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Accounting assignment:Eternal convergence

小编导读:本文由留学生论文代写专家组提供,Accounting Assignment代写专栏编辑整理发布。全文以会计中财务报表等相关问题为主,进行了分析与解答,详见以下正文。本文可供会计专业留学生作为参考资料使用。

HOW is an investor to compare financial statements from companies in two different countries? That was the question asked a decade ago when the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) began drawing up a new set of International Financial Reporting Standards. At the same time, the IASB set out to harmonise its standards with America’s Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). It even seemed possible that if the two boards got close enough with harmonisation that America might adopt the international standards wholesale.
At a conference at Baruch College in New York on May 3rd, grandees from the FASB and the Securities and Exchange Commission (which would make the decision to adopt international standards) explained where the project has got to. A wholesale adoption of the international standards now seems off the table. Instead, the talk is of “endorsement”. The FASB, rather than going out of business or becoming America’s local branch of the IASB, would remain America’s standard-setter, and America’s generally accepted accounting principles (known as US GAAP) would not be replaced by international rules.
Instead, the SEC staff envisions that FASB would work with IASB on the drawing up of standards. When IASB came up with a new one, the FASB would issue the same standard itself, only adding modifications when American conditions required it. And only in the rare cases, where the two boards could not agree, would it issue a different standard.
The SEC staff expects and hopes that such disagreements should be "rare", and it is hard to disagree with the aspiration at least. Leslie Seidman, FASB's chairwoman, detailed some of the remaining disagreements between the boards at the conference. But this raises several awkward questions. If it is predetermined that differences would be rare, does it really make sense to keep the FASB and US GAAP? If differences are not rare—and worse, if they are not trivial—is the benefit of a single set of standards not lost?
Already, many countries that have "adopted" the IASB's standards have added local exceptions to the rules, threatening the project of a single, global set of standards. This headache has been on the mind of Hans Hoogevorst, who took over as chairman IASB last year. In speech after speech he has been reminding smaller countries to fully accept his organisation's rules. Jawboning smaller countries will get much harder if the world’s biggest capital market, America, pointedly insists on its own tailored version of the standards.
American critics of IASB make several points, many to do with fair-value or “mark-to-market” accounting of financial instruments. FASB once wanted all such instruments booked at their market value, whereas IASB favoured an approach that would book most such assets

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