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IFRS Foundation publishes jurisdiction profiles on the application of IFRSs

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Jun 05, 2013

The IFRS Foundation has posted to its Web site a collection of 66 "jurisdiction profiles" detailing information about the adoption of IFRSs and the "IFRS for SMEs" in all the G20 jurisdictions and 46 other jurisdictions.

The starting point for the profiles was the answers provided by standard setting and other relevant bodies in response to a survey that the IFRS Foundation conducted between August and December 2012 on the application of IFRSs around the world, which, to date, 66 jurisdictions have responded. Respondents answered questions regarding the commitment in support of moving toward a single set of high-quality global accounting standards, the state of IFRS adoption (for domestic and foreign companies), the endorsement process, and translations. The survey also extended to the adoption of the IFRS for SMEs.

The profiles drafted by the Foundation on the basis of the information provided were circulated for comment to the original respondents, regulators, international audit firms, and others. We are proud to have been able to help the IFRS Foundation with this ambitious project, which is led by Paul Pacter, former IASB member and former webmaster of IAS Plus, who originally set up our popular table on the use of IFRSs around the world, which has been supplemented recently by the more detailed table on the use of IFRSs by the G20 jurisdictions.

On basis of the information provided in the profiles, the IFRS Foundation comes to the following observations regarding the adoption of IFRSs around the world:

  1. There is almost universal support for IFRSs as the single set of global accounting standards: 95 percent of the 66 jurisdictions have made a public commitment of support for a single set of high-quality global accounting standards, and with the exception of Switzerland, every jurisdiction stated that IFRSs should be that single set of standards.
  2. More than 80 percent of the profiles state that IFRSs have been adopted for all or almost all public companies.
  3. The jurisdictions that have adopted IFRSs claim to have made very few modifications to the standards. The modifications are mostly described as limited, temporary, or of little impact.

In a speech on the posting of the profiles and the information they provide, Hans Hoogervorst, the IASB chairman, was very encouraged by the results and concluded the following about the general adoption of IFRSs around the world:

This is only a subset of the information provided by this first batch of profiles and there is no reason to believe the remaining profiles to be published will tell a very different story.

Mr. Hoogervorst was also hopeful that future adopters or jurisdictions that adopt each new pronouncement through an endorsement process will have little reason to make changes to IFRSs as issued by the IASB:

Even when our constituents disagree with part of our standards, they almost always resist the temptation to alter them. Local adjustments are viewed with suspicion by investors, so most jurisdictions will simply take IFRS in full. Also, most of our constituents accept that if local adaptations were to become rife, the benefits of having a global standard would be undermined.

Nevertheless, Mr. Hoogervorst also reflected on what remains to be done. Most obvious to him is that some large and important economies have not yet (fully) adopted IFRSs: Japan, the United States, and China. He also stated that "adoption in itself is not enough" and that proper and consistent application of the standards is equally important.

Further information

On the IASB's Web site:

On IAS Plus:

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