On May 21, the Canadian Securities Administrators published Staff Notice 52-324 to provide an update on issues related to the impending transition from Canadian GAAP to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). As detailed in our previous posts, the CSA have published various notices detailing their proposals on a wide range of transition issues for the time-period leading up to the Canadian transition date for publicly accountable enterprises for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. This most recent notice sets out the current views of the CSA on early transition to IFRS, requirements for interim financial statements in the year of IFRS adoption and references to IFRS and Canadian GAAP.

With respect to early transition, the CSA reiterate that domestic issuers wishing to adopt IFRS for fiscal years prior to January 1, 2011 must apply for exemptive relief, which will be recommended on a case by case basis based on the criteria outlined in Staff Notice 52-321. Further, the CSA propose requiring issuers to disclose compliance with International Accounting Standard 34 Interim Financial Reporting in their interim financial statements in the year of IFRS adoption. A domestic issuer would also have to include an IFRS-compliant balance sheet as at the issuer's transition date. The staff notice also includes proposed options for referring to IFRS as opposed to Canadian GAAP in notes to financial statements and in the auditor's report and proposes providing relief from existing requirements that financial statements be prepared in accordance with the same accounting principles for all periods presented in the financial statements. The CSA are also considering extending the filing deadline for a domestic issuer's first interim filings after January 1, 2011 in order to assist issuers with the challenges associated with transitioning to IFRS.

The CSA expect to publish details of their proposals from this staff notice for comment later this year.