Friday, January 08, 2010

International Financial Reporting Standards - not going well

It looks as if IFRS 8 (the International Accounting Standard on segment reporting that TJN and many other NGOs tried to change to include country-by-country reporting) has got off to a very bad start - the UK's accounting standard setters having expressed concern about its application and usefulness.

If you're not familiar with the background to this, we explained in a blog a while ago that

"TJN has been complaining for some time about proposals by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB.) The IASB is a privately run company based in Delaware which is substantially funded by the Big Four accountants and which sets international standards for company accounting. Its intention is to create a new accounting standard known by the innocuous-sounding title IFRS-8, to replace the current standard, known as IAS-14. The newer standard is mostly a copy of a US standard, and is part of a project by the US and international standard-setters to converge two sets of standards."

Richard Murphy, who has led the charge on this for TJN and others, explains more in a new blog today, noting not only that academic research had already shown that the US equivalent of IFRS 8 (called SFAS 131) had been bad news for shareholders, but that the European Financial Reporting Council has said it is concerned about how companies are reporting the performance of key parts of their business in the light of the introduction of IFRS 8.

Changes need to be made, none more so than country by country reporting.


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