What's the Difference?

The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are both important bodies that set accounting standards. However, there are some key differences between the two. AASB is responsible for developing and maintaining accounting standards in Australia, while IFRS is a globally recognized set of accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). AASB standards are primarily used by Australian entities, while IFRS is used by companies in over 140 countries. Additionally, AASB standards are based on IFRS, but they may have some modifications to suit the Australian regulatory environment. Overall, while both AASB and IFRS aim to provide consistent and transparent financial reporting, their scope and application differ due to their respective jurisdictions.


Standard-setting bodyAustralian Accounting Standards BoardInternational Financial Reporting Standards Foundation
AdoptionAdopted by Australian entitiesAdopted by many countries globally
ScopePrimarily applicable to Australian entitiesApplicable to entities globally
Legal frameworkBased on Australian Corporations Act 2001No specific legal framework, but widely accepted
Financial statement presentationSimilar to IFRS, but with some differencesProvides guidance on financial statement presentation
Revenue recognitionFollows IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with CustomersFollows IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers
LeasesFollows IFRS 16 LeasesFollows IFRS 16 Leases
Financial instrumentsFollows IFRS 9 Financial InstrumentsFollows IFRS 9 Financial Instruments
ConsolidationFollows IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial StatementsFollows IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements
Disclosure requirementsIncludes specific Australian disclosure requirementsIncludes general disclosure requirements

Further Detail


Accounting standards play a crucial role in ensuring consistency and transparency in financial reporting. Two widely recognized sets of accounting standards are the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). While both aim to provide high-quality financial information, they have distinct attributes that set them apart. In this article, we will explore and compare the key attributes of AASB and IFRS.

Scope and Applicability

AASB is the accounting standard-setting body in Australia, responsible for developing and issuing accounting standards applicable to entities in the country. It primarily focuses on the needs of Australian entities and considers local legal and regulatory requirements. On the other hand, IFRS is a globally recognized set of accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). IFRS is applicable in over 140 countries, including Australia, and aims to provide a common financial reporting language for global entities.

While AASB standards are mandatory for Australian entities, IFRS is mandatory for certain entities in Australia, such as those listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and entities that choose to adopt IFRS voluntarily. This difference in scope and applicability reflects the national focus of AASB and the global reach of IFRS.

Standard Development Process

The process of developing accounting standards differs between AASB and IFRS. AASB follows a more consultative approach, involving extensive stakeholder engagement, including public consultations and discussions with various industry representatives. This process ensures that the standards reflect the specific needs and characteristics of the Australian business environment.

On the other hand, IFRS development involves a more globally collaborative approach. The IASB considers input from various stakeholders worldwide, including national standard-setters, regulators, and accounting professionals. This approach aims to achieve a globally accepted set of standards that can be applied consistently across different jurisdictions.

Conceptual Framework

Both AASB and IFRS have a conceptual framework that provides a foundation for developing accounting standards. The AASB conceptual framework is based on the International Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting issued by the IASB. However, AASB has made some modifications to align it with the Australian legal and regulatory framework.

The IFRS conceptual framework, developed by the IASB, provides a comprehensive set of concepts and principles that guide the preparation and presentation of financial statements. It aims to ensure consistency, comparability, and relevance of financial information across different jurisdictions.

Recognition and Measurement

Both AASB and IFRS provide guidance on the recognition and measurement of assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. However, there are some differences in specific requirements and approaches.

For example, AASB 138 deals with the recognition and measurement of intangible assets, while IFRS 3 provides guidance on business combinations. AASB 9 addresses the classification and measurement of financial instruments, while IFRS 9 provides a similar framework with some differences in specific requirements.

These differences reflect the unique characteristics and needs of the Australian business environment and the global nature of IFRS.

Disclosure Requirements

Both AASB and IFRS emphasize the importance of providing relevant and reliable information to users of financial statements. They provide guidance on the disclosure requirements for various transactions and events.

However, there are some differences in the level of detail and specific requirements. AASB standards often include more prescriptive disclosure requirements, reflecting the need for more detailed information in the Australian context. On the other hand, IFRS provides a principles-based approach, allowing entities more flexibility in determining the appropriate level of disclosure.

These differences in disclosure requirements reflect the different needs and expectations of users of financial statements in Australia and globally.


In conclusion, AASB and IFRS are two important sets of accounting standards that aim to provide high-quality financial information. While AASB focuses on the needs of Australian entities and considers local legal and regulatory requirements, IFRS has a global reach and aims to provide a common financial reporting language. The development processes, conceptual frameworks, recognition and measurement guidance, and disclosure requirements of AASB and IFRS have their own unique attributes. Understanding these differences is crucial for entities operating in Australia and globally to ensure compliance and provide relevant and reliable financial information to their stakeholders.

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