IASB: ‘We’re consistent with G20’

The international accounting standard setter has reassured the financial
world that its work is consistent with calls made by world leaders at the G20
summit in London last week.

A statement from the IASB yesterday said it remains committed to a ‘single
high set of standards’, as G20 asked for, but detailed issues that it had to
resolve with the US standard setter FASB.

The US authorities recently issued fresh guidance on using fair value in
inactive markets. These were reported as creating a gap between US and
international standards. The IASB said it believes the guidance to be ‘broadly
similar’ to principles in international standards. The IASB began an accelerated
30-day consultation on the issue which should report on 20 April.

However, the IASB said there were significant differences over the treatment
of impairment. It intends to confirm the standard setter’s position at a meeting
on 20 April and restated its aim of producing a brand new standard in this area,
rather than tackling the issue piecemeal. That new standard would replace the
notorious IAS39 on financial instruments.

The IASB statement said: ‘The comprehensive project is to undertake, on an
accelerated basis, the replacement of existing financial instruments standards …
with a common and globally accepted standard that would address issues arising
from the financial crisis in a comprehensive manner. The IASB plans to publish
proposals within six months. This course of action is consistent with the call
by the G20 ‘to reduce the complexity of accounting standards for financial

Senior accountants have viewed the G20 communique as reaffirming the
international accounting standards project and the IASB’s place, led by Sir
David Tweedie, leading the work.

There has been speculation that the US had gone cold on IFRS, but the G20
statements appears to give its backing to further convergence.

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