New International Accounting Standard

Article excerpt

The international Accounting Standards Committee issued the last major core standard of the Comprehensive Core Set of Standards, IAS 39, "Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement." In 1995, the IASC agreed with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) to complete the Core Set of Standards project by December 1998. The completion of this IASC project helps fulfill the need for immediate improvements in global accounting because of recent events in the world's financial markets. IOSCO plans to review these standards and then decide if it will endorse International Accounting Standards for cross-border capital raising and listing in global markets. (The Securities & Exchange Commission is part of IOSCO.)

IAS 39 marks a milestone in accounting for financial instruments. Although various national standard setters have issued standards covering various aspects of accounting for financial instruments, AS 39 is the first that deals with all financial instruments. IAS 39 will take effect for annual financial statements (choosing to use IAS) covering periods beginning on or alter January l, 2001. It is to be applied to all enterprises, not just companies whose debt or equity securities are publicly traded (as proposed in the Exposure Draft, E62). This Standard is the result of three public comment documents since 1991, all of which were commented on by IMA's Financial Reporting Committee. Because of the explosive growth in the use of financial instruments by companies worldwide and the noncomparability, confusion, and omissions caused by the absence of accounting standards, the IASC Board decided to develop IAS 39 as an interim Standard on the recognition and measurement of financial instruments. …