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Theoretical basis for the creation of normative texts in the USA in contrast to the theoretical basis of IAS / IFRS - a conceptual framework


  • Robert Mládek
  • Lenka Krupová


A comparison of the conceptual frameworks underlying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS / IAS) and American Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP) reveals a striking theoretical similarity between the two. Unfortunately, this similarity is masked by an even more striking difference in their form and presentation. For example, US GAAP defines 10 accounting elements and, apart from three (assets, liabilities and equity), none are directly comparable to the five defined by IFRS. It is not that the other seven do not exist under IFRS. It is just that IFRS chooses to express them differently by, for example, combining some (such as revenue and gains, which comprise income) and omitting others (such as contributions to owners and distribution to owners, whose explicit definition is not particularly useful anyway). Pointing to such differences as evidence of a fundamental, conceptual rift would, however, be a serious error in judgment. These differences are neither fundamental nor conceptual. They are, at most, attributable to the same cultural and linguistic dissimilarities that make American literature and cinematography so unlike the European. Thus, given both the cause and the effect of these differences, it would be both naïve and unrealistic to expect their elimination simply for the sake of some international convergence. Or, to put it differently, both the IASB and FASB have far meatier issues on their plates than to allow themselves get sidetracked by rearranging the garnish.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Mládek & Lenka Krupová, 2004. "Theoretical basis for the creation of normative texts in the USA in contrast to the theoretical basis of IAS / IFRS - a conceptual framework," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2004(1), pages 42-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlaop:v:2004:y:2004:i:1:id:241:p:42-58

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    More about this item


    elements of financial statements; Conceptual Framework US GAAP; SFAC 1 - 7; Conceptual Framework IAS / IFRS; Koncepční rámec US GAAP; Vyhlášky SFAC 1 - 7; Koncepční rámec IAS / IFRS; prvky účetních výkazů;

    JEL classification:

    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting


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