With convergence to a single set of global accounting rules an inevitability as opposed to a possibility, it’s up to standards setters and regulators to put forth guidelines that are not only the best that can be written, but also ones that shed unnecessary complexity.

“There’s lots of room for improvement,” said former SEC Chief Accountant Donald Nicolaisen about the eventual marriage of U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards and the rules vs. principles debate. “Both accounting models have derivation from the same places. Write the principles first and then have the rules support the principles. And then put the emphasis on principles.”

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