Global Standards for the world economy

Monday 01 March 2021

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About the IFRS for SMEs

The IFRS for SMEs is a self-contained Standard (less than 250 pages), designed to meet the needs and capabilities of small and medium-sized entities (SMEs), which are estimated to account for over 95 per cent of all companies around the world.

Compared with full IFRS (and many national GAAPs), the IFRS for SMEs is less complex in a number of ways:

  • Topics not relevant for SMEs are omitted; for example earnings per share, interim financial reporting and segment reporting.
  • Many principles for recognising and measuring assets, liabilities, income and expenses in full IFRS are simplified. For example, amortise goodwill; recognise all borrowing and development costs as expenses; cost model for associates and jointly-controlled entities; and undue cost or effort exemptions for specific requirements.
  • Significantly fewer disclosures are required (roughly a 90 per cent reduction).
  • The Standard has been written in clear, easily translatable language.
  • To further reduce the burden for SMEs, revisions are expected to be limited to once every three years.

The Standard is available for any jurisdiction to adopt, whether or not it has adopted full IFRS. Each jurisdiction must determine which entities should use the Standard. The IASB's only restriction is that entities that have public accountability should not use it.

For a comprehensive history of development of the IFRS for SMEs 2003—2009, please click here.

Initial comprehensive review

In May 2015, the IASB completed a comprehensive review of the IFRS for SMEs and made limited amendments to the Standard. The amendments can be found here.  A complete revised version of the IFRS for SMEs was issued in December 2015. Click the banner on the right hand side to purchase the updated review. The Standard is also available for free download here.

More information about the comprehensive review project is available here

Implementation support:

To assist in implementation, the IFRS Foundation and the IASB have taken a number of steps:

  • IFRS for SMEs free to download–the Standard is free to download for private, non-commercial use. The 2009 Standard is available in more than 25 languages. Translations of the 2015 Standard will be available in due course.
  • Implementation guidance–the IFRS for SMEs is accompanied by implementation guidance consisting of illustrative financial statements and a table of presentation and disclosure requirements.
  • SME Implementation Group–the SMEIG was established in 2010 to support the international adoption of the IFRS for SMEs and monitor its implementation, develop non-mandatory implementation guidance in the form of Q&As and make recommendations to the IASB on the need to amend the IFRS for SMEs. Learn more about the SMEIG.
  • Procedure for submitting implementation issues–small companies and other interested parties can submit implementation issues on the IFRS for SMEs for consideration by the staff. Learn more about this procedure.
  • Training material–the IFRS Foundation has developed comprehensive free to download training material to support the implementation of the 2009 IFRS for SMEs available in Arabic, English, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. We are currently updating the training modules to reflect the amendments made to the IFRS for SMEs Standard in 2015, from the Board’s initial comprehensive review of the Standard. These amendments become effective on 1 January 2017 with early application permitted. Much of the content of the modules will remain unchanged because the 2015 amendments only made limited amendments to the IFRS for SMEs Standard. Access the IFRS for SMEs training materials.
  • IFRS Taxonomy–the IFRS Taxonomy is the XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) representation of IFRS Standards, including the IFRS for SMEs.
  • Workshops–the IFRS Foundation holds regional 'train the trainers' workshops, in co-operation with regional professional associations and the world's development agencies, to build capacity for the implementation of the IFRS for SMEs, particularly in developing and emerging economies. Learn more about the workshops.
  • Newsletter–we publish a free monthly newsletter, IFRS for SMEs Update, with the latest news about the IFRS for SMEs, including the work of the IASB and the SMEIG, adoptions, translations and other resources. Access the IFRS for SMEs Updates.
  • Presentations–some presentations about the IFRS for SMEs available for free download. Access the IFRS for SMEs presentations.
  • Guidance for micro-sized entitiesclick here for more information.
IFRS for SMEs 2015 Now Available

Related information


Contact us

Darrel Scott 
Board Member, Chairman of the SME Implementation Group 


Michelle Fisher
Senior Technical Manager, IFRS for SMEs


For commercial use, licensing and translation enquiries:

The Licensing Team