Even though there are no detectable signs of life and all visible conceptual support has evaporated, we still wait for IFRS to be declared officially dead. While on death watch, Grumpy Old Accountant Anthony Catanach ponders The Great IFRS Swindle: Accountants Scamming Accountants.
First, he tours many of the highlights of the IFRS debate. Columns he’s written along with many of the classics from Accounting Onion (Tom Selling), The Summa (Dave Albrecht), and Miller & Bahnson.
He then mentions that even the EU is having second thoughts. They are pondering making revisions to IFRS. Check out IFRS Foundation chair warns EU against amending IFRS.
What’s most entertaining to me is the allegation is alive and well that there is one, consistent, uniform standard in use everywhere around the world (except by those stick-in-the-mud Americans, of course) and there is no departure therefrom anywhere anyplace.
Think I exaggerate? Consider this:
“It would be easy to inadvertently cross the Rubicon. A tweak here, a failure to endorse there and very quickly you can have standards that are once again incompatible with other parts of the world,” [chairman of the IFRS Foundation Michael] Prada said.
“The gains of IFRS in Europe must be protected. Processes can be improved and endorsement systems can be streamlined, but the fundamental premise of Europe’s commitment to IFRS as global standards has to remain intact and undiluted.”
What that means: There are no tweaks currently in place. There are no failures-to-endorse. And we can’t start now.
Actually, how about we already have a separate standard for any country that wants a carve out or doesn’t want any particular rule.
Prof. Grumpy then summarizes how the marketing campaign rolled out to create the demand for IFRS. If you’ve read this far in my post, you’ll want to see his description of the details.
He then develops a list of who paid the price for the artificially created demand. It includes:
- companies electing early adoption incurred costs for something they don’t need and won’t use
- academics and their institutions who developed courses on IFRS that aren’t needed
- teachers who prepared to teach those classes
- opportunity costs of what those in academia could have been researching instead
- students who couldn’t buy a used textbook but instead incurred the extra cost to get a new one because it has a new discussion of IFRS
- cost and time spent by CPA candidates studying material that won’t go into effect (Hmmm. When did the CPA exam go from covering material already in effect to including what may someday go into effect in some subject-to-change form?)
- taxpayers springing for the hard costs and opportunity costs incurred by SEC
- local and regional practitioners studying rules that won’t go into effect
If he got really worked up, he might be able to extend the list.