G-20 Reiterates Call for Convergence


For the fourth time in less than two years, the Group of 20 (G-20) leaders called for a single set of global accounting standards and urged FASB and the IASB to complete their convergence projects.


“We re-emphasized the importance we place on achieving a single set of high quality

improved global accounting standards,” said the group’s joint declaration following a summit in Toronto last week.


The G-20 statement appeared to accept the standard setters’ revised timeline, which previously ended June 2011 but has now been extended through the end of 2011 to accommodate stakeholder concerns over the complexity and large volume of new proposals being released for public comment (see “ Big Changes Proposed for Revenue Recognition” and “FASB, IASB Propose Common Standard for Fair Value Measurement and Disclosure ).


 “We urged the International Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board to increase their efforts to complete their convergence project by the end of 2011,” the G-20 leaders said.


The G-20 is a relatively new organization whose prominence has grown rapidly since the George W. Bush administration invited the G-20 leaders to Washington to discuss the financial crisis in November 2008. Prior to the Washington summit, the G-20 was an organization not of national leaders, but of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 of the world’s most significant industrial and emerging economies, and the European Union. The G-20 had no official powers or permanent staff, and its decisions depended on the follow-through of its members within the limitations of their authority in their respective jurisdictions.


At the Pittsburgh summit in 2009, the leaders of the G-20 nations, hosted by President Barack Obama, opened a new chapter to the organization’s role in world affairs with their agreement to designate the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation. The next G-20 Summit is scheduled to be held in Seoul, South Korea, in November. 


Matthew G. Lamoreaux ( mlamoreaux@aicpa.org) is a JofA senior editor.


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