Earlier today, the International Accounting Standards Board took a significant step by providing free online access to its standards. As explained on the IFRS webpage, the documents which are now available by free download on the IASB website include International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) issued by the IASB and interpretations issued by the IASB's International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), as well as standards originally issued by the IASB's predecessor organization, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) [International Accounting Standards (IAS)], and interpretations of IFRIC's predecessor, the Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC). IASB is similar in function to the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and IFRIC is similar in function to FASB's Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF).
'Unaccompanied' or 'Core' Standards
The standards that have been made freely available on IASB website are 'unaccompanied' standards, i.e. the "core" standards, excluding additional content such as the Basis for Conclusions. To obtain the complete material (e..g including Basis for Conclusions) purchase is required through an eIFRS subscription or through the IASB's online shop (see links below).
In addition to posting the "core" standards, the IASB has also posted some Technical Summaries prepared by IASB staff (which are not approved by IASB board). You will be prompted to register on the IASB website (free) to access the documents, if you were not previously registered.
Previously, IFRS were available for free download only by eIFRS subscribers or by separate purchase from the IASB. Printed copies of standards and related publications by the IASB can still be purchased from IASB's online shop. IASB continues to offer eIFRS subscriptions to receive the latest updates, and comprehensive subscriptions (download online plus printed copies), as described further on IASB's subscriptions page.
In related news, FASB recently announced "Through a special arrangement with the IASB, the Financial Accounting Foundation [parent of the FASB] will distribute the 2009 IFRS annual bound edition in the United States, U.S. possessions, Canada, and Mexico." I have to admit, when I first saw the sales of bound volumes of IFRS posted on the FASB website, I had a feeling this could be what it would look like if there were one global standard-setter or if FASB were an arm of the IASB. I have written in this blog before how I have had that feeling of advance deja vu (or whatever you would call it), when listening to webcasts of joint board meetings between FASB and the IASB. You may be able to have that opportunity next week, as the FASB and IASB are tentatively scheduled to hold a joint videoconference board meeting on Thurs. April 23 - currently tentatively scheduled - as shown on FASB's calendar. Additionally, the FASB-IASB joint Financial Crisis Advisory Group (FCAG) is set to meet on Monday (April 20), here is the agenda, related comment letter summary, and webcast schedule.
SEC IFRS Roadmap Comment Deadline Monday
The IASB's move to make its core standards freely available and the offer of purchase of bound volumes of IFRS through the FASB for distribution in North America comes on the cusp of the April 20 comment deadline on the SEC's proposed IFRS Roadmap (more specifically, the SEC's proposed Roadmap for the Potential Use of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance With International Financial Reporting Standards by U.S. Issuers.) See comments filed on the IFRS Roadmap to date; more comments are likely to be filed since the deadline has not yet arrived.
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