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An Executive Guide to IFRS: Content, Costs and Benefits to Business

ISBN: 978-0-470-66490-2
240 pages
May 2011
An Executive Guide to IFRS: Content, Costs and Benefits to Business (0470664908) cover image
"A comprehensive and invaluable guide to IFRS which users will find indispensable in correctly applying the complex and onerous requirements of IFRS and IAS."
Steve Collings FMAAT FCCA, Leavitt Walmsley Associates and author of Interpretation and Application of International Standards on Auditing

International Financial Reporting Standards have been mandatory in the EU since 2005 and are rapidly being adopted by countries throughout the world. In this environment it is increasingly important for managers, executives and CEOs to understand the background of the IFRS and their main requirements.

In An Executive Guide to IFRS: Content, Costs and Benefits to Business, Peter Walton provides a concise and accessible guide to the principal features of IFRS, explains why they are useful, looks at their impact on businesses, and provides some of the context to help define their global role.

The book is divided into three sections. Part one deals with the convergence process and its costs and benefits, and gives background on the story so far. Part two contains the main technical content of the book and provides an analysis of the main issues under IFRS reporting, including:

• The content of financial statements
• Investments in other companies
• Income Statement and Balance Sheet items
• IFRS for SMEs
• A comparison with US GAAP

Part three covers the creation of the IFRS, provides details of the IASB's standard-setting process, and describes how people outside the IASB can participate in the process and lobby effectively. It also examines the history of the IASB, and includes a chapter based on the author's observation of the standard setters in action.

An Executive Guide to IFRS is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to understand the essentials of International Financial Reporting Standards.

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About the author.

1 Worldwide convergence on IFRS.


Large company advantages.

Why governments support IFRS.

The use of IAS/IFRS in the world.

Problems with convergence.

Modified convergence.

Small and medium-sized business.


2 Content of financial statements.

IAS 1 presentation of financial statements.

Statement of Comprehensive Income.

Statement of Financial Position.

Statement of Cash Flows.

Statement of Changes in Equity.

Accounting policies and changes.

Fair presentation.


Interim financial statements.


Appendix: The IASB Conceptual Framework.

Qualitative characteristics.

Assets and liabilities.

3 Investments in other companies.


Translation of foreign subsidiaries.

Business combinations.

Investments in associates.

Joint ventures.

Assets held for disposal.

Equity investments.


Appendix: Fair value measurement.

The market.

Measurement hierarchy.

Highest and best use.



4 Income statement items.

Revenue recognition.


Government grants.


Stock options.


Income taxes.

Interest expense.

Foreign exchange differences.

Accounting in hyperinflationary economies.


5 Balance sheet items.

Property, plant and equipment.

Investment property.

Leased assets.

Intangible assets.

Mineral rights.


Assets held for sale.

Financial instruments.

Disclosures about financial instruments.

Defining equity.


Contingent liabilities.


6 Other significant standards.

First time adoption.

Related party transactions.

Segment reporting.


Events after balance sheet date.



7 T he IFRS for SMEs.

Development of the standard.



8 Comparison with US GAAP.

Conceptual Framework.


Financial instruments.


Non-financial assets.




9 T he IASB’s standard-setting process.

Due process.

Discussion paper.

Exposure draft.

New standard.




Lobbying the IASB.

Monitoring the IASB.


10 History of the IASB.

The start-up phase.

Steady progress.

The enhancement phase.


Global convergence.

Relations with the US.

Relations with Europe.

The financial crisis.


11 Observer notes.

Standard-setters are people.

What sort of people?.

What do they think?.

Fair value controversies.

Executory contracts.

True and fair view.

Anti-abuse measures.


Further reading.


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Peter Walton, PhD, FCCA, is a preparer turned academic and writer. He is now a professor at ESSEC Business School, Paris, and IFRS Director of the ESSEC-KPMG Financial Reporting Centre there. He is the publisher of IFRS Monitor which provides a detailed monthly report of IASB proceedings. He has attended virtually all the meetings of the IASB since it was formed in 2001.
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