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Reporting Standards Terms and Resources

Accounting ~ Microfinance

Accounting Reporting Standards Terms and Resources

Standards: A technical standard is an established norm or requirement. It is usually a formal document

that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes and practices.

The following are select leading terms and resources on financial reporting standards world-wide.

IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) are interpretations adopted by the International
Accounting Standards Board (IASB). IFRS are considered "principles based" standards establishing broad
rules and dictating specific treatments. They began in 2001, out of the International Accounting
Standards (IAS) issued beginning in 1973 by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC).
 IAS Plus is a one-stop shop for IFRS information, managed by Deloitte. Available resources there
include: e-learning training materials, newsletter, updates, performance checklist, and model
financial statements, among others.
 IFRSs in your pocket, 2008: Deloitte’s booklet summarizing IFRS standards and their
interpretation. It describes latest developments in IFRS, new projects, and a list of the countries.

IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) is a privately funded, London-based organization

whose goal is to establish a single set of enforceable global financial reporting standards. IASB originated
in 1973 as the International Accounting Standards Committee.
 IASB Education Initiative Resources (free to download)
 Working relationships with local standard setters This Statement details understanding
between IASB and other accounting standard setters.

Basel II are the updated recommendations on banking laws and regulations issued by the Basel
Committee on Banking Supervision. They include risk and capital management guidelines for bank
capital reserves. The full definition is lay-person’s term is available at: A leading resource, Bank of International Settlements (BIS)
provides information on implementation for a wide variety of readers and guides for each pillar / tier
and the necessary requirements.

FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) is the United States’ independent accounting organization
determining standards for financial accounting and reporting. Resources to highlight include:
 Why Does FASB Have a Conceptual Framework? Article focusing on common questions
 FASB Codification Project Overview Documentation of FASB effort to simplify U.S. GAAP

XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is an open standard, which supports information
modeling and the expression of semantic meaning commonly required in business reporting. XBRL is a
standards-based way to communicate business and financial information. One use of XBRL is to define
and exchange financial information, such as a financial statement.
 XBRL Demos Interactive demonstrations of how this is applied in organizations.
 XBRL Case Studies These studies explain the background to each XBRL project, the reasons for
adopting XBRL, the main steps involved, key results, lessons learned and next steps.

Microfinance Reporting Standards Terms and Resources

One of the challenges in improving reporting standards is uniform definitions. Industry reference guides

Glossary and Definitions

CGAP Definitions of Selected Financial Terms, Ratios, and Adjustments for Microfinance This Consensus
Guideline puts forward standard definitions for selected financial terms, and standard method of
calculating leading financial ratios.

Translations are available in Inglés-Español and Anglais-Français,

The MIX Market Glossary of Terms

ACCION Glossary of Microfinance Related Terms

General Resources

CAMEL: U.S. banking analysis mechanism.

CAMEL (ACCION): ACCION developed diagnostic and management tool that measures the capital
adequacy, asset quality, management, earnings and liquidity of MFIs

CGAP Accounting Standards and Auditing Standards: Industry reference guide and tool for MFI audits
and donor treatment, as well.

FRAME Tool is a FREE reporting system developed by and for microfinance practitioners, in conjunction
with raters, network organizations, donors, and investors. The FRAME Tool is available for download
FREE of charge, in numerous languages.

GIRAFE Rating System developed by Planet Finance.

Microfinance Gateway page dedicated to Benchmarking/Auditing/Rating.

CGAP Technical Guide: External Audits of Microfinance Institutions Volumes I and II, 2003.
Microfinance Internal Audit Toolkit. New publication from the SEEP Network Financial Services Working
Group. This is a resource for MFIs to use in implementing the internal audit function in their institutions.
It is based on the best practices in the profession of internal auditing drawn from the Institute of
Internal Auditors.

The MIX (Microfinance Information eXchange) promotes information exchange via:

 MIX MARKET™, largest MFI global, web-based information platform with data on 1339 MFIs,
103 investors and 169 partners.
 MFI Benchmarks, 2007 is the most recent aggregated data from 890 MFIs worldwide in 94
 MicroBanking Bulletin (MBB) publication providing industry commentary, analysis and

PEARLS is a monitoring tool created by the World Council of Credit Unions, with a software package to
organize financial information and provide pertinent financial performance ratios.

Philippine Coalition for Microfinance Standards Information requirements for MFIs in the Philippines

Additional Microfinance Resources

The following are valuable resources for other reporting standards work in microfinance and beyond.

Social Performance Management Glossary Terms and definitions related to social performance,
microfinance, financial institutions, and institutional performance in general.

Social Rating and Social Performance Reporting in Microfinance: Towards a Common Framework
Framework for social rating and an indicative list of dimensions and indicators for social performance
reporting in microfinance.

Guiding Principles on Regulation and Supervision of Microfinance Principles for those engaged in moving
microfinance into the formal financial sector, including terminology and preliminary issues, outlines
areas of regulatory concern that do not call for “prudential” regulation, addresses prudential treatment
of microfinance and MFIs, looks at challenges surrounding supervision, and summarizes policy

CGAP Transparency Awards: Annual awards to microfinance institutions that have demonstrated
commitment to transparency in financial reporting. See also the CGAP list of resources for transparency
for microfinance.

Have an additional resource to add to this list? Send it along. Email here.