Accounting firms in Brazil are pouring significant amounts of
money and time into IFRS training as the country prepares to adopt
the international standards by 2011.


Some listed companies are presenting Brazil GAAP-IFRS
reconciliation for their 2008 statements while other early birds
are presenting their entire 2008 statements in IFRS. A result of
this is growing demand for IFRS-related services.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Brazil (PwC) started its own readiness
plan eight years ago, when it sent six partners to one and two-year
IFRS programmes in Europe. Leveraging the knowledge they brought
back, PwC now has approximately 600 knowledgeable professionals
ready to serve this area.

“This is a major investment for a professional services firm and
is certainly an important part of the annual $30 million budget for
learning and development,” said PwC partner and management board
member Henrique Luz.

“The largest companies have already started their IFRS projects,
a few of them being ready by now. But the big wave is still to
come. Approximately 500 companies will follow.”

That is the flip side of the new IFRS opportunities, noted Terco
Grant Thornton managing partner Mauro Terepins. Firms have had to
invest a good deal of money to train personnel to meet the new

“We have a team specialised in IFRS here in Brazil that was
trained both locally and abroad at Grant Thornton International,”
he explained.

“Also, we bought an in-company training course from the
Foundation Institute of Accounting, Actuarial and Financial
Research of the University of São Paulo. As a result, our training
costs have increased considerably.”

Nexia Villas Rodil head Ricardo Rodil said the costs for all
firms will increase because there are not enough accountants in
Brazil that are well-versed in IFRS. Recruiting could become an
expensive bidding exercise.

He said legislation mandating the change to IFRS hasn’t really
addressed all the conversion issues. A number of companies have to
present their 2008 results using IFRS but how to best adapt
Brazilian GAAP and what the impact on tax legislation will be are
still being worked out.

Gundi Jeffrey