Differences Between IFRS and GAAP

I just took a mock and was really surprised at how many questions there were just purely on knowing the differences between how certain accounting procedures are handled under each one. Similarities vs. Differences …

At this point I really don’t want to spend a lot of time going through the entire FRA section and mapping out the similarities and differences between the two but I guess I have to.

Does anyone know of a good free resource on the web that has this information?

First search in Google led to this PWC brochure. I also have one from Deloitte.


Thanks man. Only problem is that it’s reaaally long.

Try to concentrate only on those cases stated in Curriciculum (complete contract method, long term asset revaluation, impairments, LIFO etc.), there is no more than 10 differences mentioned there as I know. I am quite sure that CFA will not ask you to know material out of curriculum. I f you need so for your work or other purpose, such brochosures are useful. Be aware that material changes and needs to be updated ocassionaly.

For each of the subsections of FRA, there are differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP:

  • Accounting Shenanigans on the Cash Flow Statement.
  • Financial Analysis Techniques.
  • Financial Reporting Mechanics.
  • Financial Statement Analysis - Applications.
  • Inventories.
  • Long Lived Assets.
  • Non-Current (Long-term) Liabilities.
  • Understanding the Balance Sheet.
  • Understanding the Cash Flow Statement.
  • Understanding the Income Statement.

For example,

  • Long lived assets: difference between IFRS and U.S. GAAP in impairment.

  • Understanding the Cash Flow Statement: difference in classification, whether a cash flow is and operating, financing or investing cash flow.

  • Inventories: Difference in accounting for LIFO FIFO.

I would suggest going to each of the subsections and try to make as many questions until you understand the differences. The above breakdown of FRA, with free example questions are from:


Good luck


classified as operating, investing, or financing

There is no difference in FIFO accounting between standards. LIFO is not permitted under IFRS.

There is no difference in CF classification. There are differences between paid and received interests and dividends treatment also with corporate income tax payments related to project accounting in CF statement treatment.

Long lived assets, beside impairment technique differences, revaluation is not permitted under USGAAP. There are also differences in recognizing long lived asset as an investment property in IFRS while USGAAP does not recognize this category (ex.holding offices for rent).