FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING THEORY AND ANALYSIS: TEXT AND CASES 11TH EDITION RICHARD G. SCHROEDER MYRTLE W. CLARK JACK M. CATHEY CHAPTER 3 INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING International Accounting Standards Financial accounting is influenced by the environment in which it operates Companies develop financial reports directed at their primary users Previously most were residents of the same country as the corporation Transnational financial reporting has become more commonplace because of the European Union, GATT and NAFTA U. S. companies must be able to compete in global markets with transnational financial reporting International Business Accounting Issues A company’s first exposure to international accounting is frequently the result of a purchase or sale Problems: 1 Exchange gains or losses 2 Obtaining credit information 3 Evaluation of financial statements Next step may be to open an international division Another issue is raising capital in foreign markets Must prepare financial statements in a format acceptable by appropriate securities market Factors Influencing the Development of Accounting Systems: Level of Education Legal System Political System Economic Development Influences on the Development of Financial Reporting Type of economy Agricultural Resource Based Tourist Based Manufacturing Legal System Codified Common Law Political System Democratic Totalitarian Nature of Ownership Private Enterprise Socialist Communist Influences on the Development of Financial Reporting Growth Pattern of economy Growing Stable Declining Social Climate Stability of currency Sophistication of management Sophistication of financial community Existence of accounting legislation Education System Approaches to Preparing Financial Statements for Use in Other Countries: 1 2 3 4 5 Same to all Translate language Translate language and currency Two sets World-wide standards The International Accounting Standards Committee The preparation of financial statements for foreign users under option #5 is being increasingly advocated IASC Formed in 1973 to aid in this process International Accounting Standards Board Replaced IASC in 2001 Standard Setting by the IASC Original intent: Avoid complex details Concentrate on basic standards Steps in the process Similar to FASB 1 Steering Committee 2 Identify issues and prepare point outline 3 Board prepares comments 4 Steering Committee prepares final Statement of Principles 5 Exposure Draft 6 Steering Committee reviews comments and prepares final standard Standard Setting by the IASC Two treatments 1 Benchmark - point of reference 2 Alternative Improvements Project 2003 Removed some of the existing alternative accounting treatments Where an IAS retains alternative treatments IASB removed references to 'benchmark treatment' Now termed 'alternative treatment' Using descriptive references ‘Cost model' ‘Revaluation model' Restructuring the IASC In its early years, IASC acted mainly as a harmonizer Recently, it has begun to combine that role with the role of a catalyst Harmonizer Catalyst Coordinator of national initiatives Initiator of new work at national level Restructuring the IASB Future IASB role as catalyst and initiator should become more prominent Important for the IASB to focus objectives more precisely, as follows: 1. To develop international accounting standards that require highquality, transparent, and comparable information that will help participants in capital markets and others to make economic decisions; and 2. To promote the use of international accounting standards by working with national standard setters. Restructuring the IASB Structural changes needed So that IASB can anticipate the new challenges facing it and meet those challenges effectively. Issues that need to be addressed: 1. Partnership with national standard setters. IASB should enter into a partnership with national standard setters So that IASB can work together with them to accelerate Convergence between national standards And international accounting standards around solutions requiring highquality, transparent, and comparable information That will help participants in capital markets and others to make economic decisions. Restructuring the IASB 2. Wider participation in the IASB Board. A wider group of countries and organizations should take part in the IASB Board 3. Without diluting the quality of the Board's work Appointment. The process for appointments to the IASB Board and key IASB committees should be the responsibility of a variety of constituencies Those appointed must be competent , independent, and objective. Restructuring the IASB 2001: Responsibility for international standardssetting was transferred to the to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Restructuring the IASB The new structure: The IASC Foundation The International Accounting Standards Board The International Accounting Standards Advisory Council International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee IASB Structure Appoints KEY: Reports To Advises Monitoring Board Approve and Oversee Trustees IASC Foundation 22 Trustees Appoint, Oversee, Raise Funds Board: 16 (Maximum 3 part-time) Set Technical Agenda. Approve Standards, Exposure Drafts, & Interpretations IFRS Advisory Council Approx. 40 members Working Groups For Major Agenda Projects IFRS Interpretations Committee (14 members) Revising the IASB’s Constitution Key issues to be reviewed: 1. Whether the objectives of the IASC Foundation should expressly refer to the challenges facing small and mediumsized entities (SMEs) 2. Number of Trustees and their geographical and professional distribution 3. The oversight role of the Trustees 4. Funding of the IASC Foundation 5. The composition of the IASB 6. The appropriateness of the IASB's existing formal liaison relationships 7. Consultative arrangements of the IASB 8. Voting procedures of the IASB 9. Resources and effectiveness of the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (UMC): 10. The composition, role, and effectiveness of the SAC The Uses of International Accounting Standards IASC noted that its standards are used in a variety of ways: 1 National requirements 2 Basis for national requirements 3 Benchmark to develop standards 4 By regulatory agencies 5 By companies Also International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) looks to the IASC to provide standards that can be used in multinational securities offerings Other Issues Partnership with the IOSCO Generate standards acceptable to IOSCO December 17, 2003 IASB published 13 revised International Accounting Standards Reissued two others Gave notice of the withdrawal of its standard on price level accounting. Revised and reissued standards mark near-completion of the IASBs Improvements project 2005: reaffirmed support and development of IFRS IASB Annual Improvements Project July 2006 Non-urgent issues Amendments The Use of IASC Standards Adopted by approx. 120 countries EU Australia New Zealand Planned option by others Israel Canada Japan China US (?) FASB Short-term International Convergence Project The goal of this project is to remove a variety of individual differences between U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards that are not within the scope of other major projects. The project scope is limited to those differences in which convergence around a high-quality solution would appear to be achievable in the short-term, usually by selecting between existing IFRS and U.S. GAAP. The Norwalk Agreement 12/18/2002: FASB and IASB held joint meeting in Norwalk, Connecticut Both standard setting bodies acknowledged… Their commitment to the development of high-quality compatible accounting standards that can be used for both domestic and cross-border financial reporting. Also committed to use their best efforts to make their existing financial reporting standards compatible as soon as practicable and to coordinate their future work programs to help ensure that once compatibility is achieved, it will be maintained. The Norwalk Agreement Both Boards agreed to: 1. Undertake a short-term project aimed at removing a variety of differences between U. S. GAAP and IFRSs. 2. Remove any other differences between IFRSs and U. S. GAAP that may remain on January 1, 2005 by undertaking projects that both Boards would address concurrently. 3. Continue the progress on the joint projects currently underway. 4. Encourage their respective interpretative bodies to coordinate their activities. The Roadmap to Convergence 2005 agreement between FASB & IASB: Convergence best achieved with high-quality, common standards Develop a new common standard rather than try to eliminate differences Replace weaker standards with stronger standards The Roadmap to Convergence 7 Original Milestones 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Improvements to accounting standards Funding of IASCF Improved ability to use interactive data for IFRS reporting Improved education and training in the US Limited use in narrow group of companies SEC to determine in 2011 if mandatory adoption is feasible Mandatory use 2014 2015 2016 SEC staff report July 2012 final report How can IFRS be incorporated into financial reporting system for US issuers? Retain US GAAP while considering aspects of convergence and endorsement? Options for US issuers No final decision or recommendation SEC staff report Key findings 1. US standards perceived as high quality 2. IFRIC should do more to address practice issues on timely basis 3. IASB should consider placing greater reliance on national standard setters 4. Global application of IFRS and cooperation among regulators could be improved 5. Overall design of governance structure reasonable 6. IFRS Foundation has made progress in developing a broad-based funding mechanism 7. US investors’ current understanding of IFRS varies significantly SEC staff report Identified 6 areas of consideration 1. Sufficient development and application of IFRS for US domestic reporting system 2. Independent standard setting for benefit of investors 3. Investor understanding and education regarding IFRS 4. Regulatory environment 5. Impact on issuers 6. Human capital readiness International vs. GAAP Accounting Standards Question: Should foreign companies be allowed to list their securities in United States markets Form 20-F reconciliations Pressure on the SEC to accept international accounting rules SEC Staff Report In 2011, the SEC staff issued a report analyzing the use of IFRS in practice. Focused on how the recognition and measurement requirements of IFRS were applied in practice. Compared their observations for all companies to identify trends on an overall basis as well as by country and industry. Report is informational only and does not include conclusions or recommendations. Found that company financial statements generally appeared to comply with IFRS requirements. SEC Staff Report Noted that apparent compliance should be considered in light of the following two concerns: Transparency and clarity of the financial statements in the sample could be enhanced Diversity in the application of IFRS presented challenges to the comparability of financial statements across countries and industries. This diversity can be attributed to a variety of factors. Explicit options permitted by IFRS or owing to the absence of IFRS guidance in certain areas. Noncompliance with IFRS. IS Adopting IFRS Feasible? Miller and Bahnson: SEC has already determined that adopting IFRS is legally impossible. Allowing U.S. companies to choose between GAAP and IFRS would be unworkable. Selling: After Europe discovers that working with an IASB that doesn’t include the United States is of little benefit, the next step will be for every other country with mature standard setting mechanisms to revert to their previous standard-setting procedures Standards Overload 2009: IASB published IFRS for small to medium-sized businesses 95% of all companies Provide simplified standards Now reviewing impact Another area of difference with U. S. GAAP Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements Purpose - to set out concepts that underlie the preparation and presentation of financial statements by: 1 2 3 4 5 Assisting the IASC in developing future standards Promoting harmonization of accounting standards Assisting national standard setters Assisting preparers in applying international standards Assisting auditors in forming an opinion as to whether financial statements conform to international standards 6 Assisting users in interpreting financial statements prepared in conformity with international standards 7 Providing interested parties with information about the IASC’s approach to the formation of international accounting standards Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statement” The Framework specifies: Chapter 1: The Objective of General-Purpose Financial Reporting This topic is discussed in Chapter 2 of this text. Chapter 2: The Reporting Entity The chapter on the Reporting Entity will be inserted once the IASB has completed its redeliberations following the Exposure draft issued in March 2010. Chapter 3: Qualitative Characteristics of Useful Financial Information This topic is discussed in Chapter 2 of this text. Chapter 4: The Framework: The Remaining Text Underlying Assumption Going concern If that presumption is invalid, appropriate disclosure and a different basis of reporting are required. The Elements of Financial Statements Asset Liability Equity Income Expense The concept of recognition – Probable – Measurable The Concepts of Capital Maintenance Concepts: 1 Financial capital maintenance 2 Physical capital maintenance Selection of the measurement bases and the concept of capital maintenance chosen will determine the accounting model IASC does not intend to prescribe a model The IASB–FASB Financial Statement Presentation Project IASB and the FASB are undertaking a joint project to develop a new joint standard for presenting financial statements. Ultimately, the new standard will replace IAS No. 1 , “Presentation and IAS No. 7 , The main objective of this project is to address fundamental issues relating to presentation and display of information in the financial statements, including: The relationship between items across financial statements The disaggregation of information so that it is useful in predicting an entity’s future cash flows The provision of information to help users assess an entity’s liquidity and financial flexibility Future work program In July 2011, the IASB requested consultation on its future work plan. This consultation sought input on the direction and the overall balance of its work. Culminated in the release of a Feedback Statement issued by the IASB on December 18, 2012 that identified several key themes: A period of calm. Prioritize work on the Conceptual Framework Targeted improvements to certain standards Updates to assist implementation and maintenance. Updates to assist in improving the standard-setting process. Future work program As a result, the following initiatives developed: Improved implementation Resume work the Conceptual Framework Developed a list of nine research projects that it will explore over the next three years 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Emissions trading schemes Business combinations under common control Discount rates Equity method of accounting Intangible assets, extractive activities, and research and development activities Financial instruments with the characteristics of equity Foreign currency translation Nonfinancial liabilities (amendments to IAS No. 37 ) Financial reporting in high inflationary economies Each research project will result in a report or discussion paper IAS No. 1 “Presentation of Financial Statements” Considerations: a b c d e f g h Fair presentation and compliance with IASC standards Accounting policies Going concern Accrual basis of accounting Consistency of presentation Materiality and aggregation Offsetting Comparative information IAS No. 1 “Presentation of Financial Statements” 2003 Amendments “Presents fairly” definition Elaboration of “misleading” results from complaince Standards on selection of accounting policies moved to IAS No. 8 Certain disclosures no longer required Specific disclosures required Statement of Changes in Equity disclosure requirements IFRS No. 1 “First Time Adoption of International Reporting Standards” Compliance requirements Recognition of assets and liabilities Only when required by IFRSs Requires reclassifying if necessary Applies existing IFRSs in measuring End of Chapter 3 Prepared by Kathryn Yarbrough, MBA Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 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