IASC Says Its on Time
T he International Accounting Standards Committee said it will meet a March 1998 deadline to complete a core set of international accounting standards (IASs). Sir Bryan Carsberg, IASC secretary-general, said there were a few instances in 1996 when publication dates of documents were slightly delayed but that "none of these delays had caused the target date for completion to be revised."
Nonetheless, Peter Clark, IASC senior research manager, told the Journal that if a conflict arose between meeting the deadline and jeopardizing the quality of a standard, the IASC would put quality before the timetable.
The IASC has been working to complete a core set of accounting standards for international stock offerings. In 1995, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) agreed to seek endorsements of individual securities regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, if the IASC drew up rules of sufficient quality.
Two proposals await comments
The IASC issued two exposure drafts on impaired assets and lease accounting that, if approved, will be part of the core set of standards. E55, Impairment of Assets , specifies testing its nonfinancial assets, including
- How a company should assess whether it will recover the book value of its assets.
- When a company should account for and measure an impairment loss.
The IASC requests that comments on the exposure drafts include views on the relative merits of measuring impaired assets by fair value.
The IASC proposed revisions to IAS no. 17, Accounting for Leases , that focus on the issues IOSCO considers essential in a lease accounting standard. "Since IAS no. 17 was approved in 1982, IASC and many national standard setters have become aware of deficiencies in current requirements," said Carsberg.
The ED proposes enhancing disclosures by lessees and lessors, eliminating the net cash investment method of allocating a lessors finance income and requiring lessors to use the net investment method.
Comments for both E55 and E56 are due no later than July 31. Copies of the proposals can be obtained for $16 each by calling the IASC in London at 44-171-353-0565 or by e-mail at email@example.com . The Web site of the IASC is http://www.iasc.org.uk .
CPE as a Rule Overseas
T he International Federation of Accountants is encouraging its member organizations to mandate continuing education to improve the professional competence of accountants around the world. Comments on the exposure draft, Continuing Professional Education , are due by August 31.
According to IFAC, at least 35 of its 125 member bodies have a mandatory CPE requirement. "To better protect the publics interest and ensure high-quality performance, we would like this to become a universal requirement," said Cecil Donovan, chairman of IFACs education committee.
The proposal lists the objectives of a CPE program and the subject areas that should be consistent with those objectives. It recommends minimum individual commitments appropriate for accountants in public practice, industry, commerce, government and education and establishes the goal of making CPE a mandatory requirement of all member bodies on a worldwide basis. It also explains why it is necessary to establish disciplinary measures to ensure compliance.