IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) Guide

In a globalized economy, the need for standardized financial reporting is paramount. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) serve as the universal language of financial accounting, fostering transparency, comparability, and credibility across borders. This article explores the intricacies of IFRS, its evolution, key principles, challenges, and its impact on businesses worldwide.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are a set of accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). IFRS is designed to provide a common global language for business affairs so that company financial statements are understandable and comparable across international boundaries. The goal is to enhance transparency, comparability, and consistency in financial reporting worldwide.

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List of IFRS Standards

List of IFRS Standards

As of tagsamurai’s team knowledge when this article is written, the following is a list of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that were issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Please note that new standards or updates may have been issued since then. It’s advisable to check the IASB’s official website or other reliable sources for the most current information. Here are some of the major IFRS standards:

  1. First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards
  2. Share-based Payment
  3. Business Combinations
  4. Insurance Contracts
  5. Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations
  6. Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources
  7. Financial Instruments: Disclosures
  8. Operating Segments
  9. Financial Instruments
  10. Consolidated Financial Statements
  11. Joint Arrangements
  12. Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities
  13. Fair Value Measurement
  14. Regulatory Deferral Accounts
  15. Revenue from Contracts with Customers
  16. Leases
  17. Insurance Contracts
  18. Revenue (superseded by IFRS 15)
  19. Employee Benefits
  20. Accounting for Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance
  21. The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates
  22. Business Combinations (superseded by IFRS 3)
  23. Borrowing Costs (superseded by IAS 23)
  24. Related Party Disclosures
  25. Measurement of Financial Instruments (superseded by IFRS 9)
  26. Accounting and Reporting by Retirement Benefit Plans
  27. Separate Financial Statements
  28. Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures
  29. Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies
  30. Disclosures in the Financial Statements of Banks and Similar Financial Institutions
  31. Interests in Joint Ventures (superseded by IFRS 11)
  32. Financial Instruments: Presentation
  33. Earnings per Share
  34. Interim Financial Reporting
  35. Discontinuing Operations (superseded by IFRS 5)
  36. Impairment of Assets
  37. Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets
  38. Intangible Assets
  39. Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement (superseded by IFRS 9)
  40. Investment Property
  41. Agriculture


It’s important to note that these standards may be updated, and new standards may be issued by the IASB. Additionally, some standards may have been superseded or replaced by newer standards. Always refer to the latest official publications and updates from the IASB for the most accurate and current information on IFRS standards.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are two distinct frameworks used for financial reporting, each with its own set of principles and guidelines. The primary difference lies in their geographical application, with IFRS being globally accepted and GAAP primarily used in the United States. IFRS is maintained by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), while GAAP is developed by various standard-setting bodies, including the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

One key distinction between IFRS and GAAP is their approach to rules. IFRS is more principle-based, providing a broad framework that allows for interpretation and flexibility in application. GAAP, on the other hand, tends to be more rule-based, offering specific guidelines for a wide range of accounting situations. This can lead to differences in how similar transactions are accounted for under each framework.

Another notable difference is in the treatment of certain items. For instance, under IFRS, the Last In, First Out (LIFO) inventory valuation method is not allowed, while GAAP permits its use. Additionally, IFRS tends to be more focused on the substance over form, emphasizing the economic reality of transactions, whereas GAAP may place more emphasis on legal form. Despite these variances, the ongoing convergence efforts between IFRS and GAAP aim to reduce differences and enhance comparability in financial reporting on a global scale.

Standard IFRS Requirements

IFRS Requirements

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) encompass a comprehensive set of requirements for financial reporting, ensuring consistency, transparency, and comparability across organizations globally. While the specific details of each standard may vary, the general IFRS requirements cover various aspects of financial reporting. Here is a summary of standard IFRS requirements:

Fair Presentation and Compliance with IFRS

  • Financial statements must present fairly the financial position, performance, and cash flows of an entity.
  • The financial statements should comply with all applicable IFRS standards and interpretations.

Going Concern

Financial statements are prepared under the assumption that the entity will continue its operations in the foreseeable future, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Accrual Basis of Accounting

Transactions are recorded when they occur, not when cash is received or paid, ensuring that financial statements reflect the economic substance of transactions.


Consistent accounting policies are applied from one period to the next, allowing for meaningful comparisons over time.

Comparative Information

Comparative information, including the previous year’s figures, should be disclosed to provide context and aid in understanding financial performance.


Financial statements should disclose material information that could influence the economic decisions of users. Materiality is a key consideration in determining what information to include.

Completeness and Neutrality

Financial statements should provide a complete picture of an entity’s financial position and performance, avoiding bias or distortion in presentation.


Prudence should be exercised in the preparation of financial statements, recognizing all losses and liabilities that might arise while not recognizing gains until realized.

Revenue Recognition (IFRS 15)

Revenue should be recognized when control of goods or services has transferred to the customer, reflecting the amount the entity expects to be entitled to receive in exchange.

Leases (IFRS 16)

Lessees must recognize assets and liabilities for all leases, with certain exemptions for short-term leases and low-value assets.

Financial Instruments (IFRS 9)

Financial instruments are classified and measured based on their nature and the entity’s business model, with detailed provisions for impairment, hedge accounting, and derecognition.

Consolidation (IFRS 10)

Consolidated financial statements should include the results of subsidiaries controlled by the reporting entity. Control is assessed based on the power to govern financial and operating policies.

Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities (IFRS 12)

Extensive disclosures are required regarding an entity’s interests in subsidiaries, joint arrangements, associates, and other structured entities.

Employee Benefits (IFRS 19)

Comprehensive requirements for the accounting and disclosure of employee benefits, including defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, and other post-employment benefits.

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History of IFRS

History of IFRS

The history of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) can be traced back to the early efforts to harmonize accounting standards on a global scale. Here is a summarized timeline of the key events and milestones in the history of IFRS:

1973-2000: Formation of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC)

  • In 1973, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) was established with the goal of developing a set of international accounting standards.
  • The IASC worked to create a comprehensive set of International Accounting Standards (IAS) that could be universally adopted, promoting consistency and comparability in financial reporting.

2000: Formation of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)

  • In 2001, the IASC was restructured, leading to the creation of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as an independent international standard-setting body.
  • The IASB assumed the responsibility for developing and issuing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), replacing the previous IAS.

2002-2005: Initial Adoption and EU Requirement

  • By 2002, many countries had started adopting IFRS, including European Union (EU) member states requiring listed companies to use IFRS for consolidated financial statements beginning in 2005.
  • The widespread adoption of IFRS contributed to the global convergence of accounting standards.

2005-2011: Continued Global Adoption

  • Over the following years, numerous countries around the world adopted IFRS, with some fully converging their national standards with IFRS.
  • Major economies, including Canada and India, also made significant strides in adopting or converging with IFRS during this period.

2012-2014: Convergence Efforts with U.S. GAAP

  • The IASB and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the United States worked on convergence projects to reduce differences between IFRS and U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • While full convergence was not achieved, both boards made efforts to align key accounting standards.

2015-Present: IFRS Standards Updates and Global Adoption

  • The IASB continued to issue new IFRS standards and updates, addressing emerging issues in financial reporting and refining existing standards.
  • Many jurisdictions continued to adopt or converge with IFRS, further establishing it as the global financial reporting language.

Ongoing: Future Developments and Global Convergence

  • The IASB continues to work on projects to enhance the quality and relevance of financial reporting. Future developments may include updates to existing standards and responses to evolving business environments.
  • The quest for global convergence of accounting standards persists, with ongoing discussions between standard-setting bodies and jurisdictions worldwide.

Importance of IFRS

IFRS importance

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) hold significant importance in the global business landscape, impacting financial reporting, transparency, and decision-making. Here are key reasons why IFRS is considered crucial:

Global Standardization

IFRS provides a common set of accounting standards that can be applied uniformly across borders. This standardization facilitates consistency and comparability in financial reporting, making it easier for investors, analysts, and other stakeholders to understand and assess the financial performance of companies globally.

Facilitates Cross-Border Comparisons

With IFRS, financial statements of companies from different countries can be easily compared. This is particularly important for investors looking to allocate capital globally, as it reduces the complexity and uncertainty associated with varying accounting standards.

Enhanced Transparency

IFRS emphasizes the fair presentation of financial statements, requiring entities to provide a true and fair view of their financial position and performance. This emphasis on transparency contributes to increased trust among stakeholders, including investors, creditors, and the general public.

Attracts Global Investment

The adoption of IFRS by many countries enhances their appeal to international investors. Investors often prefer companies that adhere to globally accepted accounting standards, as it reduces the risk of financial misrepresentation and makes it easier to assess investment opportunities.

Improved Access to Capital

Companies using IFRS may find it easier to access capital on international financial markets. Investors and lenders are more likely to have confidence in financial statements prepared under a widely accepted and recognized set of accounting standards, leading to increased access to global capital.

Efficient Capital Allocation

It contributes to more efficient capital allocation by providing consistent and comparable financial information. Investors can make better-informed decisions about where to allocate their capital, leading to a more effective and rational allocation of resources on a global scale.

Reduced Information Asymmetry

It aims to reduce information asymmetry between management and stakeholders by promoting disclosure and transparency. Investors and other users of financial statements can have greater confidence in the information presented, leading to more accurate assessments of an entity’s financial health.

Global Business Operations

For multinational companies, IFRS offers a standardized framework for financial reporting across different jurisdictions. This simplifies financial management and reporting processes, making it easier for these companies to operate globally and comply with diverse regulatory environments.

Convergence and Harmonization

The ongoing efforts towards convergence between IFRS and other accounting standards, such as U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), contribute to global harmonization. This convergence reduces differences in accounting treatments and fosters a more consistent global financial reporting framework.

Adaptability to Changing Business Environments

IFRS is designed to be adaptable to changes in the business environment. The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) regularly updates and issues new standards to address emerging issues, ensuring that IFRS remains relevant in the evolving global economy.


IFRS stands as a cornerstone in the realm of international financial reporting, fostering transparency and consistency across diverse economic landscapes. The evolution, principles, adoption challenges, and practical implications of IFRS underscore its significance in the global financial framework. As businesses navigate the complexities of a connected world, a standardized approach to financial reporting becomes increasingly essential, and IFRS remains at the forefront of this endeavor.

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