From Financial Director – 'Seeing stars, changing stripes'

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31 Mar 2008

"Once anathema to American authorities, US companies are now sure to adopt IFRS, making them a truly global set of accounting standards." This is the lead in to a story in the 26 March 2008 issue of Financial Director.

The article discusses a range of issues surrounding the use of IFRSs by United States companies. Here is the Link to the Article on Financial Director's website. Isobel Sharp, audit partner in Deloitte (United Kingdom) and president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, is quoted:

One of the trickiest aspects of UK IFRS conversion was that many international standards were being improved from 2001 to 2005. We didn't have, until fairly late in the process, a settled set of standards, a situation which was compounded by the time it took for Europe to adopt the improved IFRS. Converting was thus trying to hit a moving target. The effort of the IASB is no longer a 'scatter gun' over many standards, but more of a 'rifle' approach in certain key areas like leasing and debt/equity. Hopefully, it will be easier for future IFRS converters to get a fix on the target....

We have to get away from thinking that using IFRS means there must be only one way of doing everything and that any sign of difference means the system is a failure. US preparers and auditors are accustomed to having thousands of pages of accounting guidance, much of which is produced on an industry-by-industry basis. It will be for the UK and others to stop any excessive rule creep. But reasonable variations should simply be accepted.

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