Preface to IFRS Standards

Date recorded:

Updating the Preface to IFRS Standards (Agenda Paper 28)

Each Standard and Interpretation has an introduction that says the document should be read in the context of the Preface to International Financial Reporting Standards. The IASB inherited the Preface from the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and revised it in 2002.

The Preface has sections describing the roles of the IASB, the IFRS Interpretations Committee and the IFRS Advisory Council; the objectives of the IASB, the scope and authority of IFRS Standards; due process; the timing and application of IFRS Standards; and the language of the IASB.

The Preface was written at a time when the IASB did not have a Due Process Handbook. The governance of the IASB has also changed, including the Trustee’s having a Due Process Oversight Committee. Much of the discussion in the Preface about the structure of the IASB is set out in other documents of the IFRS Foundation.

The staff view is that the role of the Preface has changed. It should focus on information that is relevant to an understanding of each Standard and how it should be applied. Information about governance and due process is addressed adequately elsewhere and including it in the Preface detracts from the more important information about application.


A Board member observed that the Preface is in the Bound Volume but not on the public parts of the IFRS Foundation website.  The staff said they would look to remedy that and are also considering adding the Due Process Handbook and Constitution to the Bound Volume.

One member questioned whether a preface was needed at all. The staff responded that there were some important matters in the Preface (see paragraph 21 of the agenda paper). The Board member thought it would be helpful to step back and ask whether it was needed or whether the remaining information might be better included in other documents. One member said that if a broader review was undertaken they should look at whether it is still appropriate to have a reference to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB).


The Board decided to revise the Preface as proposed by removing the sections on governance and due process. It would also be restructured to focus on the scope, authority and timing of the application of IFRS Standards.

Furthermore, because the changes are editorial the Board decided that there is no requirement to expose the changes for public comment. The draft will be available on the IFRS Foundation website.

Next steps

If the Board agrees with the staff recommendations in this paper, the revised Preface will be included in all 2019 editions of the Bound Volume.

Agenda Paper 28A includes clean and track-changes versions of the proposed revised Preface.

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