Thank you and good afternoon.
My topic today is the international harmonization of accounting
standards, particularly the role that U.S. regulators and standard setters
should play in achieving that harmonization.
The concept of accounting harmonization has been around for a
long time. At least by the early 1960's, observers noted the need for international harmonization of accounting standards, as well as the
powerful economic forces leading to the creation of a single global
economy that would inevitably provide the im.petus for accounting
harmonization. One influential U.S. commentator noted in 1963 that, in
view of the development of the world economy, the lack of uniformity in
accounting principles and auditing procedures as between nations was
a cause of concern to thoughtful accountants everywhere. 1./
At the Ninth International Congress of Accountants in 1967, the
president of the Congress stated that "[allmost all the international and
national [experts] are in favor of the harmonization of accounting and
auditing principles, and some even consider[ed] that this harmonization
1./ L. Rappaport, SEC Accounting Practice and Procedure, ch. 26 at 3 (2d ed. 1963).
N. Rueschhoff, International Accounting and Financial Reporting
144 (1976)(quoting F. M. Richard, president of the Ninth International
Congress of Accountants, Paris, 1967).