Who we are

About us

The IFRS Foundation is a not-for-profit, public interest organisation established to develop a single set of high-quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted accounting standards—IFRS Standards—and to promote and facilitate adoption of the standards.

IFRS Standards are set by the IFRS Foundation’s standard-setting body, the International Accounting Standards Board.

Find out more about the structure of the IFRS Foundation and our consultative bodies.

High-quality financial information is the lifeblood of capital markets

Accounting standards are a set of principles companies follow when they prepare and publish their financial statements, providing a standardised way of describing the company’s financial performance. Publicly accountable companies (those listed on public stock exchanges) and financial institutions are legally required to publish their financial reports in accordance with agreed accounting standards.

Our mission statement

Our mission is to develop IFRS Standards that bring transparency, accountability and efficiency to financial markets around the world. Our work serves the public interest by fostering trust, growth and long-term financial stability in the global economy.

  • IFRS Standards bring transparency by enhancing the international comparability and quality of financial information, enabling investors and other market participants to make informed economic decisions.
  • IFRS Standards strengthen accountability by reducing the information gap between the providers of capital and the people to whom they have entrusted their money. Our Standards provide information needed to hold management to account. As a source of globally comparable information, IFRS Standards are also of vital importance to regulators around the world.
  • IFRS Standards contribute to economic efficiency by helping investors to identify opportunities and risks across the world, thus improving capital allocation. Use of a single, trusted accounting language lowers the cost of capital and reduces international reporting costs for businesses.

IFRS Standards are currently required in more than 140 jurisdictions and permitted in many more. Find out more about the use of IFRS Standards around the world here.

Further translations of the document below will become available in due course.

This is a chronology of major moments in the history of the IFRS® Foundation and the International Accounting Standards Board (Board).

We have focused on two elements—major organisational developments and issued IFRS Standards, and the wider usage and commitment to IFRS Standards around the world.

 

IFRS Foundation and Board developments

Progress towards global accounting standards

2018

Revised Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting issued, setting out the fundamental concepts of financial reporting that underpin IFRS Standards. The revised Conceptual Framework replaces the 2010 Conceptual Framework.

IFRS Standards are required or permitted in 144 of 166 assessed jurisdictions. IFRS for SMEs Standard is required or permitted in 86 jurisdictions and under consideration in another 11 jurisdictions.

2017

IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts issued, representing a fundamental overhaul of insurance accounting

IFRS Foundation launches new website

IFRS Foundation and World Bank deepen cooperation to support developing economies in their use of reporting standards

Market capitalisation of companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange that use or are planning to use IFRS Standards now exceeds 30% of total market cap

2016

IFRS 16 Leases issued, requiring all leases to be reported on a company's balance sheet as assets and liabilities

Trustees complete strategy review, leading to increased focus on implementation support and digital reporting, reduction in board size to 14

The Board completes its second agenda consultation and establishes 'Better Communication in Financial Reporting' as a priority until 2021

Indonesia reaffirms commitment to achieve full convergence with IFRS Standards

IFRS Foundation and IOSCO strengthen their relationship

IFRS Foundation and ESMA strengthen their relationship

2015

IFRS Foundation publishes a statement of its mission: to develop IFRS Standards that bring transparency, accountability and efficiency to financial markets around the world

The Board completes its first review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard, making limited targeted improvements

China reaffirms its commitment to achieve full convergence with IFRS Standards

European Commission publishes a positive evaluation of 10 years of use of IFRS Standards in Europe. Other evaluations reaching similar conclusions are published in Canada, Korea and Australia

2014

IFRS 9 Financial Instruments issued, completing response to the financial crisis

IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers, a converged standard, issued jointly with FASB

Charter sets out working relationships between the Board and the members of the International Forum of Accounting Standard Setters

The IFRS Foundation publishes first annual Pocket Guide to IFRS Standards and adoption

The Board launches Investors in Financial Reporting programme with support from leading members of the global investment community

The IFRS Foundation and European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) sign a joint Statement of Protocols

2013

Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) is established

The Board introduces comprehensive 'effect analysis' as part of due process review

The IFRS Foundation begins publication of jurisdictional profiles to chart progress towards creating a single set of global accounting standards

IFRS Foundation and IOSCO establish protocols on IFRS Standards

Japan permits virtually all listed companies to use IFRS Standards: revised Cabinet Ordinance available only in Japanese

2012

IFRS Foundation Trustees issue a press release about their completed strategy review, setting out recommendations in four areas:

  • the IFRS Foundation's mission, specifically the public interest served by the Foundation’s work;
  • governance;
  • the process and procedures used by the Foundation and the IASB; and
  • the organisation's financing

Monitoring Board completes governance review, proposes to expand membership and increase openness

Role of Interpretations Committee is enhanced following Trustee review

The Board completes its first agenda consultation, introduces a research programme

Pan African Federation of Accountants resolution urging its 39 member bodies to adopt IFRS Standards and the IFRS for SMEs Standard

Argentina, Mexico and Russia all begin using IFRS Standards

US SEC issues final report on use of IFRS—no further steps proposed. IFRS Foundation staff undertake an analysis of the report

2011

The Board issues three IFRS Standards on accounting for and disclosures about interests in other entities

The Board issues amendments to IAS 19 Employee Benefits to provide investors and other users with a clear picture of an entity’s commitments resulting from defined benefit plans

Trustees establish the IASB Emerging Economies Group, in response to G20 request

Nearly 80 jurisdictions have adopted the IFRS for SMEs® Standard, or announced plans to do so

2010

Hans Hoogervorst appointed as Chairman of the Board effective 1 July 2011

The Board revises IFRS 9 to add requirements related to the classification and measurement of financial liabilities, including embedded derivatives and 'own credit risk'

The Board and FASB complete the first phase of their joint project to develop an improved conceptual framework

IFRS Foundation launches programme to consult more widely with investors

In an MOU with the IFRS Foundation, Brazil commits to adopting IFRS Standards

2009

IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board established, providing enhanced public accountability

Trustees expand the Board to 16 members and introduce triennial public consultation on the Board's agenda

The Board issues the chapters of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments relating to classification and measurement of financial assets

Trustees restructure the IFRS Advisory Council to comprise representatives of organisations, rather than personal appointments, with the goals of obtaining views of a wider range of interested parties and giving greater authority to views received

Report of the Financial Crisis Advisory Group to the IASB and FASB about the standard-setting implications of the global financial crisis

G20 leaders support work of the Board, call for rapid move towards creating global accounting standards

Japan approves an IFRS road map, permits some companies to voluntarily adopt IFRS Standards

2008

The Board and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board form a Financial Crisis Advisory Group to guide joint response to crisis

Malaysia and Mexico announce their intention to adopt IFRS Standards

2007

The Board and Accounting Standards Board of Japan sign cooperation agreement

More than 100 countries now require or permit use of IFRS Standards

The United States SEC permits non-US companies to report in the US using IFRS Standards, consults on use of IFRS Standards by US companies

Brazil, Canada, Chile, Israel and Korea establish timelines to adopt IFRS Standards

2006

The Board issues IFRS 8 Operating Segments, to reduce differences between IFRS Standards and US GAAP

2005

Board issues IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures, to improve disclosures about financial instruments and capital

China adopts accounting standards substantially in line with IFRS Standards, with the goal of full convergence

In Europe, 7,000 companies in 25 countries switch from national accounting standards to IFRS Standards. Concurrently, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, and others adopt IFRS Standards

IOSCO releases a statement on the development and use of International Financial Reporting Standards in 2005

2004

The Board issues second Standard, IFRS 2 Share-based Payment, responding to investors' concerns about omission of expenses arising from stock options and similar transactions with employees

The Board completes other priority reforms to IFRS Standards by issuing IFRS 3-6

IASB launches project to develop a separate accounting framework for small and medium-sized entities (SMEs)

The Board introduces live internet broadcast of its meetings

2003

The Board completes priority reforms to Standards inherited from IASC in preparation for first-time adoption by major jurisdictions

The Board issues first Standard—IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards

The Board hosts the first of what will become annual meetings of world accounting standard-setters

2002

The Board and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) sign 'Norwalk Agreement' to improve and converge IFRS Standards and US GAAP

Europe adopts a law requiring listed companies on regulated securities markets, including banks and insurance companies, to prepare their consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS Standards starting 2005. A press release is issued

2001

The International Accounting Standards Board holds its first meeting, announces initial technical agenda, adopts IASC Standards

2000

IFRS Foundation is established, with Paul Volcker appointed Chairman of the Trustees, Sir David Tweedie as Chairman of the Board

IASC agrees to restructure itself into a full-time International Accounting Standards Board, overseen by independent Trustees. A Strategy Working Party report is released, as well as press releases on IASC restructure member approval and a new constitution

IASC completes its standard-setting, and releases a statement providing transition suggestions to a new Board

IOSCO recommends use of international accounting standards for cross-border listings

1999

IASC opens its meetings to public observation

1998

G7 calls on IASC to finalise, by early 1999, a proposal for a full range of internationally agreed accounting standards in order to strengthen the international financial system

1996

IASC approves the formation of a Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC) to prepare interpretations of International Accounting Standards

1995

IOSCO commits to reviewing the core standards with the objective of endorsing them for cross-border securities offerings

1994

IOSCO completes an initial review of International Accounting Standards in letter to IASB

Chairman of IASC urges IOSCO to accept International Accounting Standards for use in multinational securities offerings and foreign listings

1993

IASC completes its 'comparability and improvements project', revising ten Standards, substantially reducing the range of accounting policy choices under international standards, and paving the way for future assessment of the Standards by IOSCO

1990

With the issuance of IAS 31 Financial Reporting of Interests in Joint Ventures, IASC completes its initial comprehensive set of 31 International Accounting Standards

IASC publishes Statement of Intent Comparability of Financial Statements, indicating its intent to reduce the number of alternative accounting treatments permitted under International Accounting Standards

1989

IASC publishes the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements—the first international 'conceptual framework'.

1973

Professional accounting bodies of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, United Kingdom/Ireland and the United States form International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and agree to adopt International Accounting Standards for cross-border listings

The IFRS Foundation Annual Report2017 Annual Report

The IFRS Foundation publishes an annual report on its activities, including audited financial statements.

The 2017 Annual Report—for the year ended 31 December 2017—outlines how the organisation has further strengthened its financial resilience, summarises the key developments in 2017 and sets out the IFRS Foundation’s and the International Accounting Standards Board’s priorities for 2018.

Our annual reports can be found below, as both pdf documents and XBRL files. 

 

IFRS Foundation funding

The IFRS Foundation (Foundation) has an annual income of £27 million to £30 million. The income comes from three main sources: voluntary contributions from jurisdictions around the world, voluntary contributions from international accounting firms and self-generated income from the sale of subscription services, publications and licensing of our intellectual property.

Funding breakdown

Voluntary contributions

The majority of the Foundation's funding is voluntary contributions from jurisdictions that have put in place national financing regimes. While funding mechanisms differ, most jurisdictions have established either a levy on companies or a system of publicly supported financing.

The contribution requested from a jurisdiction is normally a percentage of the total gross domestic product of all contributing jurisdictions using the most recent International Monetary Fund data.

The Trustees of the Foundation are responsible for the organisation's funding. They are grateful for the commitments made by the many jurisdictions, entities and organisations around the world in support of the Foundation's work.

The Foundation's Annual Report provides an overview of the past financial year's funding.

Self-generated income

The Foundation’s licensing policy is independent of contributions. When using the Foundation’s materials, different jurisdictions require different amounts of the material and for different use (adoption, convergence, education).

Jurisdictions who pay a voluntary contribution also need to sign a license and pay the licensing fee if they want to publish IFRS Standards or base their local standards on IFRS Standards.

The annual fees for licenses, where IFRS Standards are used for adoption or convergence, were set low so as not to create a barrier to adoption. These fees are normally set in bands based on the jurisdictions’ GDP. For more information on adoption and copyright please visit here.

Other self-generated income comes from licensing our intellectual property for commercial use and from selling publications generated by the Foundation and the International Accounting Standards Board as well as our subscription services. For more information on our publications and subscriptions, please visit here. For more information on licensing our intellectual property, please visit here.

Funding in the future 

An appropriate financing regime for the Foundation is vital to ensure the independence of its standard-setting process. Such a regime must enable the Board members and Foundation staff to engage interested parties throughout the world in the shaping of financial reporting standards and to undertake all other related activities necessary to achieve the organisation's objectives.

The Trustees are continuing their work towards a global funding system with the following features:

  • a long-term commitment by jurisdictions;
  • public sponsorship (either direct or implicit governmental or regulatory support);
  • flexibility;
  • proportionally allocated contributions; and
  • public accountability in the budget process.

These commitments ensure the independence of the Board, which enables the Foundation to:

  • create and maintain high-quality IFRS Standards;
  • consult inclusively and comprehensively with stakeholders globally; and
  • support the worldwide adoption of IFRS Standards in other ways.

That independence enables the creation and maintenance of high-quality IFRS Standards through an inclusive, international consultation process, as well as all other activities undertaken by the organisation to advance the worldwide adoption of IFRS Standards.

The IFRS Foundation Constitution was approved in its original form by the International Accounting Standards Board's predecessor body, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC), in March 2000, and by the recently appointed members of the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) at a meeting in Edinburgh on 24 May 2000.

At its meeting in December 1999, the IASC had appointed a Nominating Committee to select the first Trustees of the organisation. The Trustees took office in May 2000 as a result of the approval of the Constitution.

In execution of their duties under the Constitution, the Trustees formed the IFRS Foundation on 6 February 2001.

Reflecting the Trustees' decision to create the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), now called the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC), and following public consultation the Constitution was revised in March 2002.

The Trustees are required to review the Constitution periodically. These reviews have resulted in several amendments to ensure the IFRS Foundation remains fit for purpose.

Find more details about the various reviews conducted by the Trustees here.

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