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formulating U.S. allegedly violate

accounting standards. .18/ the doctrine of neutrality

To do the and thereby

latter would destroy the

purported foundation of the U.S. accounting structure.

It is at least inconsistent (if not something more) to ignore

competitive costs when formulating U.S. accounting standards, thereby

increasing the disparities between U.S.and foreign issuers, while at the

same time arguing that harmonization is difficult because of these very

disparities.

A

more

productive

approach

would

be

to

begin

by

considering international competitiveness issues, as well as all other international ramifications of accounting standards, in setting U.S.

accounting standards in the first place.

Even without harmonization, U.S. companies must compete for

capital, both in the private U.S. markets and overseas, with foreign

companies

subject

to

different

accounting

standards.

In

my

view,

harmonization is not a cause of competitiveness problems for U.S.

companies, but rather provides one real answer to this problem.

IV.

APPROACHESTO ACHIEVINGHARMONIZATION

There are at least three possible approaches to achieving

harmonization of accounting standards.

For simplicity's sake, let me

.18/ ~,.e&L,

Beresford, "Financial Reporting: Comparability and

Competition", FASS Viewpoints 2-5 (November 8, 1990).

11

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