Role of national standard setters

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14 May 2009

Gilbert Gelard IASB Board member Gilbert Gelard spoke about National Standard Setters: A New Role in a Globalising World at the London School of Economics on 11 May 2009. Mr Gelard discussed the importance of global accounting standards, European adoption of IFRSs, 'adopt versus adapt', and how the spreading of IFRSs throughout the world has dramatically changed the national standard setters 'scene'.

Click to Download Mr Gelard's Remarks (PDF 43k), which are posted on IAS Plus with his kind permission. Here is an excerpt:

If standard setters have a role to play in this new world, they should be careful on how to use scarce resources. There is also one thing they are tempted to do and should refrain from doing: they should not try to second-guess nor to interpret IFRSs. The argument that something is so specific to their jurisdiction that the correct solution to an issue can only be developed locally appears to be ill-founded in almost all cases. An apparently purely local question can and should always be upgraded to a more general issue likely to be encountered somewhere else in the world. The interpretative issues should be sent for examination to IFRIC, which is the competent body. The only thing a standard setter should be allowed to issue regarding IFRS is guidance and educational material, provided this guidance is not an interpretation by another name. Different local flavours of IFRSs should be avoided at all costs. The memorandums of understanding proposed by the IASB to standard setters is quite specific on the question of interpretations.


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