We investigate the content, timing and relevance of firms' narrative disclosure about the effects of IFRS adoption in annual statutory financial statements and firm announcements to the stock exchange for 150 large listed Australian firms in the three-year period surrounding adoption (which occurred from 1 January 2005). We observe communication about changes in financial reports, even when the change relates to accounting rather than economic events. We record more disclosure by firms experiencing an adverse change in earnings, consistent with them being sensitive to signals about future earnings. When economic performance is stronger, firms provide less discussion of the accounting effects of IFRS. We also find the discussion of IFRS impact in both disclosure channels is value-relevant for firms with relatively higher levels of disclosure, providing evidence of the usefulness of transition disclosures. © The Author(s) 2013.