ICAS report on 'principles versus rules'

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04 Apr 2006

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has published a report Principles Not Rules: A Question of Judgement.

The report is the culmination of an ICAS working group project to help find a resolution to the 'principles versus rules' debate within international accounting standard setting. The report concludes that:

A principles-based approach to standard setting is not only desirable but essential, to serve the needs of business and the public interest and that the global convergence of accounting standards cannot be achieved by a detailed rules-driven approach. The working group believes that principles-based standard setting will require: a change in the global profession, with preparers and auditors assuming more responsibility for their judgements; the documentation of key judgements in the financial statements; and regulators accepting a range of judgement-based outcomes. The working group believes that rules-based accounting adds unnecessary complexity, encourages financial engineering and does not necessarily lead to a 'true and fair view' or 'fair presentation'.

We have posted the report and two related documents with the kind permission of the copyright holder, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Click to download:

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