Keeping up with the rules and regulations that govern our professional existence is a challenging endeavor, but, relatively speaking, it could be worse.Consider the environment in other countries. In France, for example, students participating in a graduate-level accounting program in a business school must learn three sets of standards. Yes, three!

Nonlisted companies follow the accounting rules set forth by the National Accounting Plan that is promulgated by the French government. Listed companies have to use International Financial Reporting Standards, as published by the International Accounting Standards Board, beginning with statements for the year ended 2005. This is true of all European Union countries, as well. Lastly, since most accountants will encounter U.S. generally accepted accounting principles-based statements somewhere in the global business environment, they must also be conversant in Financial Accounting Standards Board issuances.

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