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The Role of the IASB and Auditing Standards in the Aftermath of the 2008/2009 Financial Crisis

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The primary argument of this article is, namely, that the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is in need of an enforcement mechanism. In drawing attention to this argument, the article not only proposes considerations which are to be taken into account if such a mechanism is to be implemented, but also considers areas in which the regulation of accounting standards, and auditing standards in particular, have contributed to the recent global financial crisis. The impact of such standards on pro-cyclicality, the level of success achieved by the IASB and other international standard setters, such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, relates to how effectively the accounting and audit standard setting is implemented. As well as identifying the importance of convergence in contributing towards high quality audits and the consistent application of auditing and accounting standards, this article also acknowledges the difficulties and challenges encountered in attempting to achieve a convergent framework. Furthermore, through a discussion of recommendations aimed at consolidating transparency and accounting, as proposed by the G20, ways in which accounting standards, and, consequently, the IASB, could contribute further to the improvement of transparency and accountability of the framework for fair value measurements and evaluation, are considered. The absence of enforcement mechanisms, the fact that enforcement actions are carried out at national level in various EU Member States, present sources of obstacles to attempts to realise the proposals put forward by the G20. This article not only attempts to address such factors, but also to suggest ways in which the IASB, to an extent, could realise its goals. Through a consideration of two enforcement regimes in Europe, namely Germany and the UK, two related standards which govern enforcement in Europe, principles on which harmonisation of the institutional oversight systems in Europe may be achieved , and the vital contribution made by the Committee of European Securities Regulators and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, this article will consider how enforcement could be implemented by the IASB at a European level.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Bremen

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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