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Process Of International Convergence Of Accounting Standards Accounting Essay

Globalization may hold started 1000s of old ages ago with the long distance trade that connected Central Asia, China and Europe yet we can safely reason the magnitude of the trade and impact so can non be compared with what we are witnessing today. At the really nucleus of trade prevarications accounting which is said to be the ‘language of concern ‘ . With the convergence of telecommunications and information engineering, and the now ubiquitousness of the cyberspace this paper seeks to understand one of the few staying barriers to ‘full ‘ globalisation.

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Businesss need a unvarying manner through which they can carry on, step and unwrap their minutess so that they can be understood by any interested party around the universe. This is where the importance of holding a consonant international accounting criterion is realized. This paper looks at the construct and development procedure of international convergence of accounting criterions while it besides seeks to convey out the major unfavorable judgments / factors that could be said to be impeding the advancement towards holding harmonized international accounting criterions. The paper besides highlights both statements for and against convergence of international accounting criterions. Finally possible attacks that could be applied to aide in the hastening and/ or distributing the ‘gospel ‘ for harmonisation of the international accounting criterions are outlined in the recommendations subdivision. The paper ends with a strong pro- harmonisation decision.


Globalization is the procedure of integrating and interaction of people, administrations and authoritiess of different states. It is driven by investing, international trade and supported by information engineering. The effects of globalisation are manifested through the alterations in people ‘s civilizations, prosperity and economic development, alterations in political systems, societies and besides alterations in the environment. With globalisation we have witnessed an increasing volume of trade in goods and services and capital flows as foreign direct investings ( Levin Institute para1 ) . As transnational companies, persons and authoritiess seek to increase their wealth through designation of feasible investing chances around the Earth, the demand for developing tools, techniques or methods that will help in doing accurate determinations has arisen.

Accounting is the linguistic communication of concern. It is used to pass on the being and development of a concern ‘ fiscal state of affairs and the public presentation of its economic entities. Fiscal information is a linguistic communication signifier, hence if we are to utilize it to do determinations on investing or taking up recognition it should non merely be apprehensible but besides be comparable. Due to the rise of new concern factors, such as the international pecuniary system and the planetary economic system, concerns need a unvarying manner through which they can carry on, step and unwrap their minutess so that they are apprehensible by any interested party around the universe ( Diaconu 1-2 ) .

In brief what we are stating is that for one to accurately compare the public presentation of two concerns located in different parts of the universe 1 would happen it much simpler if the two organisations that he was comparing used a similar accounting system for their analysis. There has been some attempt for sometime now to come up with a consonant international accounting criterion. Soon, the two major accounting criterions that are in usage are the International Financial Reporting Standards ( IFRS ) and the United States ‘ By and large Accepted Accounting Principles ( GAAP ) . The IFRS are issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) and are presently in usage in about 100 states ( including the European Union, Australia, South Africa etc ) .

Whereas there are many states that abide by International Financial Reporting Standards, there are many more that do non stay by it. The two noteworthy states that do non follow the IFRS are the Canadian Accounting Standards Board ( AcSB ) and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board ( FASB ) and. The IASB which is mandated with the end of making planetary criterions that are of high-quality, apprehensible, crystalline and enforceable via the International Financial Reporting Standards ( IFRS ) comprises of a 14 – member commission, from nine different countries.A

On the other manus, the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ( GAAP ) represents

a varied group of techniques used to treat, fix and present public accounting information. GAAP is general in its methods and it is this generalization that makes it suited for version by many different types of industries. This is why many industries in the US are urged to detect GAAP rules. The Financial Accounting Standards Board ( FASB ) is the organisation granted authorization by the US Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) to set up the by and large accepted accounting rules. A GAAP ‘s nucleus rules include consistence, comparison, dependability and relevancy.

United States companies and foreign subordinates of US multinationals use the US GAAP while their European Union opposite numbers and their foreign subordinates use IFRS. Due to the international political relations that belies the full IAS harmonisation attempt, most stakeholders in capital markets are forcing for the thought of an international convergence between the IFRS and U.S. GAAP as the best solution ( Diaconu 1 ) .

International harmonisation of accounting criterions has been defined as the effort to convey together different accounting systems. Samuels and Piper view it as the procedure for bring forthing a interactive consequence through the combine and blending of assorted patterns into an orderly construction ( 56 ) . Harmonization is perfectly necessary because national criterions of fiscal statements are virtually useless in today ‘s universe. Fiscal markets in states where there is more ordinance are threatened with a loss of market portion while transnational corporations must come up with multiple studies for different states where they operate in ( Nobes and Parker 19 ) . Iqbal, Melcher and Elmallah claim that there is a demand for the convergence of accounting criterions for the interest of the foreign investor who requires aid in understanding the fiscal paperss of the companies in other states where they may wish to put their financess.

Prior research on harmonisation of accounting criterions may be described as being either empirical or qualitative. Qualitative research has typically looked at the sensed advantages of convergence and its impact on standard compositors.

Empirical research on the other manus, turn toing international harmonisation of accounting criterions follows two major attacks, de jure and de facto harmonisation. De jure harmonisation involves analyzing of accounting criterions and other ordinance while de facto harmonisation entails the analysis of corporate accounting patterns within a given regulative model.

Harmonization is a “ moving mark ” and more recent studies by international accounting houses have been used to set up the extent of de jure harmonisation. De facto harmonisation is a examination of fiscal coverage patterns.

The Concept and Development Process of International Convergence of Accounting Standards

In 1973, the International Accounting Standards Committee ( IASC ) was founded to develop planetary accounting criterions. In April 2001 the IASC was reconstituted into the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) which officially proposed a “ Convergence ” construct.

Convergence targeted doing the same economic minutess but in different planetary legal powers to be utilizing the same accounting attack.

Moussa outlines the development procedure of international convergence of accounting criterions as follows:

First: Convergence represents advancement through consisting the demands of incorporating international economic systems and sets the way for future development. Nevertheless, convergence requires great attempt if it is to be achieved ( Moussa 89 ) .

Second: Convergence does non equal identity. One needs to understand that states have different regulative constructions ; they have dissimilar economic environments, cultural doctrines, and even differ on the quality of comptrollers they possess. Users of accounting information are besides non likewise ( Moussa 89 ) .

Third: Convergence is a procedure. It is a procedure because in the universe there are ever new issues originating which require the states to actively and continuously innovate new mechanisms to make constructions which meet such demands as they come up. It is merely through this that states can accomplish equitability, sovereignty, international efficiency and development of planetary diverseness ( Moussa 89 ) .

Fourth: Convergence means interaction between different states, between single states and the IASB, and between the IASB and regional professional accounting organic structures. There is a demand for sustained communicating to larn from each other and to obtain common acknowledgment from each other ( Moussa 89 ) .

Moussa farther lineations three phases of international convergence of accounting criterions as illustrated below:

International Comparison refers to a comparing among different states accounting criterions. Through international comparing the differences and similarities among different national accounting systems are revealed. From such disclosures it becomes possible to supply conditions for the international convergence of accounting criterions.

International Harmonization is the international dimension of economic development that promotes international harmonisation of accounting.

International Convergence is the concluding phase for the coveted planetary convergence of accounting criterions. International convergence is being driven by the two phases listed above, international comparing and international harmonisation, and economic globalisation. The purpose is to finally stop up with planetary common accounting criterions developed through such a dynamic procedure as the one outlined above ( 90 ) .

Issues environing the development of consonant international accounting criterions ( IAS )

Historically, the US, Europe, the UK and Latin American theoretical accounts have been the four major accounting criterions theoretical accounts in usage within the industrialised states: . The International Accounting Standards Committee ( IASC ) took the lead with respects to the standardisation of these theoretical accounts.

In 1973 the UK, the US and Canada embarked on a procedure geared toward making harmonized international accounting criterions. The International Accounting Standards Committee ( IASC ) was subsequently formed and it presently has representatives from accounting organic structures in 106 states. By 1991 there had been 31 criterions issued ( Lochner, Jr. 108 ) . Fleming says that for convergence of international accounting criterions to happen the undertaking must get down with coming up with criterions for the coverage attacks required by the different national securities regulators ( 101 ) . In April 2001 the IASC was reconstituted as the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) which officially proposed the ‘convergence ‘ construct.

In lesser-developed states, the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) has aided in the standardisation attempt through their aid to authoritiess with respects to their fiscal direction processs, through accountant instruction plans and by advancing the constitution of regional accounting associations ( Fleming 102-103 ) .

A cardinal first measure to deriving an international understanding on the definition of fiscal statement points would be for the international industry to put political force per unit area on securities regulators. Second, practising comptrollers and the course of study of concern school accounting plans would necessitate to rapidly follow these international criterions. Third, authorities fiscal coverage criterions need to be made to suit in with international exchange rate coordination such as those developed by the African and Asian Development Banks, the G7 states, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Coordination and Development ( OECD ) . Finally, the accounting organic structures in less developed states need to be reassured to follow these harmonized international accounting criterions in alternatively of burthening themselves with the immense disbursal of making domestic accounting criterions ( Weber 67 ) .

There is no denying that the procedure of coming up with internationally harmonized accounting criterions is a political procedure for illustration the FASB criterions are the consequence of complex political dialogues and procedures. The truth of the affair is that those with political power do hold vested involvements in domestic criterions. Again, each state has its ain accounting policy processes which necessitate the demand for tonss of dialogue for any state seeking to equilibrate its legal sovereignty with international cooperation.

Lochner, Jr. says that the tendency in international cooperation has been toward bilateral and trade-block understandings for illustration the convergence of European Union ‘s ( EU ) accounting criterions which is a trade-block ( 108 ) .

The issue of extra-territoriality makes it hard to implement international jurisprudence therefore national authoritiess would necessitate to spearhead and implement international accounting criterions ( IAS ) harmonisation. By and large, contracts between states tend to be more enforceable than contracts between citizens of different states.

A common statement frequently raised against the convergence of international accounting criterions ( IAS ) has been that the costs of development and acceptance of IAS criterions would far surpass its benefits. However, Goeltz believes that the manner has already been laid out by the international capital markets. These marketplaces / Bourses have quickly acknowledged the being of a planetary market to the extent that to authorise investors with the information they need to do sound investing determinations, they have gone in front to hold some gloss to convergence in the accounting criterions that they employ ( 86 ) .

In instances where authoritiess seek to privatise some of the industries they have been engaged in international accounting criterions could be adapted to so that private investors from anyplace in the universe would be able to expeditiously measure these concerns based on their fiscal records.

Developing states have become cardinal beginnings of comparative advantage in the planetary economic development particularly when we look at of import factors of production such as natural stuffs and labour. Therefore we can non disregard the importance of including developing states within the model for harmonising IAS. Having harmonized international accounting criterions will be utile when we need to mensurate the value of these developing states ‘ assets in the universe market. Besides, in order to help in the enterprises of inter-governmental economic development cooperation between states authoritiess ‘ accounting demands to be standardized ( Weber 68 ) . Again, we need to observe that developing and developing states view convergence of international accounting criterions as a gambit by the economically superior states to enforce criterions on them.

Another unfavorable judgment points to the really nature of accounting. Accounting is a flexible pattern that is it can be modified to accommodate a assortment of state of affairss. The statement here is that if accounting criterions are harmonized it would lose its flexibleness. The job would be whether the internationally set criterions would be able to fit the broad scope of phases of economic development, national fortunes and legal systems.

A inquiry on quality may originate in fortunes where the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) , the organisation with the authorization of coming up with a consonant IAS, find it hard to hold consentaneous understanding on some of the accounting criterions. The belief is that IASB would be forced to do via medias so that the international accounting criterions it has come up with are accepted globally. These could connote that the criterions will be permissive and unequal.

Nobes and Parker suggest that companies would hold to edify their investors about possible inauspicious effects that this convergence of international accounting criterions could hold on the net incomes and liabilities they get to describe. They are of the position that harmonisation of IAS could shoot volatility into the balance sheets of some transnational corporations. This could be unsafe to these companies as their net incomes may be lowered ( 77 ) .

Advantages of holding a consonant international accounting criterion ( IAS )

The grandest benefit that would flux from convergence of IAS would be the easiness of comparing international fiscal information. This relaxation of comparings would extinguish one of the biggest hindrances to the flow of international investing that is it will decrease the current scruples on the dependability of fiscal statements from ‘foreign ‘ states.

Harmonization of IAS would salvage clip and money. Presently, to follow with the different national Torahs or pattern of different states so much clip and money is spent to roll up fiscal information in the cases where more than one set of studies is demanded.

Choi, Frost and Meek claim that harmonisation will raise the accounting criterions throughout the universe to the highest possible degree because it will be less hard to look into for consistence with local societal, legal and economic conditions ( 34 ) . This would be particularly good to international accounting houses with clients of houses, and whose operations consist of at least one foreign subordinate because they will be able to make comparings without excess digests. Nobes and Parker write that states which lack equal statute criterions of accounting and scrutinizing would besides stand to profit from the convergence of international accounting criterions ( 38 ) .

Another benefit that International Accounting houses could obtain with respects to the harmonisation of accounting patterns will be the decreased disbursals that they normally incur for motion of staff across national boundaries. This is because they would hold eliminated staff preparation costs and cost-of-time incurred on larning different accounting systems.

Having a consonant IAS lessens the undertaking for fiscal analysts, investors, and foreign loaners who will so be in a better place to grok the fiscal statements of foreign companies. Samuels and Piper position this as a encouragement with respects to doing it easier to raise foreign capital ( 56 ) . In add-on to that, the fiscal analysts, investors, and foreign loaners would besides be able to compare the different investing chances as they seek to do consistent, sound and more accurate investing determinations.

National revenue enhancement governments are besides bound to profit from holding a standardised accounting system because they would be able to calculate net income based on matching accounting rules and patterns.

O’Malley ( 1993 ) adds that the being of international accounting and revelation criterions would do the procedure of carry oning operational and competitory analyses needed to carry on concerns across the Earth simpler. In add-on to this, fiscal executives will besides happen it better for them to pull off cardinal relationships with providers, clients and others.

Finally, those who stand to profit the most out of the convergence of international accounting criterions would be the Multi-national companies. This is because it would so be faster and less resource demanding to pass on fiscal information within their regional, national and international concerns.

The disadvantages of holding a consonant Iowa

Nobes and Parker outlines the most cardinal obstructions to harmonisation as being three, viz. : the economic and political systems differences among states ; some states lack strong professional accounting organic structures ; and the prevailing differences of the current accounting criterions in different states ( 25 ) .

Even in instances where the figures for say a concern are generated utilizing the same international accounting rules, states would still exhibit significant differences, economic and/or cultural, that would prevent simple readings. Accounting criterions are a contemplation of a given society ‘s demands and positions for illustration the Gallic Commercial Code is much more compliance-oriented than the U.S. or British accounting regulations, which strongly convey the constructs of equity and substance over signifier ( Diaconu 6 ) .

Saudagaran points out that patriotism is besides another major menace to harmonisation. He argues that states are wont to be wary of yielding control of their accounting ordinance to foreigners at the slightest perceptual experience that it will be replacing its ain accounting ordinances with those of another state ( 1-7 ) .

Another disadvantage of holding a consonant IAS is that all the authoritiess of these different states will hold to keenly organize their accounting policies with criterions and processs predominating in other states. This is an excess load in the sense that authoritiess may be required to put up organisations to make these coordination activities. Diaconu besides tells us that while convergence may be taking topographic point, authoritiess must happen ways to cut down negative influences from abroad from pervading their criterions while seeking ways to maximise on absorbing the positive influences coming from abroad ( 5 ) .

States in the universe have different users who have different demands. For illustration a state that largely lends to other states has dissimilar demands to a state that borrows or owes. This implies that the consonant IAS that could be proposed could be excessively complex for one state or excessively simple for another, depending on the alone demands of their industries, authoritiess and investors. A perfect illustration for such a quandary state of affairs could be the magnitude of divergency between the demands of smaller concern entities and the demands of big multinationals in developing states.

A factor that the consonant international accounting criterion will necessitate to see is the different degrees of edification, human resource and influence among different national accounting professionals. The IAS could stop up being excessively sophisticated for certain states particularly in the underdeveloped universe.


International organic structures must make more to advance international convergence of accounting criterions. International organisations such as the World Trade Organization, the IMF, G7 and the World Bank are progressively playing bigger functions with the increasing volume of planetary trade. They are besides holding more influence over their rank which they could utilize to advance harmonisation of IAS.

Multinational corporations need to show leading. The rapid addition in economic globalisation has led to mushrooming of multinationals. These transnational corporations due to their monolithic turnovers and net incomes are able to act upon determination shapers and policy shapers. By showing leading through recommending for usage of and practically utilizing harmonized accounting criterions would better the thrust towards credence of convergence of international accounting criterions.

Leading concern schools that produce the bulk of the universe ‘s concern leaders besides have an of import function to play. They should be encouraged to offer classs that are biased towards usage of accounting criterions geared towards convergence. If the immature MBAs are encouraged to follow the consonant international accounting criterion ( IAS ) way so we would anticipate minimum opposition towards this enterprise in the hereafter.

Communication may be good therefore far but we still need to set more accent on communicating and interaction between different states, between states and professional umbrella accounting organic structures and between states and the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) .

Irvine and Lucas recommend that for developing states and emerging economic systems appropriate regulative systems will necessitate to be developed so as to get the better of some of their cultural issues. They argue that the proposed harmonized IAS is brooding of western-oriented accounting criterions, regulative substructure and civilization ( 2 ) . Therefore other than merely proclaiming the benefits to be accrued with the acceptance of IFRS the development states and emerging economic systems will necessitate to be convinced to purchase into the thought.


Harmonized international accounting criterions ( IAS ) are an indispensable constituent of the quickly globalized economic system. This matching of accounting criterions will add additions to the universe economic system through the proviso of more ‘perfect ‘ information, facilitation of international minutess and minimising exchange costs. Through a consonant IAS the universe ‘s economic policy think armored combat vehicles and policy shapers would be availed with standardised information that would be good in determination devising. Furthermore, a harmonisation of international accounting policy would assist make a flat playing field in the universe, for case regulators would be having the same information and therefore doing the rating procedure closer to the ideal state of affairs. In fact, we could boldly asseverate that with international accounting criterions ( IAS ) harmonized, the universe ‘s resources will be better utilised.

However we can non minimize the unfavorable judgments and disadvantages that we have mentioned in this paper. Information communicating engineering and telecommunications convergence has quickly provided us with the tools necessary to do international accounting criterions convergence a possibility to be aimed at. All said, the benefits for holding a standardised IAS do outweigh the demerits.