AICPA PARRIES ATTACK ON ACCOUNTING STANDARDS

Washington, D.C. - The American Institute of CPAs has dispatched a letter to the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee asking them not to allow a systemic risk regulator to alter accounting standards in the financial regulatory reform legislation they are drafting.

"We want to express our concern with any construct that would allow bank regulatory authorities or a systemic risk oversight authority to intervene or have undue influence over the setting of accounting standards for purposes of public financial reporting," wrote AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon.

The letter came as a response to an earlier letter from a group of banking, real estate, construction, mortgage and insurance industry trade associations, pressing for a provision that would have allowed a Financial Stability Council to suspend or modify accounting standards that threaten the stability of the U.S. financial system. The final bill now only allows the council to submit comments to accounting standard-setters.

IASC OVERHAULS CONSTITUTION

London - The trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, which oversees the International Accounting Standards Board, have announced a series of changes to their constitution, including an emphasis on adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards over convergence.

Other changes include creating vice chair positions for both the IASC Foundation trustees and the IASB. The move is intended to ease the burden on the chairman and offer the option of wider geographical distribution in the leadership.

There will also be a public consultation on the IASB's technical agenda every three years, a commitment to a principles-based approach, and the identification of investors as a target audience for financial information. In addition, the IASC Foundation will be renamed the IFRS Foundation, while the interpretations committee and advisory council will be known as the IFRS Interpretations Committee and the IFRS Advisory Council, respectively. However, it was decided to retain the name of the IASB, instead of renaming it the IFRS Board.

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