IFRS for SMEs
On 9 July 2009 the IASB published an International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) designed for use by small and medium-sized entities (SMEs). SMEs are estimated to represent more than 95 per cent of all companies. The standard is a result of a five-year development process with extensive consultation of SMEs worldwide.
The complete IFRS for SMEs (together with the basis for conclusions, illustrative financial statements, and a presentation and disclosure checklist) can be downloaded free of charge. To do so, click here.
Past due process steps
The Board re-deliberated of the proposals in the Exposure Draft (ED) of an International Financial Reporting Standards for Small and Medium-sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs) that was issued in February 2007.
The comment period for the ED ended 30 November 2007. The Board received 162 letters of comment on the ED. Staff completed analysis of the comments presented that analysis to the Board in March 2008.
116 small entities from 20 countries participated in ‘field testing’ the ED by restating their most recent annual financial statements following the proposals in the ED and reporting any problems encountered. Staff has completed an analysis of the field test results and presented that analysis to the Board in April 2008.
The Working Group (WG) met on 10-11 April 2008 to review the comments on the ED, the field test results and staff recommendations. The WG recommendations for changes to the proposals in the ED were submitted to the Board in May 2008 (all recommendations other than disclosures) and in July 2008 (recommendations relating to disclosures).
Staff presented its initial recommendations for changes to the ED to the Board in May 2008. At that meeting, the Board began its re-deliberations of the proposals in the ED. Those re-deliberations continued at the Board meetings through April 2009.
Staff submitted a ballot draft of a final IFRS for SMEs to the Board on 1 June 2009.
Why did the IASB undertake this project?
Because full IFRSs were designed to meet the needs of equity investors in companies in public capital markets, they cover a wide range of issues, contain a sizeable amount of implementation guidance and include disclosures appropriate for public companies. Users of the financial statements of SMEs do not have those needs, but, rather are more focused on assessing shorter-term cash flows, liquidity and solvency. Also, many SMEs say that full IFRSs impose a burden on them — a burden that has been growing as IFRSs have become more detailed and more countries have begun to use them. Thus, in developing the proposed IFRS for SMEs, IASB’s twin goals were to meet user needs while balancing costs and benefits from a preparer perspective.
The objective of this project is to develop an IFRS expressly designed to meet the financial reporting needs of entities that (a) do not have public accountability and (b) publish general purpose financial statements for external users. Examples of such external users include owners who are not involved in managing the business, existing and potential creditors, and credit rating agencies. The IFRS for SMEs will be derived from full IFRSs with appropriate modifications based on the needs of users of SME financial statements and cost-benefit considerations.
Is this project part of the Memorandum of Understanding?
No. The MoU sets out a Roadmap of Convergence between IFRSs and US GAAP 2006-2008. US GAAP does not have a separate financial reporting standard for SMEs.
Click here for more information on the MoU.
The Board has formed a Workinh Group whose members provide views and comments on specific issues that are presented to them.
The Working Group met on:
- 23 April 2003
- 29-30 June 2005
- 30-31 January 2006
- 10 - 11 April 2008