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.
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.
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
Vietnam publishes roadmap for adoption of IFRS Standards
The European Commission publishes the ESEF regulation, which includes use of the IFRS Taxonomy.
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.
The OHADA jurisdictions and Papua New Guinea announce requirement to use IFRS Standards, which are now 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.
IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts issued, representing a fundamental overhaul of insurance accounting
IFRS Foundation launches new website
Saudi Arabia requires use of IFRS Standards from 2017
IFRS Foundation and World Bank deepen cooperation to support developing economies in their use of reporting standards
The US SEC mandates use of the IFRS Taxonomy
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
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
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 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
Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) is established
The Board completes first post-implementation review of a major Standard
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
- the IFRS Foundation's mission, specifically the public interest served by the Foundation’s work;
- 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
IFRS Foundation opens Asia-Oceania regional office in Tokyo
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
The Board issues three IFRS Standards on accounting for and disclosures about interests in other entities
The Board and FASB issue converged fair value measurement and disclosure requirements
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
IASB and FASB issue converged offsetting disclosure requirements
Canada begins using IFRS Standards
Nearly 80 jurisdictions have adopted the IFRS for SMEs® Standard, or announced plans to do so
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
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 IFRS for SMEs® Standard
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
Malaysia and Mexico announce their intention to adopt IFRS Standards
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
The Board and FASB accelerate convergence programme
The Board issues IFRS 8 Operating Segments, to reduce differences between IFRS Standards and US GAAP
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
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
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
The Board and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) sign 'Norwalk Agreement' to improve and converge IFRS Standards and US GAAP
The International Accounting Standards Board holds its first meeting, announces initial technical agenda, adopts IASC Standards
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
IASC opens its meetings to public observation
IASC approves the formation of a Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC) to prepare interpretations of International Accounting Standards
IOSCO commits to reviewing the core standards with the objective of endorsing them for cross-border securities offerings
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
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
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
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 Report
The IFRS Foundation publishes an annual report on its activities, including audited financial statements.
The 2020 report showcases the resilience and responsiveness of the International Accounting Standards Board, the Foundation’s staff and the Trustees in their efforts to deliver on the mission to bring transparency, efficiency and accountability to the world’s capital markets.
2020 was shaped by the covid-19 pandemic and the report highlights how the Foundation adapted to the circumstances, moving its entire staff to remote working, embracing virtual meetings and outreach, and adjusting its standard-setting work plan to accommodate stakeholders. It also features reports by Trustee Chair Erkki Liikanen—including a discussion of the Trustees’ 2020 consultation on sustainability reporting—and International Accounting Standards Board Chair Hans Hoogervorst—in which he reflects on a decade of standard-setting as his tenure comes to an end in June 2020.
Our annual reports can be found below, in PDF format and as inline XBRL and XBRL files.
IFRS Foundation funding
The IFRS Foundation (Foundation) had an annual income of £30.1 million in 2020. Income comes from three main sources: voluntary contributions from jurisdictions around the world, voluntary contributions and license fees from international accounting firms and self-generated income from the sale of subscription services, publications and licensing of our intellectual property.
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. Here is a list of our 2020 funding providers.
The Foundation's Annual Report provides an overview of the past financial year's activities, achievements and results, as well as looking ahead to the next set of priorities.
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. Find out more information in our adoption and copyright section.
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. Find out more about our publications and subscriptions.
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);
- 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.
To learn about the IFRS Foundation’s objectives, structure and way of operating, there are two important documents.
The Constitution sets out the purpose and objectives of the organisation, as well as our governance structure and the composition requirements for the different groups within that structure.
The Due Process Handbook sets out in detail the requirements followed by the International Accounting Standards Board and the IFRS Interpretations Committee in their work.
The IFRS Foundation Constitution was originally approved by the members of the IFRS Foundation's predecessor body, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC), 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 International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation (IASCF) on 6 February 2001. In 2010 the IASCF changed its name to the IFRS Foundation.
Reflecting the Trustees' decision to create the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), now called the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC), following public consultation the Constitution was revised in March 2002.
The Trustees are required to review the Constitution every five years, in order to ensure the IFRS Foundation remains fit for purpose.
In October 2018, the Trustees approved a narrow-scope amendment to the Foundation’s Constitution to extend the term of the Trustee Chair and Vice-Chairs up to a maximum of nine years, taking into account any previous term already served as Trustee, Vice-Chair or Chair, as the case may be. The Trustees also approved an amendment to allow for the Trustee Chair to be appointed from among the Trustees or to be recruited externally. This amendment to the Constitution came into effect on 1 December 2018.
August 2020: resulting from the amendments to the Due Process Handbook an amendment was made to the IFRS Foundation Constitution. This amendment is to reflect that the Advisory Council advises the Board (and Trustees) on strategic matters and, especially since the establishment and activity of ASAF, no longer functions as a technical consultative body.
Due Process Handbook
The Due Process Handbook comprises the due process requirements followed by the International Accounting Standards Board when setting IFRS Standards and developing the IFRS Taxonomy, and by the IFRS Interpretations Committee when working with the Board to support the consistent application of those Standards.
The due process is based on the three principles of transparency, full and fair consultation, and accountability.
The due process enables stakeholders globally to contribute to the work of the Board and the Interpretations Committee, and help us ensure that the best thinking globally is factored into the development of the accounting requirements.
This process is essential for developing high-quality IFRS Standards and for ensuring that stakeholders can have confidence that all relevant views have been considered when the Standards are developed.
A revised version of the Due Process Handbook was published in August 2020.