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I. INTRODUCTION

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

is

essential

and

...

urgent." 2/

One result

of

that

Congress

was the

1./ L. Rappaport, SEC Accounting Practice and Procedure, ch. 26 at 3 (2d ed. 1963).

2/

N. Rueschhoff, International Accounting and Financial Reporting

144 (1976)(quoting F. M. Richard, president of the Ninth International

Congress of Accountants, Paris, 1967).

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