QUESTION 1 (25 marks)
Because accounting standard-setters throughout the world typically consider the potential economic and social consequences of the accounting standards they develop, it has been argued that reports developed in accordance with the accounting standards cannot be considered neutral or unbiased.
Do you agree with this perspective? Is this perspective consistent with the qualitative attributes typically promoted in accounting conceptual framework projects?
QUESTION 2 (25 marks)
The website of the FASB (www.fasb.org ) has a section entitled ‘Facts about FASB’, in which there is information about how accounting standards are developed (as accessed in late 2013). In part, it states:
The mission of the FASB is to establish and improve standards of financial accounting and reporting that foster financial reporting by nongovernmental entities that provides decision-useful information to investors and other users of financial reports. That mission is accomplished through a comprehensive and independent process that encourages broad participation, objectively considers all stakeholder views, and is subject to oversight by the Financial Accounting Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The FASB accomplishes its mission through a comprehensive and independent process that encourages broad participation, objectively considers all stakeholder views, and is subject to oversight by the Financial Accounting Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The Rules of Procedure describe the FASB’s operating procedures, including the due process activities that are to be open to public participation or observation to provide transparency into the standards-setting process. In particular, the Rules of Procedure describe:
The organization in which the FASB operates The FASB mission, how the mission is accomplished, and related principles that guide the Board’s standards-setting activities. The operating procedures of the FASB, including the responsibilities of the Chairman, the composition of the FASB technical staff, the role of advisory groups including the Emerging Issues Task Force, and the role of public forums in our due process. Our various forms of communications, including the form and content of Accounting Standards Updates, Exposure Drafts, and Concepts Statements. Protocols for meetings of the FASB and voting requirements. Rules governing public announcements and the kinds of information made broadly available to the public. A high-level overview of the standards-setting process as established by the Rules of Procedure follows. The nature and extent of the Board’s specific research and outreach activities will vary from project to project, depending on the nature and scope of the reporting issues involved.
- The Board identifies a financial reporting issue based on requests/recommendations from stakeholders or through other means.
- The FASB Chairman decides whether to add a project to the technical agenda, after consultation with FASB Members and others as appropriate, and subject to oversight by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
- The Board deliberates at one or more public meetings the various reporting issues identified and analyzed by the staff.
- The Board issues an Exposure Draft to solicit broad stakeholder input. (In some projects, the Board may issue a Discussion Paper to obtain input in the early stages of a project.)
- The Board holds a public roundtable meeting on the Exposure Draft, if necessary.
- The staff analyses comment letters, public roundtable discussion, and any other information obtained through due process activities. The Board redeliberates the proposed provisions, carefully considering the stakeholder input received, at one or more public meetings.
- The Board issues an Accounting Standards Update describing amendments to the Accounting Standards Codification.
Given the process involved in developing accounting standards—which involves asking constituents to make submissions on exposure drafts—do you think that accounting standards developed within the United States would be the same as accounting standards developed in another country? Provide an explanation for your answer
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