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For over the previous decade, there was a rising demand within the company world for U.S. Usually Accepted Accounting Rules (GAAP) and Worldwide Monetary Reporting Requirements (IFRS) to converge to kind one set of common accounting requirements. In 2002, members of the Monetary Accounting Requirements Board (FASB) and members of the Worldwide Accounting Requirements Board (IASB) met and issued a memorandum laying out framework for the adoption of IFRS by the U.S. Referred to as the Norwalk Settlement, the 2 boards agreed to make “current monetary reporting requirements totally appropriate as quickly as practicable”, and to “coordinate future work packages to make sure compatibility is maintained” (Kieso, 2012, p. EP-2).

Critics in opposition to the adoption of IFRS in the USA argue precept primarily based accounting requirements go away an excessive amount of of a judgment name within the arms of the preparer. In different phrases, IFRS is open to extra interpretation than guidelines primarily based GAAP, and may lead firms to launch fraudulent representations. Moreover, disadvantages embody an elevated capacity to govern transactional accounting, elevated variations in accounting approaches for comparable transactions, and fewer guidelines to think about in figuring out easy methods to account for a transaction (“Which is Higher — Rules or Guidelines?”, 2011). In accordance with a world fraud report issued by Kroll Inc. for 2012-2013, American and European firms have the next charge of fraud (60% and 63%, respectively) in comparison with international averages (“International Fraud Report”, 2013). Altering accounting requirements to be open to larger interpretation could appeal to larger circumstances of inside, or firm fraud.

One other drawback to IFRS is the associated fee anticipated to be related to transitioning from GAAP primarily based requirements and accounting info methods to IFRS primarily based accounting info methods. Nevertheless, whereas these prices could also be excessive, they’re short-term in nature and it’s estimated firms will get monetary savings in the long run. “Research recommend {that a} main impression might be the price of transition to IFRS. In accordance with analysis, the advantages to U.S. buyers could not exceed prices. Moreover, on account of U.S. GAAP’s excessive requirements, monetary reporting enhancements might be minor. Analysis additionally means that these prices and advantages will range throughout companies and might be troublesome to hint upon adoption” (Bolt-Lee, 2009). These prices will burden small to medium sized firms that lack the capital and assets that giant MNCs possess. And, in line with KMPG, the most important part of IFRS conversion prices are IT prices, estimating that fifty p.c to 70 p.c of a typical conversion effort’s prices pertains to IT (Krell, 2009).

A significant holdup within the convergence of IFRS and GAAP rests with management. Within the U.S. the Safety and Trade Fee (SEC) has the facility relating to accounting requirements. Though the FASB units the requirements, the SEC oversees and ensures public firms are complying with legal guidelines, practices and appearing in a fashion that facilitates moral conduct and determination making. “Below the current system, the SEC makes an attempt to make sure uniformity and consistency in monetary reporting. Nevertheless, regulators can’t implement uniformity in a principles-based system” (Thompson, 2009). If the U.S. converts, the SEC is bound to lose an excessive amount of management and affect over the accounting and reporting practices.

One profit to IFRS is requirements which can be primarily based on rules, in contrast to GAAP which depends on rules-based requirements. Rules-based requirements permit extra leeway as to how firms can painting their monetary efficiency (Galuszka, 2008). In accordance with a survey of company executives, a lot of them listed IFRS and principles-based requirements as “extra intuitive” and “simpler to make use of” than their GAAP counterpart.

The excellence between the 2 approaches lies exactly the place their respective descriptions recommend: principles-based requirements are primarily based on a transparent hierarchy of overarching rules, include few or no provisions and rely closely on the train of judgment as to what constitutes truthful presentation; rules-based requirements are characterised by a number of anti-abuse provisions and permit comparatively much less scope for the train of judgment of their software. (Worldwide GAAP, 2010)

Below guidelines primarily based accounting, it’s generally the case {that a} “transaction should be accounted for in accordance with the rule even when the utilized accounting is deceptive” (“Which is Higher — Rules or Guidelines?”, 2011). Utilizing IFRS permits an organization to make use of judgment to greatest characterize monetary efficiency, and enhance comparability amongst firms with comparable transactions over totally different industries. “Guidelines-based accounting has not labored in apply. Critics argue that the current U.S. system doesn’t produce correct reporting. It focuses on “checking the bins” greater than portraying an underlying financial actuality” (Thompson, 2009). IFRS tries to curb this drawback by means of larger interpretation of the accounting rules.

Changing GAAP requirements with IFRS accounting requirements will allow customers of economic statements to make extra knowledgeable selections. At the moment, “over 115 international locations have adopted IFRS, plus the European Union now requires all listed firms in Europe (over 7,000 firms) to make use of it” (Kieso, 2012, p. EP-2). A lot of the developed nations, particularly these members of the EU at present working towards worldwide requirements, have the next diploma of transparency and reliability amongst monetary info. Working in the direction of convergence of accounting requirements will make worldwide investing simpler, in addition to make it simpler for customers to dissect monetary info if positioned in international areas.

Adopting IFRS will, within the long-term, assist to cut back price. Many companies similar to Nike, Microsoft, IBM and Apple have operations in a number of totally different international locations, and due to this fact should put together a number of totally different accounting books and data beneath every set of requirements. As well as, customers of economic statements should be educated in each GAAP and IFRS to utterly dissect the monetary info reported by multi-national firms (MNCs).

Adopting IFRS will open the doorways for companies throughout the globe to rent new expertise. In accordance with Matthew Birney, a supervisor within the monetary reporting division chargeable for Worldwide Monetary Reporting Requirements at United Applied sciences says a few of the positives to IFRS is entry to a wider expertise pool (Krell, 2009). In an growing globalized economic system and workforce, hiring could not be restricted to hiring new candidates throughout the nation’s borders.

Because the world continues to shrink and enterprise turns into much more globalized, a common set of accounting requirements is desired to assist harmonize international accounting practices. The advantages of accelerating comprehension and creating one set of accounting requirements will assist facilitate the move of belongings and enhance abroad funding. Adopting a rules primarily based strategy to accounting will permit preparers of economic info to extra precisely painting monetary efficiency relative to the operations of the corporate. As international enterprise environments enhance, it’s inevitable that one set of accounting requirements is required.


Bolt-Lee, C., & Smith, L. (2009, November 1). Highlights of IFRS Analysis. Retrieved September 20, 2014.

Galuszka, P. (2008, August 28). Execs and Cons of IFRS. Retrieved September 18, 2014.

Worldwide GAAP. (2010, January 1). Retrieved September 18, 2014, from http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-403632.html

Kieso, D., Weygandt, J., & Warfield, T. (2012). Intermediate accounting (14th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Krell, E. (2009, April 2). Largest IFRS Value? IT. Retrieved September 18, 2014.

Krell, E. (2009, April 6). IFRS Execs and Cons. Retrieved September 19, 2014.

Thompson, R. (2009, September 14). Rules- vs. Guidelines-Based mostly Accounting. Retrieved September 19, 2014.

Which is Higher — Rules or Guidelines? (2011, April 5). Retrieved September 18, 2014.

2012 / 2013 KROLL GLOBAL FRAUD REPORT SURVEY. (2013, January 1). Retrieved September 19, 2014.

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