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The current state of accounting harmonization: impediments to and benefits from harmonization

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  • V. VANSTEEGER

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    Abstract

    Although the EU has made progress towards harmonization of accounting law, this cannot hide the fact that the harmonization of the financial accounting information across Europe, through the accounting directives did not reach the intended level of comparability and transparency. Through the adoption of IFRS a higher level of harmonization has been pursued. Up to the present, the implementation of IFRS in many European countries is only required for the consolidated statement of listed companies. To this day, numerous studies have focused on harmonization and convergence of financial accounting information in Europe, addressing impediments to convergence and providing the level of adoption of IFRS in the consolidated statements of listed European companies. However, less attention has been paid to the impact of implementing IFRS in the consolidated accounts of listed companies on the statutory accounting of listed and non-listed companies. In this paper, the pros and cons of complete harmonization, i.e. the implementation of IFRS for the statutory accounts is discussed. In the last part, an illustrative case study compares the position taken by the IASB and the related treatments in Belgian GAAP and the fourth directive. Whether national GAAP is to converge towards IFRS, or IFRS will become mandatory for statutory accounts, it is important to highlight the particular differences between both sets of standards. Although we worked on a spot basis, as we only have treated the differences concerning tangible and intangible assets, this gives a good example of the particular harmonization difficulties most European countries will have to cope with.

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    File URL: http://www.feb.ugent.be/nl/Ondz/wp/Papers/wp_05_322.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 05/322.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:05/322

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    Related research

    Keywords: harmonization; IFRS; SME; tangibles; intangibles; fiscal neutrality;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. G. Poels & A. Maes & F. Gailly, 2005. "User Attitudes towards Pattern-Based Enterprise Information Models: A Replicated Experiment with REA Diagrams," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/315, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. Vermeir,I. & Geuens, M., 2006. "Need for closure and youngsters' leisure time preferences," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2005-36, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
    3. Sophie Claeys, & Gleb Lanine & Koen Schoors, 2005. "Bank Supervision Russian style: Rules versus Enforcement and Tacit Objectives," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp778, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    4. M. Vanhoucke & S. Vandevoorde, 2005. "A simulation and evaluation of earned value metrics to forecast the project duration," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/317, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. B. Maenhout & M. Vanhoucke, 2005. "An Electromagnetic Meta-Heuristic for the Nurse Scheduling Problem," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/316, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. S. Vandevoorde & M. Vanhoucke, 2005. "A Comparison of Different Project Duration Forecasting Methods using Earned Value Metrics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/312, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    7. S. CLAEYS & G. LANINE & K. SCHOORs, 2005. "Bank Supervision Russian Style: Rules vs Enforcement and Tacit Objectives," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/307, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    8. P. Everaert & G. Sarens, 2005. "Outsourcing bij Vlaamse Ondernemingen: een Exploratief Onderzoek," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/306, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    9. A. Maes & G. Poels & F. Gailly & R. Paemeleire, 2005. "Measuring User Beliefs and Attitudes towards Conceptual Models: A Factor and Structural Equation Model," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/311, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    10. M. Vanhoucke & D. Debels, 2005. "The Discrete Time/Cost Trade-Off Problem Under Various Assumptions Exact And Heuristic Procedures," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/314, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    11. A. Heirman & B. Clarysse, 2005. "The imprinting effect of initial resources and market strategy on the early growth path of start-Ups," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/310, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
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    Cited by:
    1. Maenhout, B. & Vanhoucke, M., 2006. "New computational results for the nurse scheduling problem: A scatter search algorithm," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2006-06, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
    2. P. Windels & J. Christiaens, 2005. "Management Reform in Flemish Local Authorities: Testing the Institutional Framework," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/331, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. M. Vanhoucke & B. Maenhout, 2005. "Characterisation and Generation of Nurse Scheduling Problem Instances," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/339, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    4. E. Labro & M. Vanhoucke, 2005. "A simulation analysis of interactions between errors in costing system design," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/333, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. J. Lepoutre & N. A. Dentchev & A. Heene, 2005. "Dealing With Uncertainties When Governing CSR Policies," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/337, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. N. Geeroms & P. Van Kenhove & W. Verbeke, 2005. "Health Advertising to promote Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Application of need-related Health Audience Segmentation," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/336, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    7. M. Dossche & G. Everaert, 2005. "Measuring inflation persistence: a structural time series approach," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/340, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    8. W. Buckinx & D. Van Den Poel, 2005. "Assessing and exploiting the profit function by modeling the net impact of targeted marketing," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/330, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    9. W. Bruggeman & P. Everaert & S. R. Anderson & Y. Levant, 2005. "Modeling Logistics Costs using Time-Driven ABC: A Case in a Distribution Company," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/332, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    10. A. Karas & K. Schoors, 2005. "Heracles or Sisyphus? Finding, cleaning and reconstructing a database of Russian banks," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/327, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    11. Ooghe, H. & Spaenjers, C. & Pieter vandermoere, 2005. "Business failure prediction: simple-intuitive models versus statistical models," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2005-22, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
    12. J. Albrecht & M. Neyt & T. Verbeke, 2005. "Bureaucratisation and the growth of health care expenditures in Europe," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/335, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    13. L. Pozzi, 2005. "Income Uncertainty and Aggregate Consumption," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/334, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

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