Disagreement continues over fair value

The US and international accounting rule maker are trying to find middle
ground after failing to reconcile their different fair value standards.

The head of the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), Robert Herz,
and the head of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Sir David
Tweedie, met in Norwalk, Connecticut on Monday to try and find a way forward as
they try to converge US and international accounting rules,

Their differing fair value standards – an accounting rule which forces assets
to be valued at their market value – however remains an obstacle to the pair
with the IASB now suggesting it would be open to a model which allowed investors
to reconcile US and international accounting treatments for themselves.

FASB’s proposal would see all assets valued at fair value, where as the
IASB’s mixed-measurement model would result in bank’s loan books being measured
at amortised cost.

At the meeting there was discussion about whether both the IASB and FASB
numbers could be represented on financial statements.

Tweedie said if the two groups could not agree “the next best thing is
something to move between the two.”

“By the end of 2010 … if we can’t get it together, we should be appreciably
together,” Tweedie said.

Herz reiterated his support for the full fair-value model.

“I think fair value gets a lot closer to showing actual financial condition
than amortized cost,” he said.

Read the full story:
boards try to reconcile fair value views

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Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.