International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)


Financial statements / reports form the backbone of Financial Analysis. Imagine a world where every firm had a different reporting format. It would be a nightmare to compare, reconcile and analyze companies, even in the same sector. This is why we have uniform standards for reporting. The International Financial Reporting Standards is one such global reporting standard adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). It stipulates how financial statements should be presented, what should be disclosed, what elements need to be part of which statement, treatment of interest payments, leases, taxation, depreciation etc.

The ACCA, UK runs a Diploma in International Financial Reporting (DipIFR) program that aims to equip the takers with knowledge on IFRS. It is a relatively quick and painless program that can be completed within 3-6 months. Although there are several courses out there on IFRS, the DipIFR is very credible, well laid out and backed by a reputed global body like the ACCA. This would be definitely better than picking up a random local course with no value addition.

Why should one do a DipIFR?

  • To keep in times with the Shifting Standards: All listed firms in Europe mandatorily follow IFRS while reporting their financials. Now, IFRS is being adopted by several other countries as well, including India. Consequently, it makes a lot of sense for any finance professional / student of finance to keep abreast of this standard.
  • To aid day-to-day work: If you are involved in Corporate Finance function or are a financial analyst, then IFRS knowledge will benefit you tremendously and help you stand out amongst your peers who may not be familiar with this standard.
  • For ACCA credits: Additionally, if you are already an ACCA member, doing the DipIFR will count as continuing education that is required as part of the ACCA membership.

Eligibility :

In order to be eligible to apply for the DipIFR program you need to have to be one of the following:

•  A professionally qualified auditor / accountant (CA)
•  Commerce graduate with at least 2 years of relevant work experience (Finance and Accounts)
•  Non-commerce graduate with at least 3 years of relevant work experience (Finance and Accounts)
•  Have cleared ACCA’s certificate course in IFR along with 2 years of work experience

Skills required :

The program is straightforward for somebody who is familiar with accounting. If you are comfortable with accounting, then the IFRS is more or less a list of DOs and DON’Ts that you have to literally commit to memory. Therefore, the 2 key skills you need are:
1.  Knowledge of Accounting / Financial Reporting
2.  Great memory

Details of the program :

 The DipIFR can be registered for anytime on the ACCA website and once registered, one can aim to complete it online and earn the Diploma within 3-6 months.
•  You only need to appear for 1 exam, which is 3 hours in duration
 The exam is held twice a year – June and December
 In order to appear for a particular session of the exam, you must ensure that the registration formalities are done 20 days before the exam (in case of postal application) or 10 days (in case of online application)
 The ACCA has around 400 exam centers across the globe, including several within India that conduct the exam
 Passing marks are 50%
 Past exam papers are available for reference
    o  Since the syllabus changes a lot, these should be referred to with caution

Fees (Refer website for the latest fees):

  • Registration fees: GBP 211 (GBP 299 if late).
  • The same amount needs to be paid again to retake the exam.

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