Alphabet Soup

BY GREG KYTE

The article “On the Verge of an Academic Revolution” (Dec. 08, page 82) did a fantastic job of outlining the challenges facing educators as a result of looming U.S. convergence with IFRS. One important issue for educators that was completely ignored, however, was how to pronounce the overwhelming plethora of new acronyms introduced with international standards. Little to no guidance can be found in this area, and the problem is ubiquitous. No longer do we simply have the FASB and GASB. Now we have the unpronounceable IASB. Do we say, “Eye-Azby”? Or is it “Yazby”? We need to know because no one wants to look stupid in front of the French. Also, how is the IASB distinguishable from the IAASB? If the former is pronounced “Eye-Azby,” does the latter have a karate-style “Ai-Yaw!-Azby.” Then consider IFRS. I have heard this pronounced both “Eye-Furs” and “If-Wris.” Since it is difficult to know which countries have adopted them—and to what extent—maybe they should be pronounced “Iffers.” And we haven’t even touched the IPSASB, IFAC or IASCF.

The problem reaches far beyond international acronyms. Everyone is frustrated with the PCAOB. It certainly doesn’t roll off the tongue when spoken as a list of initials; however, I don’t want to call it the “Pi-Cowb.” That’s the universal sound effect for a laser gun. Some members of our profession have bestowed upon the PCAOB the far-too-cutesy nickname “Peek-a-Boo.” And I don’t have the space here to explore the problems with the TIGTA, FinCEN or the CAQ.

Greg Kyte
Provo, Utah

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