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Profit Measurement and UK Accounting Standards: A Case of Increasing Disharmony in Relation to US GAAP and IASs

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  • P. Weetman
  • E. A. E. Jones
  • C. A. Adams
  • S. J. Gray

Abstract

UK accounting practice differs from International Accounting Standards (IASs) particularly with regard to amortisation of goodwill, provision for deferred taxation and the accounting treatment of pension costs. Under the core standards programme of the IASC the IASs have emerged closer to US practice. This paper evaluates the profit of those UK companies reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1988 and 1994, spanning a period which saw the establishment of the ASB and the implementation of the IASC's comparability project. An increasing gap was found between the reported profit under UK accounting principles and that restated under US GAAP. The difference lay most frequently in accounting for goodwill, provision for deferred tax, and the accounting treatment of pension costs, with accounting for goodwill showing a particularly significant impact in 1994. Notwithstanding the introduction of FRS 10, an overall impression of increasing disharmony could continue to cause reconciliations to be required of UK companies seeking full listing on a US stock exchange, with consequent disadvantage relative to companies in other European countries seeking international capital in the US.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Weetman & E. A. E. Jones & C. A. Adams & S. J. Gray, 1998. "Profit Measurement and UK Accounting Standards: A Case of Increasing Disharmony in Relation to US GAAP and IASs," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 189-208, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:acctbr:v:28:y:1998:i:3:p:189-208
    DOI: 10.1080/00014788.1998.9728909
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Salma Damak-Ayadi, 2007. "De L'Efficacite Des Mesures De Convergence Pour Preparer Le Passage Aux Ias/Ifrs En France," Post-Print halshs-00544879, HAL.
    2. Street, Donna L. & Nichols, Nancy B. & Gray, Sidney J., 2000. "Assessing the Acceptability of International Accounting Standards in the US: An Empirical Study of the Materiality of US GAAP Reconciliations by Non-US Companies Complying with IASC Standards," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 27-63, March.
    3. Whittington, Mark, 2000. "Problems in Comparing Financial Performance Across International Boundaries: A Case Study Approach," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 399-413, September.
    4. George Emmanuel Iatridis, 2012. "Voluntary IFRS disclosures: evidence from the transition from UK GAAP to IFRSs," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 27(6), pages 573-597, June.
    5. Ioannis Tsalavoutas & Lisa Evans, 2010. "Transition to IFRS in Greece: financial statement effects and auditor size," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 25(8), pages 814-842, September.
    6. Niamh Brennan & Claire Marston, 1999. "A comparative analysis of required financial disclosures in US, UK and international accounting standards," Open Access publications 10197/2969, Research Repository, University College Dublin.
    7. Silvia Gardini & F. Marta L. Di Lascio & Franco Visani, 2017. "How cultural and contextual variables affect the disclosure and transparency of pro-forma indicators," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS41, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    8. repec:eee:advacc:v:35:y:2016:i:c:p:143-158 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dunk, Alan S. & Kilgore, Alan, 2000. "The Reintroduction of the True and Fair Override and Harmonization with IASC Standards in Australia: Lessons from the EU and Implications for Financial Reporting and International Trade," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 213-226, July.
    10. Doukakis, Leonidas C. & Papanastasopoulos, Georgios A., 2014. "The accrual anomaly in the U.K. stock market: Implications of growth and accounting distortions," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 256-277.
    11. Peng, Songlan & Tondkar, Rasoul H. & van der Laan Smith, Joyce & Harless, David W., 2008. "Does Convergence of Accounting Standards Lead to the Convergence of Accounting Practices?: A Study from China," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 448-468, December.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/2091 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Chunhui Liu, 2011. "IFRS and US-GAAP comparability before release No. 33-8879: Some evidence from US-listed Chinese companies," International Journal of Accounting and Information Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 24-33, March.

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