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Commentary: Has Australia (or Any Other Jurisdiction) ‘Adopted’ IFRS?


  • Stephen A. Zeff,

  • Christopher W. Nobes

Prof. C.W. Nobes, School of Management, Royal Holloway, Egham, TW20 0EX, UK. Tel: +44 1784 414120; email:


This paper replies to a statement made in this journal that ‘Australia definitely adopts IFRSs’. We analyse and compare the several methods that jurisdictions can use to implement International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). These include adopting the International Accounting Standards Board's (IASB) process of setting standards, as well as various forms of standard-by-standard implementation. We conclude that the Australian method of implementation is different in major ways from those used in such countries as Israel and South Africa, which involve adopting the IASB's process. By contrast, Australia follows a multi-step process of enrolling each new standard into a category still entitled ‘Australian Accounting Standards’. To refer to the Australian method as ‘adoption’ of IFRS might therefore mislead, even though Australian companies eventually comply with IFRS.