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The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are a group of regulations adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to provide a global set of principles for financial reporting. These standards have been adopted by many countries and are in the process of being adopted by others. Places as diverse as Russia, Turkey, the United States, and Argentina all use or are beginning to use them. To receive an IFRS qualification, an accounting professional needs to demonstrate a clear understanding of the standards and methods. Typically he or she can get IFRS certification in the home country, but not necessarily at an international level.
Learning all of the rules for an IFrS qualification may be easiest if those interested can attend classes and seminars in person. This provides an opportunity for students to interact with those already trained in this system, ask questions, and receive personal assistance as needed. There is a rotating schedule of workshops, seminars, and classes dealing with IFRS qualification provided by the IASB. Public and private schools in many countries also provide these courses. Interested students and accounting professionals should check their local professional accounting organizations for detailed information on IFRS qualification.
For those who cannot attend workshops and seminars in person, the International Financial Reporting Standards and the International Accounting Standards Board have a blended website that provides detailed information on the subject. Materials can be downloaded in many different languages, including English, Arabic, Russian, and Spanish. The materials explain the standards, provide examples, and give those interested in IFRS qualification additional professional resources. In many cases certification may be obtained through a professional organization once the information has been mastered.
Most countries are moving toward the adoption of IFRS qualification for all business accountants, but may not yet have a specific test or other means of proving ability in this area. The best way to be sure of being IFRS ready is to attend classes or seminars where possible, study the standards, and practice the principles. Students should take classes that have been updated to incorporate the IFRS standards so that they will have a clear understanding of the rules by the time they graduate.
Accountants who specialize in a certain area of accounting, such as small and medium entities (SMEs) should focus on learning the standards that are applicable to them. SMEs account for the majority of business accounts, and the IFRS document covering standards for SMEs is well over 200 pages long. It will be much easier for a person to learn the standards most often used rather than try to learn all of the new standards at once. More classes can be taken for additional certification as needed.
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