Accounting Principles and Concepts

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Simply Explained

International Financial Reporting Standards

The world needed a system that mostly unifies it in terms of accounting, so IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) was created. In this article, we’ll explain everything to know about this framework, including how it helps businesses, investors, and regulators, on an everyday basis.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS): An Overview

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are a collection of accounting guidelines for public firms' financial statements that are designed to make them uniform, transparent, and simple to compare globally.

The European Union is one of the 167 jurisdictions for which IFRS presently contains comprehensive rules. The generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) system is used in the United States as an alternative (GAAP).

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is responsible for issuing the IFRS. International Accounting Standards (IAS), the preceding standards that IFRS superseded in 2001, are occasionally mistaken with the IFRS system.

Main Takeaways

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) were developed to offer consistency and integrity to accounting standards and procedures regardless of the organization or the nation.
  • IFRS includes record keeping, account reporting, and other parts of financial reporting and were released by the Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which has its headquarters in London.
  • In 2001, the IFRS system superseded the International Accounting Standards (IAS) system.
  • IFRS promotes greater corporate transparency.
  • Not all nations use IFRS; for instance, the United States utilizes generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Simply Explained

How businesses must keep their books up to date and declare their costs and profits is outlined in IFRS in great detail. These standards were developed in order to provide a universally recognized accounting language for use by investors, auditors, government regulators, and other interested parties.

The standards are meant to assist investors and businesses in making informed financial assessments and choices by bringing consistency to accounting terminology, processes, and reporting.

They were created by the International Accounting Standards Board, a non-profit organization with offices in London that is part of the IFRS Foundation. In order to "promote openness, accountability, and efficiency to financial markets throughout the world," the Foundation states it establishes the standards.

Read more about Accounting Basics and Principles.


There are discrepancies between reporting under IFRS and GAAP. For instance, IFRS relaxes the definition of revenue and permits businesses to declare revenue sooner. The revenue stream on a balance sheet prepared using this approach can be higher than on a GAAP-based balance sheet.

IFRS Standard Requirements

A wide range of accounting processes is covered by IFRS. For several elements of business activity, IFRS has established regulations that must be followed.

  • Financial Position Statement: The balance sheet appears here. The methods in which the elements of a balance sheet are reported are affected by IFRS.
  • Statement of Comprehensive Income: This report may be presented as a single statement or broken down into a profit and loss statement, including revenue from property and equipment.
  • Statement of Changes in Equity: It is sometimes referred to as a Statement of Retained Profits, is a financial statement that details the company's change in profit or earnings for the specified financial period.
  • Statement of Cash Flows: This report breaks down the cash flow into operations, investment, and financing and describes the company's financial activities for the specified time period.

IFRS History: How Did This Framework Come To Be?

IFRS was developed in the European Union with the goal of opening up corporate transactions and financial records to the rest of the continent. It became a widely used accounting language quite rapidly.

IFRS is now the most widely utilized set of standards worldwide, even if the U.S. and several other nations do not use them. For example, 167 jurisdictions currently employ IFRS.

Who Uses IFRS?

Public enterprises with headquarters in 167 countries, including all the European Union's member states, as well as India, Canada, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Chile, are required to apply for IFRS. China and the United States, however, both have their own systems.

The Importance Of IFRS

IFRS promotes openness and faith in the international financial markets and the businesses that list their shares there.

Investors would be less likely to accept the financial statements and other information offered to them by corporations if such standards did not exist.

IFRS also makes it simpler to do "apples to apples" comparisons across various firms and to conduct basic analyses of a company's performance.

The Conclusion

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) comprises a collection of accounting regulations for public corporations to achieve consistent, open, and straightforward comparability of corporate financial statements globally.

IFRS is beneficial for investment, tax planning, and auditing, as well as regulation all across the world.

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