What is the difference between IFRS and ASPE?<br>How do I know which standard to use?

What is the difference between IFRS and ASPE?
How do I know which standard to use?

This posting includes discussion of Canada's new Accounting Standards for Private Enterprise ... and some differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS.

References are given on where to find more information including differences between Canadian GAAP and IFRS ... Webmaster September 9, 2010

Is there any information on IFRS?

image of fancy scroll lines


Thank you for question and topic suggestion.


With regards International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) ... and Accounting Standards for Private Enterprise (ASPE), I briefly discuss this topic in my articles on The Balance Sheet and Basic Accounting Concepts.

This bookkeeping site is targeted to (1) work from home small business owners who do their own books and (2) bookkeepers who are just starting their practices and working from home.

In Canada, IFRS will become the accounting standard, beginning January 2011, for publicly traded companies and companies looking for international trade/financing ... that means it is a bit outside the scope of this site.

It is complicated further in that Canada will also be adopting ASPE which is Accounting Standards for Private Enterprise at the same time. This will replace our current GAAP and has been tailored specifically to meet the needs of private companies which are being referred to as non-publicly accountable enterprise (NPAE).

In a Deloitte newsletter, dated April 13, 2010, it explains how to determine which standard
to use.

  • Use IFRS if you have an impending IPO, have a parent company or a significant investor that requires IFRS compliant information, and where specific business activities warrant conversion to IFRS.

  • Use ASPE if you have not issued public debt or equity instruments ... and are not planning to do so, and do not hold fiduciary assets.

I will see if I can write an article on the difference between these two standards. My worry is that I will be discussing something I have no experience in ... but I think there is more information out there now that we are closer to the implementation date.

But to assist you right now, I did a quick bit of research. I found AICPA has a website devoted solely to IFRS at www.ifrs.com . Towards the bottom of their page, there is a backgrounder report and a primer on IFRS which you may find useful.

I also found the PricewaterhouseCoopers website at http://www.pwc.com/ca/en/ifrs/index.jhtml had some good information. They actually have an interactive map where you can select the country you are interested in. I keyed in "Philippines" just for fun!

Sorry I couldn't be more help at this time ... but watch my blog / RSS Feed for something shortly ... and thank you very much for the excellent topic suggestion!

Have a fabulous week :0)

Comments for IFRS and ASPE

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 28, 2010
Accounting Standards for Private Enterprise
by: Lakeshore Bookkeeping Services

I have been researching information on the new Accounting Standards for Private Enterprise (ASPE) released in December 2009.

The CICA Handbook is being restructured into five parts that will make up Canadian GAAP. ... Part I will deal with IFRS ... Part II will deal with ASPE ... Part III will deal with Non-Profits. (See http://www.cica.ca/privateenterprises/restructured-handbook ... for more information.)

Here are three of my favorites references to obtain information:

CICA has a great resources page for ASPE including a January 2010 webinar Getting Familiar with new Canadian ASPE. Go to www.cica.ca/privateenterprises/resources.

In March 2010, BDO released the article Filling the GAAP: New Standards for Private Enterprise. Go to www.bdo.ca/library/publications/assuranceandaccounting/documents/

February 2010 article New Development Summary: GAAP for Private Enterprises by Grant Thorton. To locate the article, go to the bottom right hand corner of www.grantthornton.ca/sectors/segment/privately_held_business/PEGAAP . It opens/downloads as a pdf file.

A comprehensive reference on IFRS ... see KPMG's free publication titled IFRS compared to Canadian GAAP: An overview - Third Edition 2010 . Go to http://www.kpmg.com/Ca/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/pages/

Jul 24, 2010
by: Bookkeeping Essentials

I found a great paper that summarizes the differences between the two accounting standards.

Google "IFRS vs. US GAAP: A Sixty Minute Waltz in the Classroom" by the Riordans ... Professors of Accounting at James Madison University.

This 2007 paper makes suggestions for incorporating significant aspects of international standards in the accounting classroom ... as the U.S is moving towards adopting IFRS in 1014.

Updated on December 9, 2012 - Ernst & Young have a comprehensive article updated in March 2012 on US GAAP vs IFRS The basics. You can find it at http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/US_GAAP_v_IFRS:_The_Basics/$FILE/US GAAP v IFRS Dec 2011.pdf .

Sep 14, 2010
ASPE Transitional Elections - YOU need to act now
by: Bookkeeping Essentials

BDO, in their article titled Private Enterprises: Decisions to Make on the Road to New Standards explains that:

Your private enterprise is required to adopt either IFRS or ASPE for your year end beginning on or after January 1, 2011. If your year end is December 31, your date of transition will be January 1, 2010, which has already passed. You should talk to your BDO advisor now about which transitional elections you should use at the transition date.


These elections may make the transition to ASPE easier and more cost effective for your entity by exempting your entity from having to apply certain accounting requirements retroactively.

You can find the article at http://www.bdo.ca/library/publications/assuranceandaccounting/documents/aspe-pros-and-cons.pdf .

I would bring the article to your appointment with your accountant to see if any of the changes affect your business ... and if you should be doing anything NOW.

Sep 21, 2010
Canadian GAAP vs IFRS
by: Bookkeeping-Essentials

BDO has an excellent series of articles titled Canadian GAAP - IFRS Comparison series. There are 21 articles each dealing with a separate issue.

You can find the series at http://www.bdo.ca/library/publications/ifrs/IFRS-CanadianGAAP.cfm

Sep 26, 2010
ASPE What's Changed
by: Lakeshore Bookkeeping Services

The June/July 2010 issue of CA Magazine (www.camagazine.com) has an excellent article titled What's Changed?. The authors are Allan Foerster and Mark Walsh.

It discusses ASPE's 8 key differences from current Canadian GAAP. Topics covered are:

  1. Disclosures
  2. EIC Abstracts
  3. Financial Instruments
  4. Employee Future Benefits
  5. Intangible Assets
  6. Asset Retirement Obligations
  7. Stock Base Compensation
  8. Differential Options

The article explains that "ASPE must be adopted on a retrospective basis. Assume a private enterprise adopts ASPE for the calendar year 2011. Its 2011 financial statements will include comparative 2010 financial information as well as an opening balance sheet as at January 1, 2010, all prepared in accordance with ASPE. "

"Many private enterprises that currently prepare Canadian GAAP financial statements will have relatively few adjustments to make in order to comply with ASPE. "

Oct 03, 2010
CGA Resource Links to GAAP Changes
by: Bookkeeping Essentials

GAAP is changing in Canada. The CGA professional development website has some excellent up to date resource links you may want to check out ... mostly relating to IFRS at this time ... but that could change.

It is located at http://www.cga-pdnet.org/en-CA/pd/tk/fa/pcg/Pages/default.aspx .

As of this posting there are references to two Deloitte August 2010 newsletters with IFRS updates ... but I warn you, it is very technical reading.

Oct 19, 2010
Understanding Reports on Financial Statements
by: Bookkeeping-Essentials

The CICA has a free download that explains the three different communications on financial statements - compilation, review and audit. They suggest CA's use the guide to give clients a practical overview.

The guide has been updated to reflect the new standards (ASPE and IFRS) beginning January 1, 2011.

You can find it at www.cica.ca> services & products> client development brochure series >Understanding Reports on Financial Statements.

Oct 20, 2010
Your Guide to Understanding Financial Statements
by: Bookkeeping Essentials

The CGA Association of BC also has a reporting guide explaining the three types of standard reports or communications which are attached to financial statements.

There is no date on the publication so it may not be updated for the changes that come into effect on January 1, 2011 yet.

The guide is located at www.terryhawes.com> Services> see link midway down the page titled "Download CGA/BC's Understanding Financial Statements".

Oct 25, 2010
Difference Between IFRS and ASPE
by: Bookkeeping Essentials

Are you searching for a write-up of the differences between IFRS and ASPE?

The CICA Ontario has an IFRS Guide to assist students writing the Core Knowledge Exam (CKE).

One of the sections in the guide discusses the differences between IFRS and ASPE.

This guide is available only as part of a self-study set ... an ASPE Guide and Assurance Guide being the other part of the set.

You can purchase the set of self-study guides at www.icao.on.ca> Examination Preparation Programs> Self-Study Publications.

Jun 04, 2011
IFRS 1st Interim Report Deficiencies
by: Lake

The CICA website has an alert regarding deficiencies for the first intermim reports in the year of adoption

You can find the alert at:


There is a link for a free download of Chapter 20 - First-time Adoption of IFRS and a report from OSC giving 10 tips.

You will also find links to Model / Illustrative IFRS Financial Statement!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Ask a Bookkeeping Question.


Back to top