Credibility and funding in focus at IFRS debate

INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL Reporting Standard heavyweights came together earlier this week to debate the future of global standards and the likelihood of a truly comparable set of rules.

Hosted by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, a roundtable discussed whether the promise of global accounting standards can be kept, taking as a starting point a discussion paper by thinktank star Nicolas Véron.

In it, he argued standard setter the IASB must fight to preserve the “integrity of its brand”, leave public policy goals to individual jurisdictions and become more accountable to investors.

Debate swirled around regional implementation, with some saying different ‘accents’ are acceptable as countries move towards global accounting standards, while others warned too much interpretation will irreparably damage the value and brand of IFRS.

Funding issues came up, with speakers worried too great a proportion of donations coming from the Big Four could create an impression of leverage on standard setting, even if no such reality exists.

An IASB spokesman said the roundtable was “useful” and would help trustees in finalising the body’s strategy review.

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Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.