The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) publishes an exposure draft ( www.iasb.org.uk/cmt/0001.asp?n=67&s=1011265 ) intended to improve two international accounting standards related to accounting for financial instruments: IAS 32, Financial Instruments: Disclosure and Presentation and IAS 39, Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement. Although the IASB’s goal ultimately is to develop a principles-based approach to this area, its immediate aims are to eliminate inconsistencies in existing standards, which are modeled on U.S. GAAP, and to provide implementation guidance. Comments are due October 14.
The IASB also proposes improvements in 12 other international accounting standards: IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements; IAS 2, Inventories; IAS 8, Net Profit or Loss for the Period, Fundamental Errors and Changes in Accounting Policies; IAS 10, Events After the Balance Sheet Date; IAS 16, Property, Plant and Equipment; IAS 17 , Leases; IAS 21, The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates; IAS 23, Borrowing Costs; IAS 24, Related Party Disclosures; IAS 27, Consolidated Financial Statements and Accounting for Investments in Subsidiaries; IAS 28, Accounting for Investments in Associates; and IAS 33, Earnings Per Share ( www.iasb.org.uk/cmt/0001.asp?n=67&s=1011265 ). The IASB expects that the revisions will help reduce or eliminate ambiguities, redundancies and conflicts in existing standards. Comments are due September 16.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), which oversees accounting standard setting in Australia, announces it supports adopting the IASB’s international accounting standards by January 2005 ( www.frc.gov.au/content/Bulletins/bull_2002_4.asp ). While the FRC does not have the authority to direct Australia’s accounting standards board to develop standards or to veto any the board has formulated or recommended, the move lends credence to the IASB standards and supports the Australian government’s efforts to facilitate foreign investment in the nation’s capital markets—a benefit generally expected from harmonized accounting standards.