Rika Suzuki, a new member of the International Accounting Standards Board (Board), says the organisation’s diversity is its most exciting attribute.
It’s amazing that people look at the exact same accounting problem in various ways and have different points of view. But it’s wonderful that these people with different opinions are working together for the same goals. This teamwork is critical to developing high-quality global standards and I am honoured to have a role.
Why were you interested in joining the Board?
First, as a professional accountant I love new challenges and enjoy supporting other people. Therefore, I thought jumping into this job would offer me some wonderful challenges. As a member of the Board, I’d be able to support a large group of people.
I also admire IFRS Standards—with these as the international language of accounting, we can communicate easily with other people in many jurisdictions.
Lastly, I like discussing and even just thinking about the Standards. Serving as a Board member and helping to develop the Standards means I have reached the pinnacle of my career.
How will your previous experience help you in your role?
Every single one of my previous jobs has led me here. My experience in helping companies apply IFRS Standards in Japan and other jurisdictions has taught me to look at questions from different angles. For example, I was part of a global group of IFRS Standards leaders that commented on the Board’s proposals and aided the Accounting Standards Board of Japan in developing its revenue standard in 2018.
You’ve only been a member of the Board for a few short weeks, but what has been the best part so far?
Even though I’ve been here only a short while, I have already discussed so many topics with technical staff and Board members. Everyone is willing to share their own views with me and I feel very comfortable sharing my thoughts and views with them. People are very open-minded and listen to others—that’s quite important.
What role do you believe financial reporting plays in the global economy?
High-quality global standards are indispensable to the functioning of the world economy. Standards are to markets what blood is to our body – without them, the markets wouldn’t function. The better our blood, the better the life we enjoy. To make the global economy healthy, stable and sustainable, companies’ financial reporting should deliver transparent and useful information to markets.
What do you see as disruptive forces in the world of accounting standards?
A lot of areas in the world are seeing drastic and significant changes. Accounting professionals cannot ignore such changes. To continuously develop high-quality global standards, it is important for us to sort out those changes into two categories: those to be taken into consideration in the development of or amendments to the Standards, and those that can be left it for a while without any modifications in the Standards.
What makes our mission of transparency, accountability and efficiency meaningful to you?
These objectives should always be viewed as one concept. To pursue our mission, we need to listen to stakeholders carefully, but prioritize our principles and remain independent.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
As an elementary school girl, I wanted to be a novelist because I loved reading books. After graduating in law from university, I still wanted to study further. One of my friends had just passed her accounting certification and that’s when I realised it was a good career option for me to consider.
What do you do in your spare time?
Besides reading books, I love to go to the theatre. My niece, who is now 18, is a good theatre companion. We go to musicals, street plays, ballets and operas. And after the shows, we share our thoughts about what we’ve just watched. It’s my dream to take her to the theatre in London.