International


The International Accounting Standards Board issues six interpretations of international accounting standards. The new guidance applies to evaluating the substance of leasing transactions, business combinations, disclosure of service concession arrangements, currency reporting, barter transactions revenue and the consolidation and equity method of accounting for ownership interests. ( www.iasb.org.uk/cmt/0001.asp?s=319297&sc={D06C3078-9A3D-47C9-A481-DF2FA450F624}&n=63 )

A new group of 70 corporations and trade associations urges the IASB not to resurrect what many in corporate America had hoped was a resolved issue—accounting for stock options granted to employees. On December 13, the International Employee Stock Option Coalition (IESOC) wrote to the IASB, protesting its development of global guidance in this area. Thus far, the board has proposed requiring companies to expense such grants.

Instead, the IESOC’s letter said, the IASB should adopt the approach set forth in FASB Statement no. 123, Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation. Under the FASB standard, if companies prefer not to expense such forms of employee compensation, they can use either fair-value or intrinsic-value methods to account for and make disclosures about them in footnotes to their financial statements. ( www.fei.org/gr/download/IESOCCommentLetter.doc ; www.iasb.org.uk/docs/g4sp00/g4sp00.pdf ; www.fasb.org/st/summary/stsum123.htm )

The European Federation of Accountants (FEE) releases a discussion paper on harmonization, Proposal on International Standards on Auditing in the European Union ( www.fee.be/secretariat/Press%20Release%20Pages/PR16.htm ). In it, the FEE suggests ways to integrate and reconcile auditing standards and, in the process, to facilitate adoption of international accounting standards and integration of European capital markets. Comments are due by March 8.

At the request of the International Federation of Accountants, the seven largest accounting firms issue the GAAP 2001 Report ( www.ifad.net/content/ie/ie_f_gaap_frameset.htm ), which compares 62 countries’ national accounting standards with international financial reporting standards (IFRSs), formerly known as international accounting standards (IASs). The two sets of standards differ significantly in their approach to related-party disclosures—an important factor in investment and corporate governance. The report indicates that while one-third of the countries surveyed are harmonizing their standards with IFRSs, half as yet have made no progress. ( www.ifac.org/News/LastestReleases.tmpl?NID=100860262517966 )

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