Similarities and differences: A comparison of current UK GAAP, new UK GAAP (FRS 102) and IFRS

December 2015

[Note: Copies of the 2013 edition of this publication are available from IFRS publications online]

This publication provides a high level overview of the significant differences between current UK GAAP, new UK GAAP (FRS 102) and EU-adopted IFRS. It focuses on a selection of those differences most commonly found in practice.

When applying the individual accounting frameworks, companies should consult all of the relevant accounting standards and, where applicable, national law. This summary takes into account authoritative pronouncements issued under UK GAAP to July 2015 and amendments to EU adopted IFRS that are effective for years ending 31 December 2015. The requirements specific to banking companies, insurance companies and limited liability partnerships are outside the scope of this publication.

This publication does not cover in detail the requirements in FRS 102 applicable to small entities (that have replaced the ‘Financial reporting standard for smaller entities (FRSSE)) or the requirements in FRS 105, ‘The financial reporting standard applicable to the micro-entities regime’.

This publication also includes details of the amendments to new UK GAAP issued by the FRC in July 2015, to ensure compliance with the new Companies, Partnerships, and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/980). The most significant changes impact smaller companies, but there are other changes that might be relevant to any entity reporting under new UK GAAP. Most of these amendments are effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016, with early adoption permitted provided that changes to company law are implemented at the same time.

The executive summary aims to demonstrate how converting to new UK GAAP or IFRS has implications far beyond an entity’s financial reporting function; to highlight some of the key differences between current UK GAAP, new UK GAAP and IFRS; and to encourage early consideration of the most appropriate framework to adopt going forward for your entity. The second section provides a summary of the similarities and differences between the three frameworks and refers to subsequent sections where key divergences are highlighted.