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[经济学人] [2008.08.28] Closing the GAAP公认会计准则落幕

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发表于 2010-4-29 03:51 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
参考rushor

Accounting standards
会计准则


Closing the GAAP公认会计准则落幕

Aug 28th 2008 | NEW YORK
From Economist.com



American securities regulators vote to ditch their own accounting standards
美国证券监管委员表决放弃自己的会计准则




SCORE a point for globalisation. In a landmark vote on Wednesday August 27th America’s financial-markets watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), paved the way for its companies to switch from America’s Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to international accounting standards. In a field that is, by reputation, notoriously dull, this looks like something to get genuinely excited about.

美国的全球化进程因此再得一分。在本周三(827)一项有着里程碑意义的投票中,美国金融市场监管者—证交会为美国公司由美国公认会计准(GAAP)向国际会计准则的转变铺平了道路。在这一以枯燥而闻名的领域,这似乎的确值得高兴。


GAAP was the beancounter’s gold standard for decades, but it is now widely seen as cumbersome. Most other countries have embraced the international rules, known as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The regulators’ plan envisages American-based multinationals switching to the standards voluntarily in 2010. The SEC would then vote on whether to require all other companies to do the same, starting in 2014. The commission has already cleared the way for overseas firms to use IFRS when doing business or listing securities in America.

公认会计准则(GAAP)是会计领域数十年来的黄金法则,但现在被普遍认为运转不灵。其它许多国家都采用了国际标准—国际财务报告准则(IFRS)。美国监管者的计划是使美国的跨国公司在2010年自动转换成国际财务报表准则。证券交易委员会到那时会投票决定是否要求其它公司从2014年开始采用国际财务报表准则。证券委员会已经为海外公司在美国经商或者上市时使用国际财务报表准则扫清了障碍。


Christopher Cox, the SEC’s chairman, hailed the move to an “international language of disclosure, transparency and comparability.” Big companies have long been preparing for it with enthusiasm. It will bring each of them one-off costs in the tens of millions, but the savings over time will dwarf the initial outlay. It could also mean greater profits: one study found that the majority of American firms made more under the foreign rules. Investors, too, have reason to rejoice. It will make it easier to compare, say, a French drug company with an American rival. And the compliance costs of duplicate accounting, the bulk of which investors ultimately bear, will disappear.

证券交易委员会主席Christopher Cox为这用“披露,透明和可比性的国际语言”制作财务报表的举动大加赞扬。大公司对此殷切期盼已久。这可能会使他们一次性花费数千万美元,但是这对时间的节省使得最初的投入不值一提。这也意味着更大的收益:一项研究发现大多数美国公司在外国准则下会赚得更多的利润。投资者同样也有理由高兴。国际会计准则更利于他们进行比较,比如说,比较一家法国药品公司与其美国竞争对手。而且主要由投资者最终承担的复式计帐的合规成本也会消失。


Accountants point to other benefits. IFRS is less complex than GAAP, with fewer exceptions; America’s accounting rules, like its tax code, are creaking under bolted-on guidance. It is also more principles-based, granting auditors greater room to use judgment. This can be good or bad, of course, but most experts say more leeway is needed.

会计师也有其它好处。国际财务报表准则比公认会计准则要简单些,特例也较少。美国的会计准则,例如其免税代码,可以说是包罗万象,异常复杂。国际财务报表准则更基于原理,赋予审计员更大的空间做判断。当然,这样有好处也有坏处,但是多数专业人士认为更大的灵活性是需要的。


For several years, the SEC and the London-based International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which oversees the international rules, focused on steadily bringing the two sets of standards together. But it has been a struggle, largely thanks to the Byzantine nature of the American system. Mr Cox embraced the more radical approach approved this week in the belief that it would boost the competitiveness of American firms by removing barriers to investment. The “roadmap” is the latest in a string of proposals under his leadership designed to bring American and foreign markets closer together.

多年来,证交会和总部位于伦敦,负责监制国际会计准则的国际会计准则委员会(IASB)一直致力于使两套标准融为一体。由于美国系统的拜占庭性格,这可能会是一场斗争。这周Cox先生采纳了较为激进的方案,他相信移除投资的障碍将提升美国公司的竞争力。最近在其领导下一连串的提议所成的最新“蓝图”就是为了使美国和国外市场更紧密地联系在一起。


Not everyone is happy. Some politicians, including the head of the congressional committee that oversees the SEC, worry about ceding standard-setting power to the IASB. Even though America has seats on its board, there is concern that it will be under-represented. Some want it to have influence commensurate with the size of America’s equity markets, which account for almost half of global market capitalisation. Others worry about the IASB’s finances and its susceptibility to outside influence. One of the SEC’s commissioners said the plan should only be waved through once it is clear that secure, independent funding is in place.

并不是每个人都高兴。包括监督SEC的国会委员会会长在内的一些政客担心放弃美国准则,是将标准制定的权力让给国际会计准则委员会。尽管美国在国际会计准则委员会中拥有席位,但代表名额数量仍是关注焦点。有人想使其影响力与占全球市场资本总额一半的美国股市的地位相对称。其它人担心国际会计准则委员会的财务状况且害怕其受外界影响。证交会的一委员说,除非其独立稳定的资金到位,这个计划才能获得通过。


There are worries overseas too, for instance that the SEC will try to interfere with IFRS and interpret it in a narrow, prescriptive way. Standards issued by the IASB are supposed to be endorsed without modification. It remains to be seen whether America will be able to accept this. Its relations with international rulemakers can be thorny: think of the World Trade Organisation.

海外同样也有些担心,例如证交会会在试图干涉国际财务报表准则的同时,从狭义,规范的角度来解读它。国际会计准则委员会发布的标准应该被在无修改的状况下认可。美国是否能够接受仍然不明。美国与国际规则制定者之间的关系常常很棘手:世贸就是一个例子。


Plenty of other issues still have to be resolved. Some are technical: IFRS allows fewer securitised assets to be kept off the books than GAAP does, for instance—a matter of import for banks. Others are broader and altogether more difficult. For an accounting framework that rests largely on judgment to flourish in rules-based America, the legal and regulatory environment there will need to “evolve”,says PricewaterhouseCoopers, a big accounting firm. That is putting it gently. Still, this week’s vote was a momentous step—and in the right direction.

还有许多其它的问题有待解决。有些是技术性的:国际财务报表准则允许的表外证券性资产比公认会计准则要少,例如:对银行来说就会增加一些证券性资产。其它的问题就比较宽泛而且总的来说更难于处理。一家大型的会计事务所普华永道表示,对于一个在绝大部分上以判断为依据的会计框架要想在一切基于原则的美国活跃发展,美国的法律和监管环境还需要“进化”。这样说是客气的了。当然,本周的表决是朝着正确方向迈进的重要一步。

做了一些专有名词的修改。
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发表于 2010-4-29 04:01 | 显示全部楼层
证交会会子阿试图干涉国际财务报表准则的同时  笔误?
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发表于 2010-4-29 04:11 | 显示全部楼层
经调查本文抄自rushor的【2008.08.28】Closing the GAAP结束公认会计准则,希望santclaire向原作者道歉说明
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