Global Standards for the world economy

Sunday 04 December 2016

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IFRS use around the world

Analysis of the G20 IFRS profiles

To assess progress toward the goal of global accounting standards, the IFRS Foundation is developing profiles of application of IFRS Standards in individual jurisdictions.  View the jurisdiction profiles.

The following observations relate to the information in the profiles of the members of the Group of Twenty (informally, the G20), which is the premier forum for international cooperation on the most important issues of the global economic and financial agenda. The G20 brings together finance ministers and central bank governors from the following 19 countries plus the European Union: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

  1. Commitment to a single set of global accounting standards. All of the G20 jurisdictions have made a public commitment supporting a single set of high quality global accounting standards. 
  2. Commitment to IFRS Standards. The relevant authority in all of the G20 jurisdictions has made a public commitment to IFRS Standards as the single set of global accounting standards.
  3. Adoption of IFRS Standards. 14 of the G20 jurisdictions have adopted IFRS Standard for all or most companies in their public capital markets. Of the remaining 6 G20 jurisdictions:
    1. three permit IFRS Standards on a limited voluntary basis for domestic and/or foreign issuers (India, Japan, United States);
    2. one (Saudi Arabia) requires IFRS Standards on a limited basis (banks and insurance companies only);
    3. one (China) has substantially converged its national standards to IFRS Standards; and
    4. one (Indonesia) has adopted national standards that are substantially in line with IAS and IFRS Standards but has not announced a plan or timetable for full adoption.
  4. Scope of use of IFRS Standards. Of the 14 G20 jurisdictions that have adopted IFRS Standards for all or most publicly traded companies, 11 require IFRS Standards for all; 2 (Mexico and Argentina) require IFRS Standards for all other than financial institutions; and 1 (Canada) allows US GAAP for some and has deferred IFRS Standards for some others. 13 of the 14 G20 jurisdictions that have adopted IFRS Standards for all or most publicly traded companies also permit IFRS Standards for all or most non-publicly traded companies.
  5. Few modifications. The G20 jurisdictions made very few modifications to IFRS Standards, and the few that were made are generally regarded as temporary steps in the jurisdiction’s plans to adopt IFRS Standards. There are 5 EU jurisdictions in the G20.  While the EU did make an optional ‘carve-out’ from IAS 39 that the EU itself describes as ‘temporary’, the ‘carve-out’ has been applied by fewer than two dozen banks out of the 8,000 IFRS companies whose securities trade on a regulated market in Europe. And the EU had deferred the effective dates of IFRS Standards 10, 11 and 12 for one year to 2014, but those deferrals have now expired. 
  6. Auditor’s report. In 18 of the G20 jurisdictions, the auditor’s report refers to conformity with IFRS Standards. In China and Indonesia it refers to conformity with national standards.
  7. IFRS for SMEs Standard. 7 G20 jurisdictions have either adopted the IFRS for SMEs Standard or are actively considering it.

This page was last updated 06 June 2016.

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Paul Pacter
Former Board member and project manager