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IFRS Chart of Accounts

I would like to understand what is the base of sequence for IFRS Chart of Accounts on this WEB site. I have searched for 3 days for standards in IFRS and IAS and found no standard Chart of Accounts or even no sequence in which it should be presented. I am talking about Balance Sheet mainly.

The only text I have found is from

IAS 1 does not prescribe the format of the statement of financial position. Assets can be presented current then non-current, or vice versa, and liabilities and equity can be presented current then non-current then equity, or vice versa. A net asset presentation (assets minus liabilities) is allowed. The long-term financing approach used in UK and elsewhere – fixed assets + current assets - short term payables = long-term debt plus equity – is also acceptable.

I am now in Lithuania and should implement new COA for a big Resort as the current one is too small to have proper P&L for Hotel operations and implementation of USALI 11th Version management accounting. Possibly in last 15 years I have worked in companies using US based COA like Starwood in Saudi Arabia, Jumeirah in Azerbaijan, Marriott in Russia and Domina Group in Eqypt?
But I have also worked in A.P. Moller Maersk Shipyard in Estonia, following IFRS (You can say again that as is publicly listed company in USA).

In ALL of the aforementioned companies have followed the Chart of Accounts which for Balance Sheet is starting with most liquid items (CASH) and finishing with Fixed Assets and Intangible Assets. Liabilities & Equity side is starting with Current Liabilities and continuing towards non-current liabilities and accruals, finishing with Equity.

When I discovered this "IFRS" Chart of Accounts, I was intrigued as could not find a base from where this approach is coming and why do you call it IFRS chart of accounts?
I also found this approach in current COA used in Lithuania and suspected that this is due to some local, historical reasons. Would be very grateful to get some feedback about origin of this approach presenting NON-CURRENT assets/liabilities first and going towards Current assets/Liabilities

May-be I have missed something when I was studying IFRS?

Regards, Peeter Rumessen

You cannot find anything because the IASB does not define or even discuss an account structure.

The reason is that, at heart, IFRS is (as the name implies) not an accounting system (focusing on procedures) but a reporting system (concerned only with reporting and disclosure).

To your first question, the basis for the overall account structure is the IFRS XBRL as published by the IASB.

You can view it here:*v~775)!net~(a~9643*l~2240)!lang~(code~en)!rg~(rg~1*p~1)

You will need to register first.  Then this link will take you straight to the IFRS taxonomy in the viewer.

BTW, the current first reporting format is common under US GAAP. Since US GAAP is still the most influential international system (which grates on the IASB), most companies opt for a current first format, which I personally think is considerably better.

Nevertheless, the IASC lkely decided on a non-current first format, because it is similar to what most European national GAAP’s did (and probably just to be different from the Americans).

Anyway, IASB has never revisited this issue and so has stuck with this format (see IAS 1 B.IG6).

Historically I think the difference due mostly to US GAAP being designed primarily around the needs of investors while national GAAP's mostly serve governments (for taxation purposes). Since the IASC/IASB wanted/want the EU to start/keep using IAS/IFRS, they needed to make it least look a little like a national GAAP.

As to the charts here, they have been organized the same way as IFRS reports to minimize the differences between the account structure and the report structure.

However, since the IASB does not define a chart of accounts, you are free to organize your accounts in any way you see fit. 

You will, however, need to adjust the numbering.

As to Lithuania GAAP, I've never seen it but I assume it's similar to all the other EU national GAAPs, since they are all based on the EU's accounting directive.

In general, cash, receivables, inventory and accruals are current.

In contrast, PP&E and intangibles and most investments are non-current.

Similarly, payables and accruals are current while loans, bonds and leases are generally non-current.

However, the COA is not divided into current / non-current because some items can be both.

For example, cash can have a long-term restriction which will make it a non-current asset.

Investments are often current but just as often on-current.

While most receivables are current. non non-current receivables can also exist.

If you look at third COA (labeled Expanded) you will a current / non-current attribute (-1 current, -2 non-current).

Items that can only be current (i.e. Petty Cash) do not have a non-current attribute while accounts that are non-current i.e.  PP&E and intangible assets do not have a current attribute.

If you look at the release notes, they include an explanation of why "This COA does not make a current/non-current distinction."

Hope this helps.  

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