An analysis of the growing importance of international accounting

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An analysis of the growing importance of international accounting

Securities and Exchange Commission. Concept release; request for comment. With the activities and interests of investors, lenders and companies becoming increasingly global, the Commission is increasing its involvement in a number of forums to develop a globally accepted, high quality financial reporting framework.

Our efforts, at both a domestic and international level, consistently have been based on the view that the only way to achieve fair, liquid and efficient capital markets worldwide is by providing investors with information that is comparable, transparent and reliable. That is why we have pursued a dual objective of upholding the quality of financial reporting domestically, while encouraging convergence towards a high quality global financial reporting framework internationally.

In this release, we are seeking comment on the necessary elements of such a framework, as well as on ways to achieve this objective. One aspect of this is seeking input to determine under what conditions we should accept financial statements of foreign private issuers that are prepared using the standards promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Committee.

Comments should be received on or before May 23, Please send three copies of your comments to Jonathan G. You also may submit your comments electronically at the following e-mail address: All comment letters should refer to File No. S; you should include this file number in the subject line if e-mail is used.

Comment letters can be inspected and copied in our public reference room at Fifth Street, N. These developments have been attributable, in part, to dramatic changes in the business and political climates, increasing global competition, the development of more market-based economies, and rapid technological improvements.

At the same time, the world's financial centers have grown increasingly interconnected. Corporations and borrowers look beyond their home country's borders for capital. An increasing number of foreign companies routinely raise or borrow capital in U. This globalization of the securities markets has challenged securities regulators around the world to adapt to meet the needs of market participants while maintaining the current high levels of investor protection and market integrity.

Our efforts to develop a global financial reporting framework have been guided by the cornerstone principle underlying our system of regulation -- pursuing our mandate of investor protection by promoting informed investment decisions through full and fair disclosure.

Financial markets and investors, regardless of geographic location, depend on high quality information in order to function effectively. Markets allocate capital best and maintain the confidence of the providers of capital when the participants can make judgments about the merits of investments and comparable investments and have confidence in the reliability of the information provided.

Because of increasing cross-border capital flows, we and other securities regulators around the world have an interest in ensuring that high quality, comprehensive information is available to investors in all markets.

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We stated this view inwhen we issued a policy statement that noted that "all securities regulators should work together diligently to create sound international regulatory frameworks that will enhance the vitality of capital markets.

Currently, issuers wishing to access capital markets in different jurisdictions must comply with the requirements of each jurisdiction, which differ in many respects. We recognize that different listing and reporting requirements may increase the costs of accessing multiple capital markets and create inefficiencies in cross-border capital flows.

Therefore, we are working with other securities regulators around the world to reduce these differences. Throughout this effort, we have been steadfast in advocating that capital markets operate most efficiently when investors have access to high quality financial information.

However, ensuring that high quality financial information is provided to capital markets does not depend solely on the body of accounting standards used.

An effective financial reporting structure begins with a reporting company's management, which is responsible for implementing and properly applying generally accepted accounting standards. Auditors then have the responsibility to test and opine on whether the financial statements are fairly presented in accordance with those accounting standards.

An analysis of the growing importance of international accounting

If these responsibilities are not met, accounting standards, regardless of their quality, may not be properly applied, resulting in a lack of transparent, comparable, consistent financial information. Accordingly, while the accounting standards used must be high quality, they also must be supported by an infrastructure that ensures that the standards are rigorously interpreted and applied, and that issues and problematic practices are identified and resolved in a timely fashion.The worldwide adoption of the IFRS will make the reading and analysis of financial statements much easier for all investors.

While the international accounting standards are not used by all listed and unlisted companies, more and more countries are making adoption a priority.

A scan of the horizon reveals a year that appears to be on the cusp of profound change.

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of settling a dispute. So predicts Arthur R. Wyatt, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC), an entity headquartered in London and charged with promulgating international accounting .

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Highlights We define the concepts relevant for yield gap analysis. We review different methods for local and global yield gap analyses.

Global methods are coarse and local studies use different methods. A number of methods is compared using data sets from three regions. Components of a protocol for global yield gap analysis with local relevance are proposed.

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