Magazine article The CPA Journal

Financial Reporting Symposium Proceedings Now Available

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Financial Reporting Symposium Proceedings Now Available

Article excerpt

Standard-setting for financial reporting should remain in the private sector, but financial reporting should be "re-engineered" gradually to ensure its relevance. Future reporting standards should be broader and "less rule oriented." These conclusions were reached by a blue ribbon symposium that met in October 1990 at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. The proceedings of the symposium are available from the AICPA, which sponsored the program. The program was chaired by Russell E. Palmer, CEO of the Palmer Group and former dean of the Wharton School, and discussions were led by Philip B. Chenok, AICPA president, and Shaun F. O'Malley, managing partner of Price Waterhouse.

A principal outcome of the symposium was the identification of a core reporting concept that will provide the rationale for "re-engineering" the traditional statement-oriented financial reporting model, with additional information provided based on user needs. Thus, financial reporting would move from a general purpose to a multi-purpose model. Such an approach would recognize differences among preparers and could also accommodate varying levels of audit or attestation, depending on the nature of the information.

Three Significant Conclusions

The Symposium on Financial Reporting and Standard Setting reached three significant conclusions, according to Gary John Previts, professor at Case Western Reserve University, who edited the publication.

1. Financial reporting must change. To remain relevant, its value-based and forward-looking information content must be enhanced. …

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