Issues affecting the development of an international accounting standard
On financial instruments
The Article tries to find out what issues are important to respondents in their comment letters regarding the Financial Instruments Discussion Paper (FIDP), and whether stakeholder groups differ in positions and the reasons given to support their views. The FIDP represented a major step toward approval of IAS 39 and proposed fair value accounting for all financial instruments. Over 1500 pages of comment letters were generated by the 168 respondents, who represented over 20 countries and several different stakeholder groups. While most respondents disagreed with the FIDP, differences in support and the specific issues used to support those positions were found by stakeholder interest group (accounting profession, regulators, standard-setters, financial analysts, and preparers) and by stakeholder nationality.
While the global convergence of accounting standards is making steady progress, certain issues stand out as challenges. A major area where an international accounting standard has not gained acceptability to all constituents is that of financial instruments. The European Union (EU)'s refusal to adopt all of International Accounting Standard (IAS) 39, Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, highlights that fact (Walton, 2004; Benston et al., 2006; Zeff, 2006). French President Chirac created a stir in 2003 when he stated that parts of IAS 39 would have “nefarious consequences for financial stability” (Tromans, 2006; Zeff, 2007). The International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) continues to address financial instruments as it works to improve its standards and remedy this situation (IASB, 2008). Thus, it is important to better understand the influences affecting the development of an international financial instruments accounting standard. The IASB and its predecessor, the International Accounting Standards Committee...