind on hearing a presentation by Aletta Boshoff, National Leader of IFRS Advisory at BDO Australia. With more than 25 years' experience in financial reporting and accounting, Aletta's enthusiasm for her subject is clear. How does she apply this enthusiasm to her role as a thought leader and BDO National Leader?
The nuances of IFRS
“I love accounting and accounting standards, but that can only get you so far,” explains Aletta. “It's only when you try and apply that knowledge that you are really challenged, only then you see the nuances of IFRS.”
In particular, Aletta takes great pride in her ability to apply a wealth of technical expertise to real-world business situations. “I work hard to ensure I'm working with my clients, involving them at every step of the journey. I help them to understand how I've come to a recommendation, so that they can test any assumptions I've made and together we can come to the best IFRS solution possible.”
Integral to this is Aletta's love of teaching. She was an Associate Professor in financial reporting at the University of Johannesburg, which has shaped the way she helps others understand her work. “You have to be able to explain IFRS to people who aren't yet familiar with it, and that's a difficult feat for a lot of people.”
Taking IFRS to the world
This ability to explain IFRS in more understandable terminology has enabled Aletta to author a variety of financial reporting and accounting text books, and she has also spent time teaching at Monash University.
She regularly presents at a number of events across the globe. Most recently, she spoke at the Tax Institute, as well as a high-profile cross-university event at Melbourne University, that saw a range of lecturers and academics attend.
Aletta also frequently presents on behalf of BDO, helping to support the firm's commitment to being an accessible organisation. She presents monthly webinars for clients, as well as six-monthly client seminars, and recently worked on a video about how the new IFRS standards will impact retailers.
The evolving IFRS landscape
These changes to IFRS (coming in over the next 12 to 24 months) mean it's an exciting time for Aletta. IFRS 15, for example (centred on revenue recognition) will have a massive impact on businesses. “Every organisation wants to make a profit, but these changes may completely alter the way we recognise revenue,” says Aletta.
Meanwhile IFRS 16 will bring about significant changes to businesses operating with a lease, while IFRS 9 will affect the way businesses report expected losses. As Aletta, says, these updates will affect so many entities across so many sectors that you simply can't ignore them.
That's why it's important businesses start preparing now, when they've got the time. "Businesses need to gain a knowledge of IFRS and the key requirements coming through with the changes." says Aletta. “They then need to do an impact assessment and a full risk assessment in order to identify any areas the business needs to develop.”
Aletta's had close involvement on the development of BDO's IFRS risk assessment tool, which works with clients to create a heat map of all the high, medium and low risk areas of their organisation.
Her close relationship with the BDO International network, as well as with top level financial professionals across Australia - including Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand - means Aletta's in the perfect position to help clients with their IFRS needs. It also means she hears about changes to IFRS first, and can help businesses plan accordingly.