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IASB issues 13 revised accounting standards and withdraws IAS 15

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published 13 revised International Accounting Standards (IASs) and gave notice of the withdrawal of another IAS. The revised standards mark the near-completion of the IASB’s Improvements project.

The project addressed concerns, questions and criticisms raised by securities regulators and other interested parties about the existing set of IASs. Improved versions of two further standards, dealing with the complex issue of financial instruments, were issued on Wednesday 17 December.

The Improvements project is a central element of the IASB’s strategy to raise the quality and consistency of financial reporting generally and of the body of existing IASs in particular. In the interests of better reporting through convergence the project has drawn on best practice from around the world. It removed a number of options contained in IASs, whose existence had caused uncertainty and reduced comparability. The project benefited from input received from a broad range of market participants, including regulators through the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), national standard-setters, the IASB’s Standards Advisory Council and other commentators.

The completion of these improved standards brings the IASB closer to its commitment to have a platform of high quality, improved standards in place by the end of March 2004. The IASB has set itself this deadline to ease the implementation of its standards in the many countries, including those of the European Union, that will be adopting international standards from 2005. The IASB’s intention was that, by making these essential changes now to the standards it inherited, it would avoid the prospect of many companies having to make changes twice when they adopt international standards.

Introducing the revised standards, Sir David Tweedie, IASB Chairman, said:

“The Improvements project has raised the quality and enhanced the consistency of international accounting standards. The Board has devoted much time and resources during its first two years of operation to ensuring that we have a solid base on which we can build. From this improved set of standards, we shall move forward on the many complex issues facing accounting today and pursue our longer-term goal of global convergence. There have been those who doubted that we could meet our very demanding schedule for improving international standards, but the publication of these improvements means that the IASB is on schedule to meet its March 2004 deadline.”

The primary means of publishing International Financial Reporting Standards is now by electronic format through the IASB’s subscriber Website. Subscribers are able to access the standards published today through “online services”. Those wishing to subscribe should contact:

IASCF Publications Department, 30 Cannon Street, London EC4M 6XH,
United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0)20 7332 2730, Fax: +44 (0)20 7332 2749,
email: publications@iasb.org Web: www.iasb.org.

Printed copies of the Improvements to International Accounting Standards (ISBN 1-904230-32-6) will be obtainable, priced £20.00 (€32/US$31) including postage, from IASCF Publications Department when stocks become available in January.

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