International Financial Reporting Standards

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International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are principles-based standards, interpretations and the framework[1] adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

Many of the standards forming part of IFRS are known by the older name of International Accounting Standards (IAS). IAS were issued between 1973 and 2001 by the Board of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). On April 1, 2001, the new IASB took over from the IASC the responsibility for setting International Accounting Standards. During its first meeting the new Board adopted existing IAS and Standing Interpretations Committee standards (SICs). The IASB has continued to develop standards calling the new standards IFRS.

Structure of IFRS

IFRS are considered a "principles based" set of standards in that they establish broad rules as well as dictating specific treatments.

International Financial Reporting Standards comprise:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)—standards issued after 2001
  • International Accounting Standards (IAS)—standards issued before 2001
  • Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC)—issued before 2001
  • Conceptual Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements (2010)

IAS 8 Par. 11 additional paragraph has to add

"In making the judgement described in paragraph 10, management shall refer to, and consider the applicability of, the following sources in descending order:

(a) the requirements and guidance in Standards and Interpretations dealing with similar and related issues; and

(b) the definitions, recognition criteria and measurement concepts for assets, liabilities, income and expenses in the Framework."


The Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements states basic principles for IFRS.

The IASB and FASB Frameworks are in the process of being updated and converged. The Joint Conceptual Framework project aims to update and refine the existing concepts to reflect the changes in markets, business practices and the economic environment that have occurred in the two or more decades since the concepts were first developed.


  1. IFRS Foundation. Full texts

Further reading

  • Original texts of IAS/IFRS, SIC and IFRIC adopted by the Commission of the European Communities and published in Official Journal of the European Union
  • International Accounting Standards Board (2007): International Financial Reporting Standards 2007 (including International Accounting Standards (IAS(tm)) and Interpretations as at 1 January 2007), LexisNexis, ISBN 1-4224-1813-8