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International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC)

About the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC)

Formation of the International Accounting Standards Committee

The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) was formed in 1973 through an agreement made by professional accountancy bodies from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the United States of America. Additional sponsoring members were added in subsequent years, and in 1982 the sponsoring "members" of the IASC comprised all of the professional accountancy bodies that were members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

From its formation in 1973 until a comprehensive reorganisation in 2000, the structure for setting International Accounting Standards was known as the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC).

The International Accounting Standards Committee was essentially the structure, rather than a committee in the traditional sense of a group of people. There was no actual "committee" of that name.

Elements of the old IASC structure

Major components of the old IASC structure were:

  • IASC Board – described below
  • Consultative Group – an advisory body representing a wide range of international organisations with an interest in accounting
  • Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC) – developed and invited public comment on interpretations of IASC Standards, subject to final approval by the IASC Board
  • Advisory Council – oversight body (despite its name, the Advisory Council functioned more like the Board of Trustees of the current IFRS Foundation)
  • Steering Committees – expert task forces for individual agenda projects.

 

About the IASC Board

The standard-setting board of the IASC was known as the IASC Board. The IASC Board had 13 country members and up to 3 additional organisational members who operated on a part-time, volunteer basis. Each member was generally represented by two "representatives" and one "technical advisor". The individuals came from a wide range of backgrounds – accounting practice, business (particularly multinational businesses), financial analysis, accounting education, and national accounting standard-setting. The Board also had a number of observer members (including representatives of IOSCO, FASB, and the European Commission) who participated in the debate but did not vote.

The IASC Board promulgated a substantial body of Standards, Interpretations, a Conceptual Framework, and other guidance that was adopted directly by many companies and that was looked to by many national accounting standard-setters in developing national accounting standards.

Moving to the new structure

After nearly 25 years of achievement, IASC concluded in 1997 that to continue to perform its role effectively, it must find a way to bring about convergence between national accounting standards and practices and high-quality global accounting standards. To do that, IASC saw a need to change its structure. In late 1997 IASC formed a Strategy Working Party to re-examine its structure and strategy. (Jacques Manardo, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Global Managing Partner-Strategic Clients, was a member of that group.)

The Strategy Working Party published its Report, in the form of a Discussion Paper, in December 1998. After soliciting comments, the Working Party published its Final Recommendations in November 1999.

The IASC Board approved the proposals unanimously in December 1999, and the IASC member bodies did the same in May 2000. A new IASB Constitution took effect from 1 July 2000. The standards-setting body was renamed the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). It would operate under a new International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation (IASCF, now the IFRS Foundation).

Accordingly, from 1 April 2001, the standards-setting work of the IFRS Foundation was then conducted by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The IFRS Interpretations Committee develops and solicits comment on interpretive guidance for applying Standards promulgated by the IASB, but the IASB must approve the Interpretations developed by IFRIC.

IASC Board message to the incoming IASB

At its December 2000 meeting, the IASC Board approved a statement to be transmitted to the new International Accounting Standards Board. The Statement comments on current work in progress and expresses some of Board's current thinking based on its work on these items and other discussions. The Board expressed a hope that its successor would continue work on the projects on:

  • business combinations
  • present value
  • reporting financial performance
  • insurance
  • extractive industries
  • financial instruments.

In addition, the Statement suggested the following new projects:

  • a project on convergence of national and international standards
  • a new 'improvements project' to deal with relatively minor matters in the existing IASC Standards
  • share-based payments
  • intangible assets
  • narrative reporting outside the notes
  • update the Framework and Preface to IAS
  • special version of IAS for small enterprises
  • review of IAS provisions relating to inflation accounting.

    Click for full text of the IASC Board Statement.

    Other historical information about the IASC

    The historical information about the IASC below is based on tables prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J. Kirsch, 465 pages, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH, ISBN: 978-1-84140-608-4. Product code: UP/KIRSCH-BI7001, order by email: customerservice@cch.co.uk. We are grateful to the author and publisher for permission to post this information.

    IASC and IASB voting requirements

    Dates

    Number of board members

    Number of votes needed to approve an IAS

    June 1973 - June 1978

    9

    7

    July 1978 - December 1982

    11

    9

    January 1983 - December 1983

    12

    9

    January 1984 - December 1985

    13

    10

    January 1986 - June 1995

    14

    11

    July 1995 - December 1995

    15

    12

    January 1996 - March 2001

    16

    12

    April 2001 - June 2005

    14

    8

    July 2005 —

    14

    9

    Based on a table prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J Kirsch, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH.

    Dates and Locations of Meetings of the IASC Full Committee (1973 - 1977) and Board (1977 - 2000)

    Year

    Meeting dates

    Location

    1973:

    29 June

    London

    15 - 16 November

    London

    1974:

    14 - 15 January

    Paris

    8 - 9 April

    London

    15 - 17 July

    London

    5 - 6 November

    London

    1975:

    15 - 16 January

    London

    9 - 11 April

    Montreal

    9 - 10 July

    London

    8 - 10 October

    London

    1976:

    9 - 11 March

    London

    6 - 8 July

    London

    9 - 11 November

    Washington D.C.

    1977:

    1 - 3 March

    Amsterdam

    29 - 30 June

    Edinburgh

    18 - 20 October

    London

    1978:

    7 - 9 March

    London

    14 - 16 June

    Perth (Australia)

    7 - 9 November

    London

    1979:

    27 - 28 February, 1 March

    Mexico City

    19 - 21 June

    London

    23 - 25 October

    London

    1980:

    11 - 13 March

    London

    24 - 27 June

    Berlin

    4 - 6 November

    Dublin

    1981:

    24 - 27 March

    Tokyo

    23 - 26 June

    London

    14 -16 October

    London

    1982:

    24 - 26 March

    London

    22 - 25 June

    Amsterdam

    24 - 26 November

    London

    1983:

    23 - 25 March

    Edinburgh

    14 - 16 June

    London

    26 - 28 October

    Paris

    1984:

    14 - 16 March

    London

    19 - 21 June

    Toronto

    17 - 19 October

    Dusseldorf

    1985:

    6 - 8 March

    Rome

    25 - 27 June

    New York

    16 - 18 October

    London

    1986:

    5 - 7 March

    Dublin

    17 - 19 June

    Amsterdam

    5 - 7 November

    London

    1987:

    24 - 27 March

    Sydney

    1 - 3 July

    Edinburgh

    1988:

    29 February, 2 - 4 March

    Dusseldorf

    22 - 24 June

    Toronto

    9 - 11 November

    Copenhagen

    1989:

    12 - 14 April

    Brussels

    24 - 25 October

    New York

    1990:

    7 - 9 March

    Amsterdam

    20 - 22 June

    Paris

    7 - 9 November

    Singapore

    1991:

    27 - 28 February

    London

    12 - 14 June

    Milan

    5 - 8 November

    Seoul

    1992:

    4 - 6 March

    Madrid

    16 - 18 June

    Amman

    7 - 9 October

    Chicago

    1993:

    23 - 26 March

    Tokyo

    30 June, 1 - 2 July

    London

    2 - 5 November

    Oslo

    1994:

    13, 15 - 17 June

    Edinburgh

    1 - 4 November

    Budapest

    1995:

    28 - 31 March

    Dusseldorf

    8 - 10 May

    Amsterdam

    1 - 4 November

    Sydney

    1996:

    27 - 30 March

    Brussels

    11 - 14 June

    Stockholm

    23 - 28 September

    Barcelona

    1997:

    6 - 9 January

    London

    7 - 11 April

    Johannesburg

    8 - 12 July

    Beijing

    30 - 31 October, 1 - 4 November

    Paris

    1998:

    12 - 16 January

    London

    20 - 26 April

    Kuala Lumpur

    6 - 10 July

    Niagara-on-the-Lake

    9 - 13 November

    Zurich

    14 - 16 December

    Frankfurt

    1999:

    16 - 19 March

    Washington

    28 - 30 June, 1 - 2 July

    Warsaw

    15 - 19 November

    Venice

    13 - 16 December

    Amsterdam

    2000:

    13 - 17 March

    Sao Paolo

    19 - 23 June

    Copenhagen

    16 - 20 October

    Tokyo

    11 - 13 December

    London

    Based on a table prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J Kirsch, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH.

    Duration of IASC board meetings per year

    Year

    Days of board meetings in that year

    1973

    3

    1974

    9

    1975

    10

    1976

    9

    1977

    8

    1978

    9

    1979

    9

    1980

    10

    1981

    11

    1982

    10

    1983

    9

    1984

    9

    1985

    9

    1986

    9

    1987

    7

    1988

    10

    1989

    5

    1990

    9

    1991

    9

    1992

    9

    1993

    11

    1994

    8

    1995

    11

    1996

    14

    1997

    20

    1998

    25

    1999

    18

    2000

    18

    Based on a table prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J Kirsch, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH.

    IASC expenditure

    Year

    Expenditures

    1974

    £76,000

    1979

    £153,000

    1984

    £272,000

    1989

    £398,000

    1994

    £998,000

    1999

    £2,068,000

    Based on a table prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J Kirsch, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH.

    IASC revenue by source as a percentage of the total

    Year

    Members' fees

    Donations

    Publications

    Other

    1974

    88%

    11%

    -

    1%

    1979

    86

    9

    -

    5

    1984

    94

    -

    -

    6

    1989

    91

    1

    3%

    5

    1994

    54

    27

    18

    1

    1996

    32

    43

    16

    9

    1997

    33

    34

    27

    6

    1998

    29

    31

    34

    6

    1999

    29

    25

    39

    6

    2000

    36

    6

    50

    7

    Based on a table prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J Kirsch, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH.

    Chairmen of the IASC

    IASC Chairman

    Dates

    Home Country

    Sir Henry Benson

    1973 - 1976

    United Kingdom

    Joseph P. Cummings

    1976 - 1978

    United States

    John A. Hepworth

    1978 - 1980

    Australia

    J. A. (Hans) Burggraaff

    1980 - 1982

    Netherlands

    Stephen Elliott

    1982 - 85

    Canada

    John L. Kirkpatrick

    1985 - 1987

    United Kingdom

    Georges Bartes de Ruyter

    1987 - 1990

    France

    Arthur Wyatt

    1990 - 1993

    United States

    Eiichi Shiratori

    1993 - 1995

    Japan

    Michael Sharpe

    1995 - 1997

    Australia

    Stig Enevoldsen

    1997 - 2000

    Denmark

    Thomas E Jones

    2000 - 2001

    United Kingdom

    Based on a table prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J Kirsch, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH.

    IASC Secretaries (to 1983) and Secretaries-General (from 1984)

    IASC Secretary

    Dates

    Paul Rosenfield

    1973 - 1975

    W J Brennan

    1975 - 1977

    R C Nash

    1977 - 1979

    Allan V C Cook

    1979 - 1981

    Geoffrey B Mitchell

    1981 - 1985

    David H Cairns

    1985 - 1994

    Sir Bryan Carsberg

    1995 - 2001

    Based on a table prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J Kirsch, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH.

    Location and size of IASC-IASB offices

    Address

    Period

    Size (square feet)1

    3 St. Helens Place

    1973 - 1978

    550

    49 - 51 Bedford Row 2

    1978 - 1983

    5003

    41 Kingsway

    1983 - 1992

    1,200

    167 Fleet Street

    1992 - 1997

    2,600

    166 Fleet Street

    1997 - 2000

    4,600

    30 Cannon Street

    2001 -

    11,000

    Notes: 1 10.76 square feet = 1 square metre 2 With an entrance also at 52 - 54 High Holborn 3 As estimated by Allan Cook, then IASC Secretary

    Based on a table prepared for The International Accounting Standards Committee: A Political History, by Robert J Kirsch, published in February 2007 by WoltersKluwer/CCH.

     

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