International Accounting Standards Board

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International Accounting Standards Board

International Accounting Standards Board

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is an independent, privately-funded accounting standard-setter based in London, England.The IASB was founded on April 1, 2001 as the successor to the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). It is responsible for developing International Financial Reporting Standards (the new name for International Accounting Standards issued after 2001), and promoting the use and application of these standards.

Challenges faced by IASB

The international standards have achieved wide acceptance: more than 100 countries have agreed to adopt them. In addition to the U.K. and U.S., standard-setting bodies have been established in many countries around the world. Convergence of international accounting standards is applicable to public entities that trade on the world's various stock exchanges. However, there is still going to be a need for domestic standard-setters for private companies, as well as domestic government agencies. In addition, the national standard-setting bodies will continue to interface on national issues with IASB.

The speed with which we achieve convergence of U.S. and international standards will largely depend on compromise. While the goal of harmonizing international standards is a good one, there are many issues that must be resolved. For instance, the issues raised by the presence of different legal systems are very large.

The Committee continues to actively participate in the development of the IASB's project on accounting for insurance contracts (phase 2) and related financial reporting projects, with regular communication with the IASB staff and Board members. In response to phase 1, most of the Committee's activities has continued to focus on the development of International Actuarial Standards of Practice (IASPs) that relate to the use of IFRS 4 (Insurance Contracts) that were finalized since the Paris meeting, while in response to phase 2, most of the Committee's activities have focused on the ongoing discussion of the IASB's Insurance Working Group plus working with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (the IAIS) on their project on liabilities of insurance contracts, focusing on the measurement of current estimates and risk margins.

The Committee has been very active in providing actuarial advice to the IASB, particularly by Francis Ruygt and Sam Gutterman, although other members of the Committee have also been active in this area, especially Stefan Engeländer. For example, Sam attended a meeting of the IASB's Financial Instruments Working Group as its IAA representative and participated in an educational session at the June IASB Board meeting in support of the IAIS. In addition, individual members of the Committee have been active in making presentations and writing articles on this topic to meetings of IAA member and other organizations. Francis Ruygt also attended a meetings of the IASB's Financial Instrument Working Group that is advising the Board on IAS 39 (financial instrument) related issues.

In addition, the Committee responded to the IASB's request for comments, both formal and informal, including written submissions addressing the IASB's IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements: A Revised Presentation and its Preliminary Views on an improved Conceptual Framework for ...
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