What are IAS and IFRS?

Published On: 18 August 2023

By Admin

What are IAS and IFRS?

Published On: 18 August 2023

The two sets of accounting standards used in the finance sector are IAS and IFRS. Both sets of guidelines offer direction on how companies should disclose financial data to accurately portray their financial status and performance. Every nation has its own unique set of accounting rules and regulations. But as businesses began to operate internationally and the world financial system consolidated during the past few decades, a demand for a set of universally accepted accounting standards arose. Thus, worldwide accounting rules known as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) were formed as an expansive structure for International Accounting Standards. This caused accounting standards around the world to converge on IFRS.

What Is IAS?

The term "IAS" stands for "International Accounting Standards," and it refers to a group of accounting standards that were created by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) before being taken over by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). In order to promote openness and cross-border comparability, the IAS provides guidelines for developing financial statements for businesses operating in different nations. When the IASB took control, some of the standards were superseded by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), however certain of the IAS standards are still used in some nations or businesses.


International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS, are a group of accounting principles developed and upheld by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). More than 140 different countries including accounting firms in UAE use these standards as the basis for their public corporations' financial reporting. The fundamental objective of IFRS is to guarantee that financial reporting is accurate, dependable, and similar across different industries and nations so that investors can make well-informed decisions. The standards cover a wide range of financial reporting subjects, including leases, financial instruments, and topics like revenue recognition.

Difference  between IAS AN IFRS

The primary distinction between IAS and IFRS is that IAS is a set of broad rules for recognizing and assessing the accuracy of financial data, whereas IFRS is more precise with its criteria for how to construct financial statements. Although both standards seek to raise the calibre of financial reporting, how they go about doing so is very different.

The IASC created a collection of accounting standards known as IAS Accounting Standards that serve as rules for financial reporting by businesses all over the world. There are a total of 41 IAS accounting standards that address different facets of financial reporting. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which were created by the IASB and are meant to be a global standard for financial reporting, are another option in addition to the IAS standards. Compared to IAS, IFRS is a more current and complete version of the accounting standards.

Two sets of accounting standards, IAS and IFRS, are applied on a global scale. IAS lacks clear criteria for recognising, measuring, presenting, and publishing data about non-current assets destined for sale, which is one of the key disparities between the two. On the other hand, IFRS provides updated guidelines on how to manage these kinds of assets. These regulations specify their identification, estimation of value, presentation in financial statements, and disclosure of information.

The most recent set of guidelines, known as IFRS, reflects the evolution of accounting and commercial practices over the past 20 years. Before the advent of IFRS, IAS was the standard. Not all IAS, nevertheless, have become obsolete. The IAS that were not replaced by the IFRS are still in use, despite the fact that there have only been 9 IFRS published to date. IAS is not anymore published by the IASB. Future standards will henceforth be known as IFRS, and they will be followed if they conflict with the IAS already in effect. 

Compared to IAS, IFRS is a more up-to-date and comprehensive collection of accounting standards. IAS is a less popular financial reporting standard than IFRS, which is a widely recognised global standard. IAS is more rules-based than IFRS, hence it offers more particular regulations whereas IFRS provides more general ideas and concepts. IAS offers more prescriptive regulation, whereas IFRS offers more flexibility in how businesses report their financial information. The IAS criteria are not taken into account in the event of any conflicts. They are eliminated, but as IFRS principles are more recent, they are taken into account in the event of any contradictions.

History of IAS And IFRS

The International Accounting Standards Committee initially published the International Accounting Standards (IAS) in 1973. IAS has had 26 revisions since then to reflect developments in the world economy. On the other hand, the International Accounting Standards Board created the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in 2001. Although IFRS is still quite new, it has been shown that its standards are more useful than IAS. The main distinction between IAS and IFRS is that IAS is more established and older than IFRS. IAS has gained more acceptance and respect as a result. IAS is more specific than IFRS and frequently offers more specific instructions on particular accounting problems.

Application And Regulation of IAS And IFRS

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is the governing body for both IAS and IFRS. IAS and IFRS can be developed, interpreted, and applied under the supervision of the IASB. Furthermore, IAS and IFRS are both voluntary standards, therefore companies are not obligated to use them when creating financial statements. IAS and IFRS differ in terms of their applicability even though they are both governed by the same organisation. IAS is optional, but almost all of the nations that make up the European Union must use IFRS for financial reporting. This is because IFRS is more recent, has a better track record of success, and is more in demand by other nations.

Types Of Statements For IAS And IFRS

IAS mandates that businesses create two distinct financial statements: the statement of financial position and the statement of comprehensive income. This is another distinction between IAS and IFRS. In order to comply with IAS, businesses must create two unique documents. However, IFRS only calls for one specific sort of financial statement, the consolidated financial statement. The consolidated financial statement is a single document that includes all of a company's financial data as well as that of its subsidiaries. The financial reporting process is streamlined by this single document, which also makes it simpler for businesses to comply with IFRS.

Disclosure Requirements Of IAS And IFRS

The disclosure requirements that are imposed on businesses by IAS and IFRS are another significant distinction between them. Compared to IFRS, IAS mandates that corporations disclose additional information in their financial statements. Any significant transactions or occurrences during the period, as well as any new or modified accounting policies, may be included in this extra information. However, IFRS imposes fewer disclosure obligations and only calls for businesses to report data that is crucial to their operations. As long as it doesn't affect the financial accounts, business organisations are not compelled to reveal specific information. Thus, distractions are reduced and businesses are able to concentrate more on their main operations.


In conclusion, the financial sector uses both IAS and IFRS, two different sets of accounting standards. Tax firms in Dubai mainly use these accounting standards Although they are similar, both sets of standards offer direction on how companies should disclose financial information, and despite this similarity, there are some significant variances between them. To maintain the accuracy of their financial reporting, businesses must be aware of the distinctions between IAS and IFRS and comprehend how each standard is used.