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The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) today completed its work to improve the usefulness of information presented and disclosed in financial statements. The new Standard, IFRS 18 Presentation and Disclosure in Financial Statements, will give investors more transparent and comparable information about companies’ financial performance, thereby enabling better investment decisions. It will affect all companies using IFRS Accounting Standards.

IFRS 18 introduces three sets of new requirements to improve companies’ reporting of financial performance and give investors a better basis for analysing and comparing companies:

Improved comparability in the statement of profit or loss (income statement)

Currently there is no specified structure for the income statement. Companies choose their own subtotals to include. Often companies report an operating profit but the way operating profit is calculated varies from company to company, reducing comparability.1

IFRS 18 introduces three defined categories for income and expenses—operating, investing and financing—to improve the structure of the income statement, and requires all companies to provide new defined subtotals, including operating profit. The improved structure and new subtotals will give investors a consistent starting point for analysing companies’ performance and make it easier to compare companies.

Enhanced transparency of management-defined performance measures

Many companies provide company-specific measures, often referred to as alternative performance measures. Investors find this information useful. However, most companies don’t currently provide enough information to enable investors to understand how these measures are calculated and how they relate to the required measures in the income statement.

IFRS 18 therefore requires companies to disclose explanations of those company-specific measures that are related to the income statement, referred to as management-defined performance measures. The new requirements will improve the discipline and transparency of management-defined performance measures, and make them subject to audit.

More useful grouping of information in the financial statements

Investor analysis of companies’ performance is hampered if the information provided by companies is too summarised or too detailed. IFRS 18 sets out enhanced guidance on how to organise information and whether to provide it in the primary financial statements2 or in the notes. The changes are expected to provide more detailed and useful information. IFRS 18 also requires companies to provide more transparency about operating expenses, helping investors to find and understand the information they need.

Andreas Barckow, IASB Chair, said:

IFRS 18 represents the most significant change to companies’ presentation of financial performance since IFRS Accounting Standards were introduced more than 20 years ago. It will give investors better information about companies’ financial performance and consistent anchor points for their analysis.

IFRS 18 is effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2027, but companies can apply it earlier. Changes in companies’ reporting resulting from IFRS 18 will depend on their current reporting practices and IT systems.

IFRS 18 replaces IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements. It carries forward many requirements from IAS 1 unchanged. IFRS 18 is the culmination of the IASB’s Primary Financial Statements project. 

Access the Standard

IFRS 18, the Illustrative Examples and the Basis for Conclusions are available to IFRS Digital subscribers. You can purchase an IFRS Digital Subscription or a PDF version of the Standard from our web shop.

Access the supporting materials

Support to implement IFRS 18 will be available via the IFRS 18 implementation webpage.

The following documents, along with IFRS 18, are available from the completed project page:

Watch Andreas Barckow explain the new requirements to improve companies’ financial performance reporting.

1 An IASB study of 100 companies showed that over 60 reported a figure for operating profit, using at least nine different ways to calculate it.

2 The primary financial statements consist of the statement of profit or loss (income statement); statement presenting comprehensive income; statement of financial position (balance sheet); statement of changes in equity; and statement of cash flows.

Followable tags

IFRS Accounting Standards development
IFRS Accounting Standards, Amendments and Interpretations
IFRS 18 Presentation and Disclosure in Financial Statements
IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements
IAS 7 Statement of Cash Flows
National standard-setter