Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Continental Divide: Expert Not Sure If Accounting Will Unify Standards

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Continental Divide: Expert Not Sure If Accounting Will Unify Standards

Article excerpt

TULSA - James J. Leisenring didn't miss a beat as the power went off during the University of Tulsa's 69th-annual Conference of Accountants.

"Probably the FASB trying to censor me," said Leisenring, senior adviser to the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Leisenring opened the two-day TU Collins College of Business conference by outlining problems plaguing the decades-long effort to converge FASB standards with those of the International Accounting Standards Board. While some progress has been made since missing a 2010 target deadline, Leisenring said the work has a long way to go. He expressed some doubts on how it will advance in today's industry climate.

"Whether we have the right mechanism to get there right now, I would say no," he said.

He blamed systemic issues as much as legal or philosophical problems. The IASB approvals process is stilted by political hurdles in Europe, he said.

"The IASB is scared to death the U.S. may adopt IASB standards and start to have the (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) define what IASB means," he said. "They don't want that to happen."

Participants also face problems agreeing on definitions, and sorting out different enforcement and compliance notions.

"Given that we've now sort of decided we're not interested in converging the way we were, we're not going to hear much of converging in the next few years," he said.

Leisenring, a member of the Accounting Hall of Fame, has experienced both sides of the process. He served the FASB from 1982 to 2000, holding the vice chairman position for 12 years. He then served the IASB as its FASB liaison from 2001 to 2010 before taking his current post. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.