comparative study of U.S.




FASB Issues Comparative Study of U.S. and International Accounting Standards

T he Financial Accounting Standards Board published a 440-page study that examines the differences between standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The study, A Report on the Similarities and Differences between IASC Standards and U.S. GAAP, also compares the structures and process of the IASC and the FASB, and it identifies the differences between the purposes, mandates, technical support levels and underlying philosophies of the two organizations.

There are many differences between U.S. GAAP and IASC standards. For example, international standards often permit explicit choices that are specifically prohibited under U.S. standards, such as revaluation of assets, reversals of write-downs for impairment losses and the capitalization of development costs. "This book provides a basis for a benchmark as the FASB and the IASC work to narrow the differences in their standards," said James J. Leisenring, FASB vice-chairman. He also said it was intended as a tool to assist investors, analysts, standard setters and regulators when comparing companies that use U.S. GAAP with companies that use IASC standards.

"Another objective of the study was to provide a base for assessing the acceptability of international accounting standards for filings in the United States," said Leisenring. He said the study also provided some insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of the processes of the two standard setting bodies.

The report was reviewed by the former secretary-general of the IASC, a former IASC research fellow and a number of financial analysts and academics, many of whom have written international accounting publications.

Copies of the study are available for $32 by calling the FASB order department at 203-847-0700, ext. 555. The study also can be ordered via the Internet at http://www.fasb.org .

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