Date of Award





Business, Accounting


Accounting and Finance Department

First Advisor

Rodger G. Holland


The aim of this paper is to analyze the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and the structure it has in place to develop a unified global accounting system. A unified global system implies a single accounting system that is implemented around the world creating readily comparable and accurate accounting information for the global community. The extent to which a single system is all encompassing is an important factor in this analysis because the levels of support for various international accounting systems are likely to vary according to the level of harmonization sought. For example, a proposal to require a certain format for a cash flow statement is likely to be more widely accepted by accounting entities worldwide while a proposal to account for goodwill in a specific manner immediately divides the accounting community. The case that is presented in this paper is for a progressive and extensive global accounting system that will better serve the needs of stakeholders and interested entities irrespective of their national origin. To achieve this a balance must be struck between accounting standard unification and the needs of independent nations. In presenting this model for accounting harmonization the path to the present environment of International Accounting Standards (IASs) is retraced. Also, the present climate of national and international accounting standards and the recent steps towards harmonization are examined. The IASC is regarded as the leading authority on IASs and therefore it is likely that any future obtainment of unified accounting standards will be implemented through this organization. The structure of the IASC is evaluated in light of its restructuring which took effect on April 1, 2001 (IASC Structure 1). There are an array of future directions and outcomes possible for the IASC's International Accounting Standards (IASs) framework. Several proposals for alterations to the IASC are presented in this paper. These suggestions are made to increase the likelihood and timeliness of a unified global accounting system. The justifications for each recommendation are discussed to assist the case for their implementation.


Honors Thesis

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Accounting Commons