International Accounting and Reporting Issues

2008 Review

image of International Accounting and Reporting Issues

Since the middle of 2007, world financial markets have been experiencing extreme turbulence. The centrality of reliable and comparable information for financial stability and for the ability of investors to assess risk and allocate resources to different investment opportunities has been painfully demonstrated by recent events. In marking UNCTAD’s Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR)’s twenty-fifth anniversary, the UNCTAD secretariat organized a high-level segment that featured prominent speakers, including ministers, discussing the positive contribution of international accounting and reporting standards and codes to financial stability and economic growth. This publication contains ISAR’s deliberations at its twenty-fifth session, and it will provide policymakers, regulators, standard-setters, boards of directors, researchers and other readers with insights into some of the timely issues on corporate reporting.



Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidelines for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEGA) – Level 3 guidance

After a brief introduction of the agenda item, the Chair of the session invited a representative of the IASB to provide delegates with an update on the accounting standard for SMEs (IFRS for SMEs) that the IASB had been developing. The IASB representative presented a comprehensive update on the status of this IASB project and also discussed remaining steps. In comparison to the ISAR approach to accounting by SMEs, the IFRS for SMEs was aimed at Level 2 enterprises. Following the exposure draft and field-testing of the IFRS for SMEs, the IASB was in the process of redeliberating the standard. Some of these issues pertained to (a) making the standard fully stand-alone; (b) naming the standard; (c) anticipating changes to the full IFRS; (d) deciding whether historical cost should be the default basis of measurement; (e) fair value; (f) consolidation; (g) amortization of goodwill; (h) impairment; (i) income taxes; (j) operating leases; (k) pensions; (l) share-based payment; and (m) debt equity classification and further simplifications on disclosure requirements.


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