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Learning international financial reporting standards (IFRS) might be accomplished by reading articles published on the topic, listening to webcasts or webinars, or attending seminars or workshops on the subject. Some accountants prefer to enroll in university or privately sponsored courses when learning IFRS. Online tools are available that provide an overview of IFRS and cover examples for preparing financial statements and reporting revenue.
Some online classes are free, and might include modules that walk accountants through the process of learning IFRS. Each module can be downloaded and applied to individual firms, with examples of specific situations that might apply to the international reporting methods. At the end of the course, a certificate can be printed to show completion of study.
Many countries adopted IFRS as the accepted method of reporting revenue, inventory, employee benefits, and liabilities. The United States has used a similar process, called generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). U.S. companies that conduct global business typically follow both sets of rules, prompting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to examine the optional use of IFRS and explore the idea of making these standards mandatory.
Learning IFRS and converting to this new accounting system could take up to five years for accountants working for large U.S. corporations. The two sets of standards differ in tax issues and the reporting of inventory, including real property, equipment, and intangible assets. Differences also exist for dealing with currency exchange rates and costs of borrowing money to operate. Special rules might exist for construction companies and agricultural businesses.
Because of increased interest in learning IFRS, hundreds of news articles cover various aspects of the reporting standards. These news articles might cover a certain type of business or general accounting principles. Many articles are written by experts in international financial reporting requirements.
Webcasts and webinars might be suitable options for learning IFRS without leaving the office. These online tools might offer a detailed analysis of the topic and tips to convert accounting practices to the international requirements. Some of these online tips are free while others charge a fee to access information. Webinars might be chosen because they permit an interactive learning experience though an opportunity to ask questions.
Workshops or seminars led by accounting professionals represent another way of learning IFRS. These courses might be presented in one day or last several weeks. A firm might send senior accounting employees to these workshops to learn the principles of IFRS so they can teach subordinate staff members in the company.
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