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Effect of the global financial crisis on accounting convergence

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Abstract

Fair value accounting (FVA) is threatening the convergence of accounting practices around the world. It has been regarded as one of the contributing factors of the recent financial crisis. Given that International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have embraced FVA, this financial crisis raises concerns about their suitability for financial reporting across the world. This study explores important implications of the global financial crisis for financial reporting, in particular seeking to identify whether the trend towards convergence has been impeded by inherent problems in the IFRS. Contrary to our expectations, analyses show that the financial crisis has made the case for global convergence of accounting standards more compelling than before. The majority of countries intending to converge in the near future have not been affected by the global financial crisis and are committed to adopt IFRS as planned. The analyses also show that the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has been facing pressure from the financial institutions, regulators, policy-makers and finance ministers to review its rules on FVA. Consequently, the IASB has been undertaking measures to improve the reporting requirements in the light of the financial crisis.

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