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Guide to IFRS for audit committees: An overview Guide to IFRS for audit committees: An overview

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on almost every aspect of our lives will be felt for a long time. Although its impacts on individuals and companies will vary greatly, there is one common theme – no company is untouched.

In such unprecedented times, communicating effectively has never been more important for companies – telling their own story in their financial reports, explaining the judgements made and the estimates used in making them.

Even before the pandemic, effective communication was a defining theme of the International Accounting Standards Board. Its work plan for this year has featured preparations for a new standard on primary financial statements, its ongoing disclosure initiative and a new project to resolve the concerns about accounting for goodwill and impairment in mergers and acquisitions. The IFRS Foundation’s mission – to develop standards that bring transparency, accountability and efficiency to financial markets around the world – has taken on a new urgency as a result of this global challenge.

Insights into IFRS will help you apply IFRS Standards in your specific circumstances. It will help you to ensure that your financial reporting provides the information that users need, applying the standards and providing clear, meaningful and specific disclosures.

The pandemic has focused the attention of investors, regulators and other stakeholders on whether and how companies will emerge from this crisis: Insights will help you to tell your story.

This companion guide aims to help audit committee members and others by providing a structured guide to the key issues arising from the Standards. This edition is designed for companies with a year end of 31 December 2020. It is based on IFRS Standards in issue at 1 August 2020, and includes standards and interpretations that are effective at that date1 (‘currently effective requirements’) and significant amendments that are effective in later periods (‘forthcoming requirements’). Appendix I lists new standards or amendments for 2020 and forthcoming requirements, other than minor amendments.


IFRS Standards

  • IFRS Standards (the Standards) are a set of globally accepted standards for financial reporting applied primarily by listed entities in over 160 countries.
  • Individual standards and interpretations are developed and maintained by the International Accounting Standards Board and the IFRS Interpretations Committee.
  • The Standards are designed for use by profit-oriented entities.


Compliance with IFRS Standards

  • Any entity claiming compliance with the Standards complies with all standards and interpretations, including disclosure requirements, and makes an explicit and unreserved statement of compliance with the Standards.
  • The overriding requirement of the Standards is for the financial statements to give a fair presentation (or a true and fair view).


Conceptual Framework

  • The Conceptual Framework is a point of reference:
    • for the International Accounting Standards Board and the IFRS Interpretations Committee in developing and maintaining standards and interpretations; and
    • for preparers of financial statements in the absence of specific guidance in IFRS Standards.
  • The Conceptual Framework does not override any specific standard.


Read the full publication, below.

About BLC

The Board Leadership Center offers non-executive and executive board members and those working closely with them (including CROs and Heads of Internal Audit) a place within a community of board-level peers and access to topical seminars and ‘lunch and learn’ Board Academy sessions, invaluable resources and thought leadership, and lively and engaging networking opportunities.

[1] IAS 26 Accounting and Reporting by Retirement Benefit Plans and the IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities are excluded.

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