A study commissioned by the board of the International Federation of Accountants has issued a series of recommendations to the financial reporting "supply chain" in order to achieve convergence on global accounting and auditing standards.

The study, "Challenges and Successes in Implementing International Standards," identified a series of six primary challenges to achieving convergence, including developing standards capable of translation, establishing processes that facilitate high quality translations of standards to accommodate non-native English speakers, and identifying convergence challenges for both the accounting firms and small and midsized businesses.

Among the report's recommendations were:

* Instituting a "quiet period" for the adoption and implementation of the international standards;

* Developing a formal convergence strategy;

* Establishing efficient enforcement mechanisms to increase the consistency and quality of compliance;

* Developing an "active" standard-setting agenda, one that is aligned with that of the international standard-setters; and,

* Providing unlimited access to all authoritative pronouncements and implementation guidance.

The study was prepared by Peter Wong, a former IFAC board member and a past president of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs. To compile the results, Wong conducted interviews and focus group meetings with international regulators, standard-setters, representatives of IFAC member bodies, and regional accountancy organizations. The study results will provide input for an international convergence roundtable scheduled for October.

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