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An Executive Guide to IFRS: Content, Costs and Benefits to Business by Peter Walton

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CHAPTER 11

OBSERVER NOTES

This chapter discusses the composition and behaviour of the IASB from the perspective of one who has spent 10 years observing the public standard-setting process. The chapter looks at the changes in composition of the Board over the first decade. It notes that decisions are a majority position and that the IASB can have no opinions as such. However, it then goes on to discuss underlying themes that can be discerned in Board decisions, including the use of the Conceptual Framework, fair value, executory contracts and anti-abuse measures. It also considers the Board use of the ‘true and fair view’.

This final chapter is a set of reflections on the standard-setting process in general, and on the IASB in particular. I have spent many, many hours in the boardroom at 30 Cannon Street and elsewhere, listening to the members of the IASB (sometimes joined by the FASB) debating accounting issues during its first decade. In the coffee breaks, the hard core of about four or five observers who attend most meetings often discuss the object of their study. This chapter is the sort of thing we talk about.

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