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financial statements to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles,S/

regardless of the quality of the foreign standards that the company may

have previously statements.

complied

with in preparing

its historical

financial

One explanation for the lack of concrete results in actually

achieving harmonization may be the absence of any belief that

international accounting harmonization is within our grasp. References

can be found throughout the '60's, '70's, and 'ao's to the need for and

the inevitability of harmonization, yet commentators from those decades

consistently saw harmonization as a vague long-term goal, rather than

a realistic short-term objective. 6/ Everyone believes harmonization will

happen, but apparently no one believes it will happen in their lifetime.

Fortunately, however, there is room for some optimism. As I will

discuss later, the lASe is entering a crucial phase in its attempt to

develop a nucleus of internationally accepted accounting principles.

The IASC has indicated that it expects to complete its process by the

fll 61

~

,

!lJL., Securities Exchange Act Form 20-F, Items 17 and 18.

See,~,

M. Lafferty and D. Cairns, Financial Times World

Survey of Annual Reports 1980 76 (statement of John A. Hepworth, Chairman, lASe); N. Rueschhoff, International Accounting and Financial Reporting 148 (1976); AICPA Committee on International

Relations, Professional Accounting

in 25 Countries vii-ix (1964).

3

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