Sage Pastel to help Nigerian businesses follow international financial standards

ifrs iicd flickrInternational accounting firm Sage Pastel's new product range enables small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria to comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

According to Blessing Mate, regional manager of Sage Pastel International, West Africa, the company’s new products have features and functionality to help ease the transition to IFRS, and the firm is up-to-date with local laws and regulations in Nigeria to help businesses become and stay compliant.

IFRS is a set of accounting standards, which define the manner international transactions and events be reported in financial statements. Essentially, IFRS makes simpler global comparisons of financial statements for companies. This brings transparency, reliable disclosure and higher quality of financial reporting to the market. It also reduces accounting complexity and offers a range of processes and cost efficiencies to businesses.

The automation of accounting processes through a compliant software can help businesses produce reports based on IFRS standards, said Mate.

Nigeria is the second country in Africa to adopt IFRS after South Africa. This is expected to improve global perceptions of financial reporting and boost investor relations.

Reports stated that publicly listed and significant public interest entities in Nigeria were given a mandate to comply with the global accounting standards, by January 2013. SMEs, in particular, were given until 1 January 2014 to follow suit – which means they must produce IFRS-based financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2014.

This involves companies procuring data and information that were not required for statutory reporting earlier – some of this information may be processed and reported differently. IFRS standards require companies to do new calculations, consolidations and reports.

“The need for additional disclosure information will drive changes to many existing reports and could particularly be a burden on companies that do not have a proper accounting system in place,” explained Mate.

However, switching over to IFRS by itself would come with its own set of challenges — including training staff and coming to terms with new definitions. Mate said that Sage Pastel’s software is already prepared for the switch and includes a range of configuration options for IFRS. ”It can help any organisation to save time and money in coping with what can be called the biggest change in Nigeria’s accounting landscape for years,” stated Mate.

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