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Accountants v Bankers

The International Accounting Standards Board has defended its work on harmonising U.S. and international accounting rules into one single standard. In a letter addressed to G20 host, US President, Barack Obama, it outlines that the board has made “substantial progress” on meeting the objectives set out by the G20 at its Washington summit last Autumn.

The G20 is due to meet at a summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania next week when the role of accounting standards in market stability will be top of the agenda. Gerrit Zalm, Chairman of the Trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, the oversight body of the IASB, sets out a strong rebuttal of the criticism the board has faced recently, particularly from the American Bankers Association which has said in recent lobby materials that the IASB proposals are not consistent with G20 recommendations or the overarching objective to converge U.S. and international accounting rules. 

The American Bankers Association has led the criticism against IASB and is acknowledged by industry commentators to hold more sway in the lobby halls of Congress than their accounting counterparts. The battle for transparent and pro-shareholder accounting standards is shaping up to be a fight between those wishing to appease the banks and their backers and those who see trustworth accounting as a central plank to stronger shareholder protection and the reform agenda.


IASB G20 Letter >>

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