n Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - IFRS for SMEs in South Africa : a giant leap for accounting, but too big for smaller entities in general

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1022-2529



According to generally accepted accounting practice, the objective of financial statements is to provide useful information to the primary user groups of such statements, regardless of the size of the entity. The primary users of the financial statements of SMEs are the owners, South African Revenue Services (SARS) and bankers.

The recognition, measurement and disclosure requirements of full IFRSs do not result in cost-effective and useful information being provided to the users of the financial statements of SMEs (non-listed companies, close corporations and other small entities, irrespective of their legal form), because these users do not need the extensive and complex information provided in general purpose financial statements. Consequently, an accounting standard is required to differentiate between general and limited purpose financial statements.
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued an exposure draft (ED 222) on in February 2007. These stipulated modifications relating mainly to relaxed disclosure requirements and are more applicable to medium-sized entities. According to a survey among preparers of financial statements in June 2007, these developments may not be adequate for the purposes of smaller entities, irrespective of their legal form. Accordingly, the study recommends that a formal, separate set of simplified differential reporting standards be developed for smaller entities.

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