The Difference Between IFRS and IAS

This is the question that oftentimes pops up from a middle of nowhere…

What basically are the differences between the International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS) and International Accounting Standards (IAS)? Or, should we rephrase the question, are there any differences at all?

Well, there are differences, of course. And the major difference is that the IAS’s were issued by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) from 1973 to 2001, while the IFRS’s were issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) from 2001 onwards. The IASB is basically the successor for IASC.

When IASB was installed in 2001, it adopted the existing IAS and decided to name any future standards as International Financial Reporting Standards. Consequently, IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements defines IFRS as standards and interpretations adopted by the IASB.

Now, IFRS in a broad sense comprise:

  • Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements – stating basic principles and grounds of IFRS
  • International Financial Reporting Standards (standards issued after 2001)
  • International Accounting Standards (standards issued before 2001)
  • Interpretations originated by the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) or the former Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC)

In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

I have to be explicit that these are just my opinions. If you trust it, then thank you. If not, then make your own research! (LOL!)

So the new IFRSs standards are in addition to (on top of) the IASs, won’t there be any contradicting standards/principles between the two as a result of the adoption of IFRS?

Just as the former IASC altered some of its provisions and withdres some IAS numbers from its set of standards over the years, any contradicting principles from the new IFRS will supersede that of IAS. One basic example is the IFRS 3 and IAS 22, which are both titled, “Business Combinations”.

Of course, there are standards in the IFRS that provide rule over some grey areas or a “no mention” in the IAS, just like the identification, measurement, presentation and disclosure of non-current assets held for sale (IFRS 5).

In fact, when contradicting standards are issued, the older one is removed from the complete set of standards. Look at the latest complete list of standards and IAS 22 is not there anymore.

I have been full compliant with IAS in the previous years, do I still have to apply IFRS 1 (First Time Adoption of IFRS), and thus present comparative information and other disclosures required by IFRS 1 in my next financial statements?

Under the Scope of the standard, paragraph 3, if you have not stated compliance with IFRS in an “explicit” and “unreserved” statement in any of your previous financial statements, then you have to comply with and follow the disclosure requirements of IFRS 1. If you have been full compliant with IAS, then preparing the disclosure requirements of IFRS 1 would not be that cumbersome.


Try googling for the difference between IFRS and IAS, and it will lead you nowhere. I mean, basically there are no resources in the internet that can give you a precise distinction between the two. Such question just seems like improper. It’s like comparing a chicken against an egg, when in fact the former just simply evolved from the latter. You can’t plainly make a head-to-head comparison.

Remember, comparing IFRS vs. IAS is not like comparing IFRS vs. US GAAP. The latter is completely a different story.

49 thoughts on “The Difference Between IFRS and IAS”

  1. parati naman akong bumisita sa site mo. binabasa ko mga comments kaya lang minsan walang kwenta ang mga comments kaya di ako sumasagot pero in fairness maganda mga pino-post mong mga topic. informative

  2. Si Joel? Syempre negro pa rin.

    Franz ok lang ako pare. di na tayo nakapag lalaro ikaw na lang di ko nalalampaso sa nbalive

  3. Hehehe yun yun eh. Maiba nga ako pre, pista nga pala kina jorelle sa Sunday, punta daw tayo he he he. Pareng Jorelle panu ba yan di mo makikita si baby girl…

  4. oo nga noh! pista pala samin! imbitado kau lahat! punta kau sa bahay hanapin nyo lng ako! hehehe ung address namin sa Tupan St., Tigbauan, Iloilo. Itong c franz e pag may ibang nakabasa nito eh. hehehehe

  5. my lecturer gave the same qn. and i answed just like you, guese wat? I was the only one wit the correct and stupid answer. thanx dude!

  6. haha, if there’s no answer to it, why did my lecturer ask us to come up with a 800 word essay on it?

  7. Very well said that this is the only output that we get on our serah for Difference between IFRS and IAS despite the fact that this distinction is really important to have the complete clarity on IFRS. This is really very easy to understand and clarify the doubts. Very nicely made up.

  8. If there are no articles in the internet that address that issue, please be the first one to have it on the web. We really need that answer. I mean a very correct answer

  9. Hello there, I very much appreciated this article and was wondering if you could help with another question. I have been asked to critique an annual report from an investors perspective while keeping away from ratios and detailed financial analysis, Do you think that there are any particular areas of the report that would be most beneficial for this?


  10. I read out the artical regarding difference between IAS and IFRS. If I say in short then the above artical is a bad one. It is not enough informative so that one can easily understand the defference between two. Because time can not be a factor to defferentiate but the author tried to focus the time a big factor. If any body started to published any standard from now with the same content of IAS, will it be carry any any value for time difference?

    If you done any more research on it please send it to me.

    1. uhmm..if the article above is wrong, then u put the correct version…cuz i really need it for my assignment in accounting. thnx

  11. Hey man thanks a lot, for this!
    This is a very simple and logical explanation, which I needed.
    I am writing an Essay on topic connected.

  12. CA. Sushant Raul

    Basically there are no difference between IFRS and IAS, IFRS are the sucessor of IAS as the IASC is succeeded by IASB subsequently IAS are succeeded by IFRS………………
    For any query about IFRS/IAS u people can mailed me in my mail ID

  13. I believe
    IAS defines the way accounting should be.
    whereas IFRS contains the way they needs to be presented in Financial Statements.

    Let me know if i m wrong

  14. I think in real preparation of the financial statement with IFRSs, there s some changes in the way and methods. So that should have serve as a difference therein.

  15. Good practical example like comparing chicken with an egg
    Now I’ve learned the difference between IAS and IFRS (chicken and egg) 😀

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