|Extent of IFRS application
|IFRS Accounting Standards are required for domestic public companies
|IFRS Accounting Standards are permitted but not required for domestic public companies
|Permitted, other than for banks and insurance companies, which must follow regulatory accounting standards.
|IFRS Accounting Standards are required or permitted for listings by foreign companies
|The IFRS for SMEs Accounting Standard is required or permitted
|The IFRS for SMEs Accounting Standard is under consideration
Profile last updated: 16 June 2016
IFRS Standards were adopted as the national accounting standards of Guatemala by Resolution of the Extraordinary General Meeting of the CCPA on 18 December 2007. The resolution may be downloaded from the ‘Virtual Library’ of the CCPA.
The IFRS for SMEs Standard was adopted by a Resolution of the Extraordinary General Meeting of the CCPA on 7 July 2010, effective on 1 January 2011.
The CCPA’s resolutions adopting IFRS Standards and the IFRS for SMEs Standard do not have the force of law. ‘General Accepted Accounting Principles in Guatemala’ according to the Código de Comercio (Guatemala Commercial Code Law) refers to ‘Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in Guatemala’, not specifically to IFRS Standards. Nor is ‘Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in Guatemala’ defined, though it is often interpreted to mean the tax law. Therefore, some companies do not follow IFRS Standards or the IFRS for SMEs Standard but, rather, prepare financial statements based on the tax law. Financial statements prepared in accordance with the tax law are regarded as special purpose financial statements.
Currently, approximately 20 Guatemalan companies trade corporate bonds and other financial instruments in the national stock exchange (Bolsa de Valores Nacional, Sociedad Anónima, or BVNSA). They are permitted but not required to use full IFRS Standards. More information is available on the BVNSA's website.
Many international companies from the US and Europe have branches in Guatemala that apply IFRS Standards, due to their home offices’ requirements or the requirements of stock exchanges or lenders in their home countries.
The banking regulator (Superintendencia de Bancos) requires the big debtors in the financial system in Guatemala (those with debts that exceed US$ 600,000) to present audited general purpose financial statements using either IFRS Standards or the IFRS for SMEs Standard.
Under Guatemalan, banks, insurance companies, and other regulated financial enterprises are not allowed to present their financial statements based on IFRS. Instead, the banking regulator (Superintendencia de Bancos) has developed national accounting manuals that contain some differences from IFRS Standards.
The corporate income tax law requires medium-sized and large companies to present audited financial statements as of December 31, annually in March. The tax authority (Superintendencia de Administración Tributaria, or SAT) allows companies to present their financial statements using income tax rules for calculating taxable income. These are regarded as special purpose financial statements. The tax authority will also accept financial statements prepared according to either full IFRS Standards or the IFRS for SMEs Standard.