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Objectives of the IFRS Foundation

Objectives of the IFRS Foundation

The objectives of the IFRS Foundation are:

  • To develop, in the public interest, a single set of high quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted financial reporting standards based upon clearly articulated principles. These standards should require high quality, transparent and comparable information in financial statements and other financial reporting to help investors, other participants in the world’s capital markets and other users of financial information make economic decisions. To promote the use and rigorous application of those standards.
  • In fulfilling the objectives associated with (a) and (b), to take account of, as appropriate, the needs of a range of sizes and types of entities in diverse economic settings.
  • To promote and facilitate adoption of the IFRS Standards, being the Standards and IFRIC® Interpretations issued by the Board, through the convergence of national accounting standards and IFRS Standards.
Objectives of the IFRS Foundation

Objectives of the IFRS Foundation

The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, or IFRS Foundation, is a nonprofit accounting organisation. Its main objectives include the development and promotion of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) through the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which it oversees.

The foundation was formerly named the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) Foundation until a renaming on 1 July 2010, and as of 2012 is governed by a board of 22 trustees.

Objectives of the IFRS Foundation

The IFRS Foundation sets out the IFRSs and their interpretations, which include the following:

  • the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs);
  • the International Accounting Standards (IASs);
  • the International Financial Reporting Standards Interpretations (IFRICs); and
  • the Standing Interpretation Committee interpretations (SICs).
  • Other Pronouncements. By Mukaila Hadi & Esther Bangase Anankware

Of these, the IASs and SICs are previously-developed standards and interpretations that have been adopted by the IASB and IFRS Interpretations Committee respectively.The IFRSs are developed and published by the IASB, the 15-member standard-setting body of the IFRS Foundation, while the IFRICs are provided by the IFRS Interpretations Committee.

Via the IASB, the IFRS Foundation also sets out the IFRS for small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) to better meet the needs of SMEs and relieve the burden imposed on them by the full IFRSs. At a 2012 panel discussion co-sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Sir David Tweedie said that the IFRS for SMEs “has been a howling success” and that 70 million businesses are using it globally, although other panelists expressed doubts about its ability to solve problems in certain areas.

Objectives of the IFRS Foundation: IFRS Taxonomy

The IFRS Foundation also develops and maintains the IFRS Taxonomy, which is the representation of the IFRSs in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), via its XBRL team. The team is supported by the XBRL Advisory Council and the XBRL Quality Review Team, which respectively provide strategic advice and reviews developed taxonomies. Additionally, in 2012 the foundation issued a call for industry participants in a project to develop “common industry practice concepts” for the taxonomy.

XBRL provides a “common, electronic format for business and financial reporting”,which will contribute to the global convergence of accounting standards towards IFRS;the director of XBRL activities at the IFRS Foundation, Olivier Servais, hopes that “everybody will be using it” in future.As of March 2012, the IFRS Taxonomies have “considerably fewer” tags than GAAP taxonomies, and the Security and Exchange Commission has not approved the IFRS Taxonomy for use in XBRL filings in the United States.

Objectives of the IFRS Foundation: Organisation and governance

The IFRS Foundation’s executive director is Yael Almog, who is also the Director of the Department of International Affairs of the Israel Securities Authority,and is funded in part by country-specific funding regimes involving stakeholder groups, or levies and other contributions through regulatory authorities.

The foundation is governed by a board of 22 trustees, including

  • Michel Prada (chairman), also co-Chairman of the Council on Global Financial Regulation.
  • Tsuguoki Fujinuma (vice-chairman), also Professor at Chuo University and Board member of the Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc.
  • Robert Glauber (vice-chairman), former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
  • Ronald Arculli, also chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, and the World Federation of Exchanges.

The trustees’ responsibilities include appointing members to and establishing the operating procedures of the IASB, interpretations committee and advisory council, and approving the foundation’s budget. They are accountable to a monitoring board of public authorities, and their effectiveness is assessed by the Trustees’ Due Process Oversight Committee.

Objectives of the IFRS Foundation: 

Governance of the IFRS Foundation

The governance of the IFRS Foundation shall primarily rest with the Trustees and such other governing organs as may be appointed by the Trustees in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. A Monitoring Board (described further in sections 18–23) shall provide a formal link between the Trustees and public authorities.

The Trustees shall use their best endeavours to ensure that the requirements of this Constitution are observed; however, they may make minor variations in the interest of feasibility of operation if such variations are agreed by 75 per cent of the Trustees.

Objectives of the IFRS Foundation:The Board

The International Accounting Standards Board (the Board) shall normally comprise 14 members. The members of the Board are appointed by the Trustees under section 15(a). Up to three members may be part-time members (the expression ‘part-time’ meaning that the members concerned commit most of their time to paid employment by the IFRS Foundation) and shall meet appropriate guidelines of independence established by the Trustees.

The remaining members shall be full-time members (the expression ‘full-time’ meaning that the members concerned commit all of their time to paid employment by the IFRS Foundation). The work of the Board shall not be invalidated by its failure at any time to have a full complement of members, although the Trustees shall use their best endeavours to achieve a full complement.

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