Chapter 1


Need for a Common Set of Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards

As the oft quoted verse from the world-renowned works of Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) goes: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” One wonders if the same can be said of financial statements prepared in different jurisdictions of the world. Not too far in the distant past, countries and economic regional blocs, such as Europe, would not be swayed by the thought of converging to a single set of global accounting standards and, due to nationalistic approaches to accounting standard setting, a financial statement issued in Japan (under the Japanese accounting standards) was vastly different in terms of accounting treatments and disclosures compared to a financial statement issued in other major parts of the world, say, in Germany where German accounting standards were used. In other words, the “name” that was given to the set of accounting standards used in the preparation of financial statements did matter for several countries since their national standard setters strongly believed that their own (national) accounting standards were suitable for their needs and were compatible to other globally preferred accounting standards.
However, due to the advent of globalization, the falling of the erstwhile insurmountable trade barriers between nations, and more recently the much-awaited ...

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