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Background information

About Australian Accounting Standards

The Australian Accounting Standards Board (the Board) is responsible for developing and issuing Accounting Standards applicable to Australian entities and the “care and maintenance” of the body of Standards. The Board's functions and powers are set out in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001.

Standards Applying from 2005

In 2002 the Financial Reporting Council provided a strategic direction to the Board to work towards adopting Standards that are the same as those issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), for application under the Corporations Act 2001 for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2005.

In July 2004, the Board issued the initial Australian equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) that applied from 2005. The Australian equivalents to IFRSs comprise:

(a) AASB Accounting Standards that are equivalent to IASB Standards, being AASBs 1 – 99 corresponding to the IFRS series and AASBs 101 – 199 corresponding to the IAS series; and
(b) Interpretations issued by the AASB corresponding to the Interpretations adopted by the IASB, as listed in AASB 1048 Interpretation and Application of Standards.

For periods beginning on or after 1 January 2005, these Australian equivalents to IFRSs supersede their pre-2005 Australian counterparts, if any.

Furthermore, some of the existing domestic AASB and AAS Accounting Standards were retained where there was no IASB equivalent, such as ancillary Standards like AASB 1031 and AASB 1039, industry Standards like AASB 1023 and AASB 1038, and public sector Standards such as AAS 27, AAS 29 and AAS 31. These pre-2005 AASB and AAS Standards remained in force beyond 1 January 2005, but all have now been revised or superseded.

Pre-2005 Standards

Until December 1999, the former Australian Accounting Standards Board and the former Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB) developed AASB Standards that applied to entities regulated under the Corporations Law and AAS Standards that applied to all other types of entities.

AASB Standards issued from 2000 onwards applied to all types of entities, and the AAS series has nearly been fully phased out, with only AAS 25 (superannuation plans) not yet superseded as at July 2008.

Required Application of Standards

Many entities regulated under the Corporations Act 2001 are required to apply Accounting Standards in preparing their financial reports. Many public sector entities are required to apply Accounting Standards by Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation, through specific ministerial instructions to preparers or reporting frameworks set out in guidelines or regulations.

Members of CPA Australia, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and the National Institute of Accountants have a professional obligation to take all reasonable steps within their power to ensure that entities with which they are involved comply with Accounting Standards in preparing their general purpose financial reports.

Obtaining Copies of Standards

Printed copies of AASB and AAS Standards can be purchased through the AASB's Publications Service. These can also be downloaded free of charge from this website. However, printed copies of compiled versions of Standards are not available for purchase from the AASB. They can be downloaded from and printed from the website without charge.

© Australian Accounting Standards Board, 2008

Please observe the Copyright statement in each document. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining the copyright notice) for your personal, non-commercial use. All other rights are reserved. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to:

The Director of Finance and Administration
Australian Accounting Standards Board
PO Box 204
Collins St West
VIC 8007

Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI)

Original and compiled AASB Standards applicable after 1 January 2005 are registered on the FRLI database and able to be downloaded from there also (