IFRS Standards

Key IFRS standards compared to US GAAP and other accounting standards

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What are IFRS Standards?

IFRS standards are International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that consist of a set of accounting rules that determine how transactions and other accounting events are required to be reported in financial statements. They are designed to maintain credibility and transparency in the financial world, which enables investors and business operators to make informed financial decisions.

IFRS standards are issued and maintained by the International Accounting Standards Board and were created to establish a common language so that financial statements can easily be interpreted from company to company and country to country.

IFRS Standards

IFRS are the standard in over 100 countries, including the EU and many parts of Asia and South America.  The United States, however, has not yet adopted them and the SEC is still deciding whether or not they should move toward them as the official standard of accounting.

List of IFRS Standards

Below is a list of IFRS standards from http://www.ifrs.org/issued-standards/list-of-standards/

IFRS #IFRS Standard
1First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards
2Share-based Payment
3Business Combinations
4Insurance Contracts
5Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations
6Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources
7Financial Instruments: Disclosures
8Operating Segments
9Financial Instruments
10Consolidated Financial Statements
11Joint Arrangements
12Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities
13Fair Value Measurement
14Regulatory Deferral Accounts
15Revenue from Contracts with Customers
17Insurance Contracts


The largest difference between the US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and IFRS is that IFRS is principle-based while GAAP is rule-based. Rule-based frameworks are more rigid and allow less room for interpretation, while a principle-based framework allows for more flexibility.

There are pros and cons to both approaches, depending on how they are used.  For example, using a standard that fits within a “rule” but that clearly does not represent the principle behind the standard can be a downside of the GAAP.  While conversely, taking an overly liberal interpretation of standards is a potential drawback to the IFRS.

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