All EU companies, listed on a regulated market, will have to prepare consolidated accounts in accordance with International Accounting Standards (IAS) and their successors, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), for accounting periods starting on or after 1st January 2005 at the latest. Companies should be preparing for transition now. Most companies will use comparative figures from 2004 when preparing 2005 accounts. Companies need to understand the impact of the new standards on their businesses and ensure that systems are put in place to capture the required data.
IFRS are the successors to IAS. Any new standard released by the International Accounting Standards Boards (IASB) will be released as an IFRS. Any revisions to existing IAS will still be referred to as IAS. Both acronyms (IAS and IFRS) will run in parallel until all IAS are superseded by IFRS.