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How are IFRS applied in Guatemala?

How to apply IFRS in Guatemala?

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Guatemalan companies adopted the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to be able to enter the international market, based on the needs of trade development, globalization, and free trade agreements. This change implied replacing a different accounting basis and language with a more developed one with international terms and methodology, requiring analysis of each item included in the Financial Statements and the entity itself.

International Financial Reporting Standards

IFRS were adopted as generally accepted accounting principles in Guatemala. Therefore, if IFRS are not applied, companies would not present suitable and comparable information for the international market, resulting in lost opportunities to enter the foreign market. Likewise, if reliable financial information prepared with high-quality standards were not available, it would not be a useful tool for timely decision-making both for managers and directors of the companies and any other user of the Financial Statements.

In Guatemala, the IFRS implementation to prepare accounting records is mandatory from January 2009 onwards.

Regulatory Entity

The CCPAG (Colegio de Contadores Públicos y Auditores de Guatemala – College of Public Accountants and Auditors of Guatemala) is the governing body of the public accounting and auditing profession in Guatemala and is responsible for promoting ongoing research on accounting and auditing standards and techniques that should govern through the Committee on International Accounting and Auditing Standards regarding the adoption of International Accounting Standards – IAS/IFRS and their interpretations.

On December 20, 2007, the Central American Journal published the Resolution dated December 18, 2007, adopting the Conceptual Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements and International Financial Reporting Standards as the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, referred to in Article 368 of the Commercial Code.

On July 23, 2010, the Central American Journal published the Resolution dated July 7, 2010, adopting the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-Sized Entities – IFRS for SMEs as part of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in Guatemala referred to in the Commercial Code.

On March 4, 2013, The Central American Journal published the Resolution dated July 7, 2010, adopting the IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) code of ethics as a guide for moral action and maintaining the moral integrity of the Public Accountant and Auditor in the practice of the profession.

Structure of the Mexican standards

IFRS establish recognition, measurement, filing, and disclosure requirements for significant transactions and economic events in general purpose financial statements. They have been designed to be applied in general information financial statements and other financial information to meet the information needs of users for efficient economic decision-making.

The Complete IFRS include:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards – IFRS
  • IFRS Interpretations – IFRIC
  • International Accounting Standards – IAS as amended by IASC and Improved by IASB
  • IAS Interpretations – SIC

Publicly accountable entities must use the complete IFRS.

IFRS for SMEs

This body comprises the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-Sized Entities – IFRS for SMEs.

IFRS for SMEs are used by entities that:

  • Do not have public accountability and publish general information financial statements for external users:
    • Owners
    • Current or potential creditors
    • Credit rating agencies

A subsidiary whose parent uses complete IFRS may use IFRS for SMEs.

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