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Answer to Q1:
The objectives of International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) include improvement of the quality of financial reporting globally by developing better International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs). In order to achieve the objective of improving the quality of financial reporting globally, IASB must harmonize contradictory accounting principles and policies. Improving the adaptation IFRSs internationally will be achieved by the business process of convergence. It also is the main objective of IASB (Camfferman and Zeff, 2015).
National accounting boards of different countries are the members of IASB. IASB with the support of its members continuously looks to improve the existing accounting and financial reporting standards to achieve harmonization in accounting and financial reporting. The inherent limitations of accounting and financial reporting make it almost impossible to formulate single sets of internationally acceptable accounting and financial reporting standards. Thus, harmonizing the accounting and financial reporting standards is a complex process. However, the continuous efforts by the IASB to formulate better and effective standards to reduce the alternative accounting principles and policies has improve the process of convergence over the years (Oulasvirta, 2014).
Even a decade ago, the number of countries using International Accounting Standards and IFRSs were significantly lower than at present. The reason for increase in the number of countries using IASs and IFRSs for accounting and financial reporting purpose is mainly attributable to the efforts of IASB to harmonize the financial reporting environment by using convergence process. The United States of America, one of the few large economies in the world, where the IFRSs are still not at full convergence strength Use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is still prevalent in the country. However, even the US is also moving towards converging its GAAP with the IFRSs. Having a single set of accounting and financial reporting standards such as IFRSs will go a long to improve the quality of financial reporting in all across the globe. The IASB with its efforts has improved the process of convergence. However, the process is a continuous process thus, efforts are still on to improve the process of convergence continuously. Hence, IASB is certainly achieving its objective (Oulasvirta, 2014).
Answer to Q2:
Each country has different accounting ecology compared to other. In some cases such ecology is significantly different than others. As a result number of issues may arise in adoption of IFRSs in such countries where accounting ecology is significantly different. The issues in De jure and De facto convergence are enumerated below.
IASB does not have the power to make IFRS compulsory until unless the official endorsement is made via legislation. Often the time lag between release of accounting standards and the endorsement creates the problem of comparability of financial reports between countries using the released standards and the countries not using the standards as the standards are yet to be endorsed (Yu et. al.2017).
Issue relating to translation of IFRSs:
Translation of IFRSs into different languages, mainly 22 official languages often lead to number of problems such as indifferent meaning of same words in English IFRS and IFRS in other languages. Such differences in words often changes the meaning of the standard to a certain extent. This creates problem in adoption of IFRSs.
Issues in interpretation:
Interpretation of IFRSs has to be exactly same in different countries otherwise the objective of harmonization in accounting practice would not be achieved. One of the qualitative characteristics, comparability, of financial statements will be hindered if the interpretation of IFRSs is different in different countries.
The implementation cost to prepare three sets of financial statements is likely to lead to a huge burden to a company. The cost to implement the current requirements of IFRSs would increase the cost of accounting and financial reporting significantly.
Training and education issue:
The professional auditors and accountants must be provided extensive training to educate them about the IFRSs to ensure smooth transition to the IFRSs adoption. It is important to have continuous training and education model to keep the professional auditors and accountants up-to-date with the amendments in existing accounting standards and introduction of new accounting standards.
The lobbying to satisfy the national accounting standards instead of following IFRSs in preparation and presentation of financial statements is another reason for differences between de jure and de facto convergence (Henisz and Mansfield, 2016).
1. Camfferman, K. and Zeff, S.A., 2015. Aiming for global accounting standards: the International Accounting Standards Board, 2001-2011. Oxford University Press, USA.[Online] Available from: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6bTlBgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=objectives+of+international+accounting+standards+board&ots=2whpdU6n9T&sig=Pb1ZXpZZBet6nTjaOqx-P-CQd1Q#v=onepage&q=objectives%20of%20international%20accounting%20standards%20board&f=false [Accessed 02 October 2018]
2. Henisz, W.J. and Mansfield, E.D., 2016. The Political Economy of Financial Reform: de Jure Liberalization vs. de Facto Implementation. Working paper. The University of Pennsylvania.
3. Oulasvirta, L., 2014. The reluctance of a developed country to choose International Public Relation Sector Accounting Standards of the IFAC. A critical case study. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 25(3), pp.272-285.[Online] Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1045235412001347 [Accessed 02 October 2018]
4. Yu, D., Xu, Q., Xiao, J., Huang, B. and Hu, G., 2017. De jure adoption and de facto implementation of FV accounting in China. In The Routledge Handbook of Accounting in Asia (pp. 62-88). Routledge.