Uncovering the Full Form of IFRS: History, Structure, Benefits

Dec 2, 2022by Eduyush Team

Full form of IFRS

The full form of IFRS is International Financial Reporting Standards, a set of accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). 

As the global economy continues to evolve, the need for standards for financial reporting becomes increasingly essential. IFRS provides a common language for companies to communicate financial information, and it is used by over 120 countries worldwide. 

The intricacies of IFRS can be challenging to understand, and this article will guide you through the basics of IFRS and how it affects businesses. We'll explore the history of IFRS, how it is structured, and how it can be used to improve financial reporting.

By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of IFRS and how it can be used to your advantage.

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History of IFRS

IFRS at a glance

Aspect Statistics
Number of Adopting Countries Over 150 countries have adopted IFRS.
Global Public Companies Over 120 countries require or permit IFRS for listed companies.
IFRS Foundation Languages IFRS is available in over 40 languages.
IFRS Adoption by Major Economies Major economies like the EU, Canada, Australia, and India have adopted or converged with IFRS.
IFRS Adoption by Industries IFRS is widely adopted across various industries, including banking, insurance, energy, and more.
IFRS for SMEs IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs) is used in over 90 countries.
Standard-Setting Bodies The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) sets IFRS standards, with input from stakeholders worldwide.
IFRS Impact on Capital Markets IFRS adoption has improved the comparability and transparency of financial information in global capital markets.
Role in Cross-Border Trade IFRS facilitates international trade by providing a common financial reporting framework.
Education and Training IFRS-related education and training programs are offered globally to help professionals understand and apply the standards.

The need for a common set of financial reporting standards was first recognized in the 1920s when International trade was booming. At that time, various countries had their financial reporting standards, and comparing companies across borders was difficult. In response, the International Accounting Conference (IAC) was formed in 1926. 

However, it was in the 1990s that the IASC published the first set of IFRS. This initial version of IFRS was not very popular, and many countries did not adopt it. In 2001, the IASC and the IFAC formed a joint venture to create a new set of accounting standards.

This collaboration between the IASC and the IFAC led to the creation of the first IFRS standards in 2001. These new standards were created to address issues not addressed in the first version of IFRS.

The IASB continues to publish new standards based on the feedback received from users.

What is included in IFRS?

The first step in understanding the intricacies of IFRS is to understand what is included in it. The International Financial Reporting Standards include the Conceptual Framework, the Reporting Standards, and the Implementation Guidance. 

The Conceptual Framework is an overview of the entire IFRS standard. It explains the overall direction and shape of the other two parts. 

The Reporting Standards are the rules and regulations that govern how financial information is presented. These reporting standards are applied to assets, liabilities, equity, income, and cash flows. 

The Implementation Guidance provides additional technical information regarding the standards found in the Reporting Standards. It includes additional rules and examples to help clarify the rules found in the Reporting Standards. 

Overall, the IFRS standards are a comprehensive set of accounting standards that are used globally. They are designed to be applied to all types of businesses, regardless of industry or size.

Watch a video lecture from our experts below 

Structure of International Financial Reporting Standards

The IASB has built the IFRS with a strong foundation and is flexible enough to adapt to changing business requirements. The IFRS is built on five core principles.

  • Legibility - The IFRS is easy to read, understand, and interpret. The standard does not have convoluted and cumbersome language and is written clearly and concisely.
  •  Predictability - The IFRS is unbiased and logical. This is achieved using a consistent structure, clear format, and layout. 
  • Transparency - The IFRS is understandable and open to scrutiny. By using clear language and an unbiased perspective, the standard is transparent and open to interpretation. - 
  • Relevance - The IFRS is continuously evolving and adapting to the needs of businesses. Although the standard is written and structured statically, it is flexible enough to be relevant to all businesses. - 
  • Consistency - The IFRS uses a consistent and standardized format to promote uniformity. The standard uses the same language and structure across all countries, making comparing companies easier.

Benefits of using IFRS

The benefits of using IFRS are numerous, and they apply to every organization that adopts the standard. (read our detailed blog on the scope of IFRS)

Some of the benefits of using IFRS include

  •  A common language for stakeholders: When stakeholders have a common language for financial reporting, it becomes easier to compare companies and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each company. 
  • Increased transparency: When companies use IFRS, they must use consistent language and terms. This means that their financial reports will be more consistent and have increased transparency. - Comparability with other financial reports: If other companies use the same accounting standards, your financial reports will be comparable to those of other companies using IFRS. 
  • Increased credibility: Investors and stakeholders can trust your financial reports more if they are consistent and easy to understand. 
  • Reduced audit costs: When financial reports are consistent, they are easier to audit. This can save companies money because they spend less time and money on accounting-related issues.
IFRS structure

    Challenges of using IFRS

    As with anything, there are challenges associated with using IFRS. While it is essential to be aware of the benefits of IFRS, it is also important to know the challenges. Some of the challenges of using IFRS include. (Read our detailed blog on the disadvantages of IFRS)

    •  Additional costs: Switching to IFRS will require companies to hire new employees and spend more money on training. Because of this, it is essential to keep in mind that using IFRS will likely cost you more money in the short term. 
    • Increased complexity: While IFRS is designed to be applied to all types of businesses, it can also make financial reports more complex. If your business uses a less complex accounting system, switching to IFRS could add unnecessary complications to your financial reports.

    Resources for learning more about IFRS

    There are a variety of resources that you can use to learn more about IFRS. These include 

    • The IFRS Foundation: The IFRS Foundation is the leading organization that oversees the development of IFRS. They provide information about the standards and also offer training and consultation services. 
    • IFRS Blogs: IFRS Blog from IAS Plus is one of the best blogs on IFRS. These are a resource created by professionals from the Big 4. It has a wide variety of articles that cover many topics related to IFRS. 
    • IFRS books: Many books have been written about IFRS and its intricacies. These books are a great way to learn about IFRS and can effectively supplement online resources. Read our blog on the best books on IFRS.
    • IFRS Courses: A variety of certification courses are dedicated to IFRS. These courses can be a great way to learn more about IFRS and network with other professionals who use IFRS.


    The need for a set of global financial reporting standards is evident. IFRS provides a common language for companies to communicate their finances, which is used by over 120 countries. 

    Although the intricacies of IFRS can be challenging to understand, this article has briefly introduced the basics of IFRS and how it affects businesses. 

    For a more in-depth understanding of IFRS, consider taking an IFRS course or reading one of the many excellent books on the subject matter.

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