IFRS is the acronym for International Financial Reporting Standards. IFRS is used throughout the world except in the United States where U.S. GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) is followed.
There is an urgency for the U.S. to adopt the IFRS because of the growth in global financial markets, global commerce, acquisition of U.S. companies by corporations outside of the U.S., multinational corporations having subsidiaries both inside and outside of the U.S., and so on. Since financial statements report two or three years of amounts, the amounts from earlier years will need to follow IFRS in order to be comparative.
Efforts are also under way for a simplified version of IFRS that would apply for small and medium sized privately held corporations.