September 24, 2018

India Is Still Balking at This Whole Convergence to IFRS Thing

In May, IASB member Prabhakar Kalavacherla threatened India by telling a conference in Mumbai “to put it in one sentence, we strongly encourage adoption as against convergence,” suggesting that India could totally contribute to the rule-setting if it will just go ahead and adopt IFRS now. That sort of attitude is hilarious and why watching the IFRS “condorsement” plan getting burped up around the world is so much fun. Really? Adopt first, ask questions later?

India isn’t buying it, although looking to the U.S. and Japan for answers isn’t going to help matters either.

The Economic Times has the story:

The government is planning to introduce additional changes to global accounting standard, IFRS, to make it more palatable for Indian companies, overriding the international opposition to amendments already made. Such a move will extend the eventual migration by Indian companies to the global standard and also insulate local firms from any short-term capital market shocks that may arise due to erosion in valuations.

However, any changes to the Indian version of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will take time as the government will initially look at some of the revisions being suggested globally, specially by the developed markets of US and Japan, before finalising the road map, secretary, ministry of corporate affairs D K Mittal told ET on Thursday. “We have to see how IFRS will meet our requirements. Our markets are different, our standards are different,” he said.

Quote of the convergence! “Our markets are different, our standards are different.” I’m sorry, maybe I’m confused on how this convergence thing is supposed to work (entirely possible as I’m not an accountant and therefore not required to understand what’s happening here) but couldn’t each country getting IFRS shoved down its throat say the same? That’s why global economies are (read: were) such a beautiful thing; different markets breed different standards, and market participants have the option to say whether or not they find a particular country’s financial standards appealing. With forced adoption of a single arbitrary standard, determined by an entity with questionable self-interest at work, you take away investors’ ability to put their money where their mouth is.

GAAP has obviously failed. The evaporation of capital in the United States over the last 3 years proves it. But the whole Adopt-or-Else plan isn’t necessarily any better either.

In my humble opinion, it just makes the IASB look desperate and India look awesome. For now.

In May, IASB member Prabhakar Kalavacherla threatened India by telling a conference in Mumbai “to put it in one sentence, we strongly encourage adoption as against convergence,” suggesting that India could totally contribute to the rule-setting if it will just go ahead and adopt IFRS now. That sort of attitude is hilarious and why watching the IFRS “condorsement” plan getting burped up around the world is so much fun. Really? Adopt first, ask questions later?

India isn’t buying it, although looking to the U.S. and Japan for answers isn’t going to help matters either.

The Economic Times has the story:

The government is planning to introduce additional changes to global accounting standard, IFRS, to make it more palatable for Indian companies, overriding the international opposition to amendments already made. Such a move will extend the eventual migration by Indian companies to the global standard and also insulate local firms from any short-term capital market shocks that may arise due to erosion in valuations.

However, any changes to the Indian version of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will take time as the government will initially look at some of the revisions being suggested globally, specially by the developed markets of US and Japan, before finalising the road map, secretary, ministry of corporate affairs D K Mittal told ET on Thursday. “We have to see how IFRS will meet our requirements. Our markets are different, our standards are different,” he said.

Quote of the convergence! “Our markets are different, our standards are different.” I’m sorry, maybe I’m confused on how this convergence thing is supposed to work (entirely possible as I’m not an accountant and therefore not required to understand what’s happening here) but couldn’t each country getting IFRS shoved down its throat say the same? That’s why global economies are (read: were) such a beautiful thing; different markets breed different standards, and market participants have the option to say whether or not they find a particular country’s financial standards appealing. With forced adoption of a single arbitrary standard, determined by an entity with questionable self-interest at work, you take away investors’ ability to put their money where their mouth is.

GAAP has obviously failed. The evaporation of capital in the United States over the last 3 years proves it. But the whole Adopt-or-Else plan isn’t necessarily any better either.

In my humble opinion, it just makes the IASB look desperate and India look awesome. For now.

Related articles

Score One for U.S. GAAP

two thumbs up.jpegU.S. GAAP just got a little boost in its image versus its sexy rival, IFRS, courtesy of Audit Integrity, a research services firm.
Audit Integrity studied filings by European companies from 2001 to 2008, looking at filings both pre and post IFRS adoption. The objectives were, “to determine whether IFRS has been implemented consistently across Europe, whether it has resulted in a common method of reporting financial data, and how the depth and comparability of data under IFRS compares to U.S. GAAP.”
At first glance, one might think that with all the bashing of U.S. GAAP in recent years that this was IFRS chance to prove once and for all that it was the new cock of the walk.
Well, not so fast GAAP haters:

“Based on our analysis, we are not seeing a significant improvement in financial reporting when companies shift to IFRS,” said Jack Zwingli, CEO of Audit Integrity. “We found that IFRS is a common standard, but there are significant variances in IFRS reporting, in the completeness of information, the timeliness and the filing frequency.”

Sounds like IFRS ain’t all that does it? You want more?

The firm says overall there are indications that financial reporting is more consistent and more comparable under IFRS than before IFRS adoption in Europe, but it’s not clear that IFRS represents an improvement over U.S. GAAP. In fact, the firm’s report says GAAP filers may have an edge over IFRS filing in terms of the timeliness, depth and breadth of financial data provided to investors.

Ouch, IASB. You want the best part? The Europeans disclose less on executive compensation than we do here in America. You’re all familiar with how popular corporate executives are. To wit:

[Jack] Zwingli [Audit Integrity CEO] said he was also surprised that the analysis revealed IFRS generally provides less information about executive compensation. “It’s not good in the United States, but it’s better than it is in Europe,” he said. “There is more consistency in reporting and deeper coverage of data under GAAP than under IFRS.”

Seems like IFRS has got work to do…IASB, you can call us when you want to get serious.

Study Pokes Holes in IFRS Reporting Quality, Consistency
[Accounting & Auditing Update/Compliance Week]

The Convergence Debate, Already Geeky, About to Get Geekier

Academics in the U.S. aren’t too psyched about the benefits of IFRS, according to Compliance Week:

The United States already meets a high level of reporting quality relative to other countries as a result of various “institutional features,” said [Peter] Wysocki [Professor at MIT]. Those include things like an active investor and analyst community, a rigorous audit process, and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission, among others, he said.
“It’s a little difficult to argue a move to IFRS will result in significant improvement in reporting quality,” Wysocki said. “We’re already at a high level because we already have those institutional features in place.

The debate over convergence has reached Biggie/Tupac fever and now that U.S. GAAP has got American bookworms shouting about how IFRS isn’t all that, we expect that academics on the other side of the pond will get involved and the debate will get fiercely geekier.
Academics: Move to IFRS Won’t Boost Reporting Quality [Compliance Week]