The Difference between US GAAP and the IFRS Essay

Last twelvemonth the Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) president Christopher Cox released a timeline for the compulsory acceptance of International Financial Reporting Standards ( IFRS ) by all publically traded companies get downing in 2014. This was a important move by the SEC because it signaled the inevitable terminal to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ( GAAP ) . This move, while looking hasty on the surface, had been in the plants since 2001 and was good expected by the accounting profession.

IFRS and GAAP have many regulations in common and several more that are non. I will execute the undermentioned stairss in order to derive a better apprehension of international accounting regulations:

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I will reexamine international accounting literature and pass considerable clip depicting all differences between GAAP and the international criterions.

I will depict the fiscal statement differences and present statements prepared on the IFRS theoretical account.

As a consequence of this undertaking, I hope to obtain a higher apprehension of the new criterions and be able to use them to current market conditions. As a practicing CPA, it is necessary that I master the new regulations so that I may efficaciously rede my directors and clients.

Introduction to International Accounting

The International Accounting Standards Committee ( IASC ) was formed in 1973 by professional accounting organisations of Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, the UK, and Germany. The end was to make an independent organisation of accounting professionals for the development of international fiscal coverage criterions. The IASC was empowered as a criterions puting organic structure and authorized to publish International Accounting Standards ( IAS ) and Interpretations issued by the Standing Interpretations Committee ( SIC ) for member organisations to follow.

In 2001, the IASC gave manner to the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) . The IASB ‘s first order of concern was the acceptance of all bing IASC IASs and Interpretations. The IASB theoretical account is based on the US theoretical account created by the Financial Accounting Standards Board ( FASB ) except it was determined to publish far fewer dictums. The IASB regulates international criterions in the signifier of International Financial Reporting Standards ( IFRS ) which is comprised of IAS, IASC Interpretations, and new criterions issued by the IASB. The US theoretical account has 168 dictums and battalion Interpretations, Technical Bulletins and EITF Abstracts. Presently, there are 29 IAS and merely 8 IFRS. Interpretations include 11 SIC ( issued by the IASC ) and 17 Interpretations issued by the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee ( IFRIC ) .

In 2002, the IASB and the FASB executed the Norwalk Agreement which identified important countries of incompatibility between the two sets of criterions and put a end of making a individual set of planetary accounting criterions. At that clip, it was expected that the coaction between the two organisations would ensue in the remainder of the universe following US GAAP. Alternatively, what resulted was a model of convergence as outlined in a formal Memorandum of Understanding issued in 2006. Convergence, as described in the memo, is the procedure of accommodating or alining the two sets of criterions to a really short list of differences.

The mission of the IASB is to develop a individual set of high quality, apprehensible and enforceable planetary accounting criterions. All criterions are designed to ease the issue of high quality, transparent, and comparable information in fiscal statements and other fiscal coverage mechanisms. The overall end is to protect the public involvement and aid participants in the assorted capital markets of the universe and other users of the information to do strong sound economic determinations. Since 2006, more than 100 states require or permit IFRS for public companies. Significant events in the procedure of planetary credence of IFRS include:

Adoption by the listed states in the European Union in 2005 for amalgamate histories.

Australia incorporated IFRS in its GAAP in 2005.

Canada committed to exchanging over by 2011.

India following in 2011.

The USA, Japan, Korea, and China committed to the convergence docket. The USA ‘s initial end included convergence by 2016 ( ? ) .

In 2006, convergence was pursued utilizing two distinguishable piece of lands, short-run and through other undertakings ( long-run ) . The short-run ends include the riddance of major differences associating to borrowing costs, joint ventures, section coverage, impairment acknowledgment, and income revenue enhancements. All short-run ends were set to be completed by 2008. Long-run undertakings include concern combinations, consolidations, just value measuring, unvarying presentation of fiscal statements, gross acknowledgment, post-retirement benefits, and rentals. The attack to other undertakings is to do advancement by 2008 and eventual articulation criterions subsequently. Overall, the IASB and FASB agree that current criterions are excessively complicated and in demand of simplifying. The inquiry remained whether criterions should be left to the readings of hearers and preparers.

International Financial Reporting


The intent of fiscal statements under FASB and IASB is to supply information about the fiscal place, public presentation and alterations in fiscal place of an entity that is utile to a broad scope of users in doing economic determinations. They must run into the common demands of the mean user and efficaciously portray the fiscal effects of past events. International fiscal statements will besides necessitate to demo the consequences of direction ‘s decision-making activities and highlight the answerability of direction for the resources entrusted by the company to him/her.

Underliing Premises

International fiscal statements will be reported utilizing the accrual footing of accounting. Under the accrual footing, the effects of dealing and other events are recognized in the accounting records when they occur. Further, the minutess are reported in the fiscal statements of the periods to which they relate. The concluding important implicit in premise involves traveling concern acknowledgment. Under international regulations, a traveling concern is the premise that an entity will go on in operation for the foreseeable hereafter provided the organisation has no purpose or demand to neutralize. GAAP limits the rating of ongoing operations to an operating rhythm or a twelvemonth.

Qualitative Features

The qualitative features of international fiscal statements are really similar to GAAP. Fiscal statements must hold the undermentioned features:





Faithful representation

Substance over signifier





Note that the features of international fiscal statements are the same as those in the U.S. The difference between the two is that seasonableness is non expressly mentioned as a separate feature as with GAAP. In international accounting, seasonableness is a constituent of relevancy because conceptually, information must be obtained in a timely manner in order to be relevant.

Elementss of Financial Statement

A complete set of international fiscal statements include the Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Comprehensive Income, Statement of Changes in Equity, the Statement of Cash Flows for the period and notes to the fiscal statements comprised of a sum-up of important accounting policies and other explanatory information.

Statement of Financial Position

The international Statement of Financial Position is similar to the balance sheet under GAAP in that it includes assets, liabilities and equity. An plus is recognized when it is likely that the future economic benefits will flux to the entity and the plus has a cost or value that can be measured faithfully. A liability is recognized when it is likely that an escape of economic benefits will ensue from the colony of a present duty and the sum can be measured faithfully. Several measuring bases are used to describe assets and liabilities. They can be measured at its historical cost, current cost, realizable or colony value and or its present value.

International fiscal statements require a current and a non-current categorization. Unlike GAAP, IFRS statements are non presented in the order of liquidness unless more dependable and relevant information is provided by making so. The current asset/liability class is explicitly defined as such while are other assets/liabilities default into the non-current class. Current assets are classified as such if any one of the undermentioned standard is met:

The plus is expected to be realized or intended for sale/consumption within the normal operating rhythm or within a twelvemonth after the coverage period.

If the assets are trading.

If the plus can be classified as unrestricted hard currency or hard currency equivalent.

Current liabilities are defined as duties whose settlement is moderately expected to necessitate the usage of current assets or the creative activity of current liabilities. Current assets are classified as such if any one of the followers is present:

Items are entered into the operating rhythm to pay for stuffs and supplies used in production or for services to be offered for sale

Items are aggregations in progress for goods or services

Items are accumulations for rewards, committees, leases, etc.

If none of the above are met, the assets and liabilities are classified as non-current. The following are the minimal assets line points that must be presented ( in order ) :

Property, works and equipment

Investing belongings

Intangible assets

Financial assets

Investings ( equity method )

Biological assets


Trade and other receivables

Cash and hard currency equivalents

Non-current assets for sale and assets of disposal groups

Note: My research could non find if there is a minimal liability presentation demand.

Significant Differences

IFRS: Classify long-run fiscal liabilities due within 12 months as current unless refinancing understanding is completed on or before the terminal of the coverage period. Besides, under IFRS, if a long-run fiscal liability becomes instantly collectible upon misdemeanor of a debt compact, the liability should be classified current unless a release is granted before the terminal of the coverage period.

Generally accepted accounting principles: Classifies long-run fiscal liabilities due within 12 months as current provided a refinancing understanding is completed before the issue of the fiscal statements. GAAP besides deviates from IFRS in that it classifies long-run fiscal liabilities, which becomes instantly collectible upon the misdemeanor of debt compacts as non-current merely if a 12 month release is granted before the day of the month of issue of the fiscal statements.

Converged: Other alterations included the line point Minority Interest which was changed to Controlling Interests and included in equity. Besides, Preferred Stock with compulsory salvations or salvation outside the issuer ‘s control is now classified as a liability per FAS 150.

Note: As a consequence of the convergence of US GAAP to IFRS, FASB has proposed that the U.S. alteration its criterions in this country to mirror those of the IFRS. This has been met with considerable contention in the U.S.

Statement of Comprehensive Income

The international Statement of Comprehensive Income measures organisations ‘ public presentation. The statement includes income, disbursals, and capital care accommodations. Income is recognized when an addition in future economic benefit related to an addition in an plus or lessening of a liability has arisen that can be measured faithfully. Expenses are recognized when a lessening in future economic benefit related to a lessening in an plus or an addition of a liability has arisen that can be measured faithfully. Grosss and Expenses are measured on the same footing at that used for assets and liabilities.

Statement of Comprehensive Income present all points of income and disbursal recognized in a period in a individual statement or two statements which begins with the entire net income or loss and displays constituents to get at other comprehensive income. Minimal line points include:


Finance costs

Shares of net income or loss of associates and joint ventures ( related parties ) accounted for utilizing the equity method

Tax disbursal

A individual sum consisting post-tax profit/loss of discontinued operations, and ; post-tax gain/loss on measuring to fair value less costs to sell or dispose of assets ( cyberspace of revenue enhancement )

Entire net income or loss

Each constituent of OCI ( see below )

Share of OCI of related parties accounted for utilizing the equity method

Entire comprehensive income

Note: For stuff points of income and write off the company must unwrap the nature and sum individually in the footers. Examples include write-downs/impairments, disposals of PPE, discontinues operations, etc. Besides, IFRS does non show any income or expense points as extraordinary points in the income statement, statement of comprehensive income or the notes to the fiscal statements.

Other comprehensive income points are reported net of related revenue enhancement effects and earlier related revenue enhancement effects with one sum shown for the aggregative sum of income revenue enhancement associating to the constituents. The following are the constituents of OCI:

Changes in reappraisal excess

Actuarial gains/losses on defined benefit programs

Gains/losses on reappraisal of available-for-sale fiscal assets

The effectual part of gains/losses on fudging instruments in a hard currency flow hedge

IFRS requires a thorough analysis of disbursals in the notes to the fiscal statements. The intent is to guarantee that the disbursals are decently classified by nature or map of the disbursal. If classified by map, the organisation is besides required to unwrap information on the nature of the disbursals including depreciation/amortization and employee benefit disbursals. Other than the map or nature demand, IFRS does non order a standard format for its income statement. However, the statements must be presented as described above ( minimal histories ) . See the exhibits for expense presentations illustrations.

Statement of Changes in Equity

The individual statement attack or the two statement attack can be used to show the Statement of Comprehensive Income ( see exhibit for the individual statement attack ) . The statement is required to show entire comprehensive income for the period separated by sums attributable to proprietors of the parents and non-controlling involvements. For each constituent of equity the organisation must show the effects of retrospective application or restatement and a rapprochement between the transporting sum at beginning and the terminal of the period. As portion of the rapprochement, the company must individually unwrap the net income or loss, each point of comprehensive income and minutess with proprietors in their capacity as proprietors ( related parties ) .

Statement of Cash Flows

This Statement of Cash Flows under IFRS is really different than under GAAP. Under IFRS involvement paid and involvement received can be classified as either operating or funding while under GAAP both can merely be classified as operating. Similarly, the company can take between operating and funding when describing dividends paid or received under IFRS. Under GAAP, dividends paid are classified as funding while dividends received are classified as operating.

Convergence of Financial Statements

As portion of the eventual convergence, the FASB and the IASB are nearing the standardisation of fiscal coverage is eight stages get downing with aims and qualitative features and stoping with its application to not-for-profit entities and the bringing of the concluding merchandise. The overruling aim of standardised fiscal coverage is for the state to travel towards a complete and consistent model for developing coverage criterions that are principles-based, internally consistent, and internationally converged. The concluding chapter of the Discussion Paper associating to fiscal coverage was expected to be completed by the terminal of 2009. At the top of the list for convergence is a more consistent rule for exposing and aggregating information in each fiscal statement. There is a distinguishable difference between the two sets of statements as to what sums and subtotals should be recognized in each fiscal statement. Besides, there is considerable treatment about whether constituents of OCI should be reclassified to gain or loss, and if so, the features and types of minutess that should be reclassified. There has besides been treatment about whether the direct or indirect method of showing hard currency flows from operations provides more utile information for the statement users.


IFRS: Under current IFRS regulations, companies must show an explicit and unreserved statement of conformity with International Financial Reporting Standards. Organizations are encouraged to forbear from unwraping conformity unless it has complied with all relevant demands of criterions and readings.

Generally accepted accounting principles: U.S. companies with registered securities must follow with U.S. GAAP and the regulations of the SEC without exclusion. Registered non-U.S. companies were allowed to publish fiscal statements under U.S. GAAP or other comprehensive footing such as IFRS provided that a rapprochement of net income and equity to U.S. GAAP is provided. However, this proviso was discontinued for IFRS filings on or after March 4, 2008.

Comparative Information

IFRS: A lower limit of one twelvemonth of comparative fiscal information must be provided. IAS 1 ( revised ) required an extra comparative statement of fiscal place at the beginning of comparative period if company had a policy alteration, mistake rectification or reclassification is applied retrospectively.

Generally accepted accounting principles: Comparative statements are desirable but non mandated. SEC ordinances by and large require two old ages of comparative fiscal information. This includes a one comparative balance sheet.

Significant Differences in Individual Histories


Under IFRS, LIFO is non permitted. The stock list will be carried at the lower of cost or cyberspace realizable value and antecedently recognized damage losingss can be reversed up to the sum of the damage. Under GAAP, LIFO is permitted, stock list is carried at the lower of cost or market and impairment losingss can non be reversed one time recognized.

Fiscal Instruments

Both IFRS and GAAP report/recognize fiscal instruments in similar manner with one distinguishable difference. Under IFRS an entity may denominate a fiscal plus or liability on initial acknowledgment as one to be measured at just value, with alterations to be recognized in net income or loss under certain conditions. The conditions exist when the appellation eliminates or significantly reduces an accounting mismatch ; when a group of fiscal instruments are managed and public presentation is evaluated on a just market footing ( matches direction ‘s investing scheme ) ; and, when the contract contains an embedded derived function that meets certain conditions.

Available for sale instruments

Must be classified at purchase under IFRS and can non be classified into any other class. Under GAAP investings that do non run into any of the other classs must be classified as AFS.

Investings in Unlisted Equities

These assets are measured at just market value if it can be faithfully measured. Otherwise, the equities must be reported at its cost. Under GAAP, unlisted equities must be measured at its cost.

Held-to-Maturity instruments

HTM instruments are classified likewise under both IFRS and GAAP. The difference comes into drama when the company decides that the asset/liability will no longer be held to adulthood. Under IFRS, the instrument is reclassified as AFS with the accommodation to FMV recorded in equity. Under GAAP, the instrument can be reclassified as AFS or trading. If AFS, the FMV accommodation is recognized in equity. If HTM, the FMV accommodation is taken into net incomes. IFRS takes the determination to reclassify instruments from HTM a measure farther. Under IFRS, a alteration from HTM to AFS consequences in all the staying HTM assets being reclassified as good. The reclassification must stay in consequence for two full fiscal old ages before the entity may once more sort fiscal assets as HTM. This regulation does non be under GAAP but the SEC does follow the IASB and imposes a two twelvemonth regulation on this dealing.

Property, Plant and Equipment

PPE under IFRS is revalued to fair value on a regular footing. Major inspection and repair costs are capitalized if they meet the definition of an plus. Component depreciation is required. GAAP does non allow reappraisal except in instances where the plus is impaired.

Investing belongings under IFRS is individually defined and accounted for either at historical cost or just value. The categorization must be consistent with the manner the company handled similar minutess in the yesteryear. Under GAAP the belongings is non individually defined and accounted for as held for sale.

Differences can besides be found in the accounting for capital rentals every bit good. IFRS permits companies the ability to divide the land and edifice when entering capital rentals. Under GAAP, the land and edifice are by and large reported together.

Research and Development Costss

IFRS requires separate categorization of the costs associated with the research stage and the development stage. Research costs are ever expensed as incurred. U.S. GAAP requires that all research and development costs be expensed as incurred unless the R & A ; D is related to the development of package.


U.S. GAAP and IFRS dainty liabilities in similar manner. However, IFRS allows derived functions and liabilities to be classified as held-for-trading and measured at just value. GAAP does non let liabilities to be included as held-for-trading.


There are many differences between IFRS and GAAP. There is no individual rule under GAAP but there are a figure of specific demands when finding whether to sort an point as equity or a liability. Some instruments that are liabilities under IFRS are classified otherwise under GAAP depending on the contractual agreement ‘s substance, non by the legal signifier. Another noteworthy difference is that under IFRS, exchangeable debt is split and classified into its liability and equity constituents. Generally under GAAP the full instrument is classified as a liability except under particular fortunes.

Note: The FASB is sing the IASB attack.

Income Taxes

IFRS requires the categorization of all deferred revenue enhancements as non-current points while in the U.S. ; the categorization is based on the nature of the related plus or liability. Deferred revenue enhancement assets are merely recognized if it is likely that they will be realized under IFRS while GAAP requires its acknowledgment in full.


My initial undertaking was focused on the economic downswing and the consequence just market rating played on the mortgage crisis. However, as the consequence of my research and readings, I have really come to detect that plus rating played small if any function in the worldwide crisis. In fact, in most instances, the international accounting criterions under IFRS appear to be less complicated but more restrictive. As in the instance of mortgage backed securities, IFRS would necessitate that the full category of held-to-maturity be reclassified to AFS if even one of the instruments is reclassified. Besides, like GAAP, AFS securities are marked to market at each describing day of the month with additions and losingss recognized in OCI.

I reviewed a enormous sum of literature and am now confident that I have a steadfast appreciation on the new constructs presented by the U.S. at hand convergence to IFRS.










Cost of Gross saless



Gross Net income



Selling and gross revenues disbursals

( 123,456 )

( 112,432 )

General and administrative disbursals

( 268,912 )

( 245,809 )

Other income



Other disbursals

( 15,444 )

( 16,718 )

Operating net income



Fiscal income



Fiscal disbursals

( 45,834 )

( 51,276 )

Loss of disposal of fiscal assets

( 7,890 )

Consequences from investings in associates and joint ventures


( 120 )

Net income before income revenue enhancements



Income revenue enhancement disbursal

( 81,758 )

( 19,588 )

Net income for the twelvemonth from go oning operations



Loss for the twelvemonth from discontinued operations, cyberspace of revenue enhancement

( 3,500 )

Net income for the twelvemonth



( Statement of Comprehensive Income – continued )

Other comprehensive income, cyberspace of revenue enhancements:

Exchange differences on interpreting foreign operations

( 54,811 )


Cash flow hedges

( 22,890 )

( 1,673 )

Other comprehensive income, cyberspace of revenue enhancements

( 77,701 )


Entire Comprehensive Income for the twelvemonth



Net income attributable to:

Owners of the parent



Non-controlling involvements



Entire comprehensive income attributable to:

Owners of the parent



Non-controlling involvements



Gaining per portion

From go oning and discontinued operations

Basic net incomes per portion



Diluted net incomes per portion



From go oning operations

Basic net incomes per portion



Diluted net incomes per portion



( individual statement attack utilizing the map of disbursal method )

Nature of Expense Method



Other Income


Changes in stock lists

( 234,890 )

Natural stuffs used

( 1,918,209 )

Employee benefits disbursal

( 157,901 )

Depreciation and amortisation disbursal

( 789,000 )

Other disbursals

( 461,536 )

Entire disbursals

( 3,561,536 )

Net income before revenue enhancement



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