Although many countries have passed laws to require the use of ‘IFRS as issued by the IASB’ for certain types of financial reporting, that is not the typical approach to adoption of IFRS in major developed countries. This paper uses Australia and Pakistan as examples of minor and major adjustments to the content of IFRS. Then it uses Canada as an example of restricted scope of mandatory application of IFRS. This is compared to extensive voluntary adoption in Switzerland and increasing voluntary adoption in Japan. The paper asks what ‘adoption’ means in the context of Canada, Japan and Switzerland. Finally, the paper looks at how companies in many countries limit the potential value of international comparability by not affirming compliance with ‘IFRS as issued by the IASB’ even when they achieve it.