IASB chair calls for rethink on accountancy standards research

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Source: Pexels/Oleg Magni.

The chief of the global setter of accounting standards used by more than 140 countries, including Australia, has a message for academics: mix up the kinds of research you do so the International Accounting Standards Board has a broader range of material on which to base its decisions.

IASB chair Andreas Barckow told The Mandarin he would like to see some more normative research — which that looks at how the reporting standards should be developed — as well as the empirical research that contributes to the impact assessment of a new or revised accounting standard.

Standard setters have post-implementation reviews of new or revised sets of guidance in order to better understand whether the objective of the accounting standard has been achieved. That also includes what, if any, changes might be necessary to improve the quality of reporting of companies and other entities using standards.

The IASB chair said empirical research does and will continue to play an important role in evaluating the way accounting standards are used, but there is a need for research that looks at what readers of accounts would like to see when it comes to cryptocurrencies and intangible assets.

“Nobody has a clue what we should be doing in terms of categorising these items in terms of measurement approaches that may be suitable and in terms of what users would like to see when it comes to reporting on cryptos and intangibles,” Barckow said.

“We all have to gather the information by ourselves by asking different stakeholders, which we would do anyway, but it would be tremendously helpful if you really had a thoughtful paper that would talk to these issues.”

Barckow said papers that explore an area thoroughly, review existing literature, identify any gaps in literature, and explore the possible ways of accounting for new items such as cryptocurrencies could assist standard setters in determining whether to have a project on a particular topic.

This article was first published in The Mandarin.

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