International Financial Reporting Standards

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IFRS is short for International Financial Reporting Standards. IFRS is the international accounting framework within which to properly organize and report financial information. It is derived from the pronouncements of the London-based International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). It is currently the required accounting framework in more than 120 countries. Simply, IFRS is like a common global language for business affairs so that company accounts are understandable and comparable across international boundaries.

IFRS requires businesses to report their financial results and financial position using the same rules; this means that, barring any fraudulent manipulation, there is considerable uniformity in the financial reporting of all businesses using IFRS, which makes it easier to compare and contrast their financial results.

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The International Financial Reporting Standard IFRS 9 (Financial Instruments) comes into effect on 1 January 2018. Pervasive in nature, it introduces a paradigm shift in financial reporting from historical application of impairment reviews for determining allowances to a forward-looking approach (Expected Credit Loss, or ECL, model) reflecting the decision-making process of companies. Born from the financial crisis to change the way banks and other financial institutions account for loans and other financial assets, organizations should not underestimate its implications on their internal control system, financial statements and the bottom line. The standard will affect both, financial and non-financial institutions.

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IFRS 16 Leases is applicable to lessees and lessors for years commencing on, or after, 1 January 2019. IFRS 16 Leases establishes principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases, with the objective of ensuring that lessees and lessors provide relevant information that faithfully represents those transactions. Most companies use leases to obtain access to an asset and consequently will be affected by the adoption of this standard.