Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Selling’

IFRS.  IFRS.  I do not like thee, IFRS.

U.S. GAAP or IFRS?

The debate over U.S. adoption of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) has died down in recent months.  This is due to three reasons, I think.  First, the FASB and the IASB have declared that further progress toward convergence is no longer possible.  The respective board members simply see the world differently and have come to different conclusions about the composition of specific accounting rules.  In other words, no compromise is possible.

Second, many (including ProfAlbrecht) believe that upon the reelection of President Obama in November, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission will be directed to announce the abandonment of U.S. GAAP and the adoption of IFRS.

Third, Europe and America are side-tracked by the issue of possibly mandating auditor rotation.

Tom Selling.

But that hasn’t stopped my good friend Tom Selling of the Accounting Onion from continuing the good fight. On April 2, 2012, Selling posted an insightful and well researched piece, “Ten Claims in Support of IFRS Adoption by the SEC – and Why They are False.” So impressed with this essay, I am tempted to copy it, strike out Selling’s name and replace it with mine, and submit it to two or three leading journals.

Selling is eminently qualified to write this essay.  One of the seven experts on IFRS summarized in The Summa, there is no financial accounting author more widely respected today.

You should read Selling’s masterpiece.  But if you don’t want to take the time (it a pretty long essay), here is my summarization of the major points in “Ten Claims in Support of IFRS Adoption by the SEC — and Why They are False.”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.


From Bloomberg Businessweek, “Top B-School Stories of 2011.”


Real Life Adventures, a nationally syndicated daily cartoon strip by Gary Wise and Lance Aldrich, perfectly catches the fundamental flaw of the audit model on December 8, 2011.


I like “The Promise and Perils of Academic Blogging,” a think-piece by W. Bradford Littlejohn at The Sword and the Ploughshare.


Ed Ketz and Tony Catanach share their “A Christmas List for Grumpy Old Accountants.”  I hope they get everything they ask for.


Tom Selling shares his dreams if he were the SEC’s Chief Accountant in “IFRS Convergence: Let’s Play ‘Chief Accountant for a Day’!


The Institute of Management Accountants, caretaker for the Certificate of Management Accounting, has its complaints aired about the AICPA’s plan for a competing credential in the AccountingWeb article “IMA Ready to Compete with AICPA/CIMA Management Accounting Designation.”


Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

Read Full Post »

Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.


Tom Selling (The Accounting Onion) writes about folk hero judge Jed Rakoff in, “Is the Judiciary about to Give the SEC a Backbone?” Some day I’m gonna be like Jed.


Jim Peterson of re:Balance talks about how a relatively small judgment could potentially lead to the demise of a Big 4 firm in, “The Big Four Accounting Firms’ Financial Tipping Point — Time for a Fresh Look.”


Francine McKenna (re:TheAuditors) discusses how Deloitte is pretty bad off, in “At Deloitte, More Pain Before Any Quality Gain.” What a mess over there.


Lisa Du of the Embargo Zone blog writes about the information sifting habits of the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin in, “Andrew Ross Sorkin Reveals What He Reads At The Gym And His Favorite Twitter Account.”

Sorkin and I are a lot alike.  He’s young, famous, rich, smart and good looking.  I’m not.


Search engines give biased results to your queries?  You betcha.  Please watch this video filmed by Mark Schaefer of {Grow}.  Helen Brown talks about Google’s filter bubbles and how to minimize the effect.

Schaefer consistently publishes must read content at {Grow}. Subscribe today.


Debit and credit — David Albrecht

Read Full Post »

Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.


Jonathan Weil shows why he is one of the premier journalists writing about accounting in, “Goldman Sachs Envy Gains New Meaning at Big Four.”  Weil shows several examples of the revolving door between the large accounting firms and their regulators on the PCAOB.  There are stinky conflicts of interest.


Adam Jones, accountancy correspondent for the Financial Times, writes about new KPMG International chairman Michael Andrew in “KPMG vows to remain a multi-disciplinary firm.”  In this interview, Andrew ridicules all non-Big 4 accounting firms,

He also lashed out at a Commission proposal to force the Big Four to share some audits with smaller rivals. “Can you imagine a second-tier firm auditing a global bank at a time when there is already a lack of confidence in the marketplace?”

He added: “They simply don’t have the skills or the market expertise.”

He also accused some smaller rivals of being “quite lazy” about investing in their businesses.

Mr. Andrew is a jerk.  But Steve Martin was funnier at it.

Jones has another story on the issue, “Auditing has moved into the realms of sitcom.”  It’s worth a read.


Stephanie Sammons, of Social Media Examiner, writes about, “5 Simple Steps for Improving Your LinkedIn Visibility.”  Read it.  Do it.


Tom Selling is terrific when he writes about IFRS adoption issues, as he does in, “Will the SEC Sneak IFRS in Through the Back Door?”  Selling is sounding more pessimistic about how the nefarious SEC might sneak in IFRS, despite all reason and common sense (as well as almost every accountant and investor) being against it.

I have little faith.  The commissioners of the SEC are political appointees, and Mary Schapiro has been a willing accomplice to Obama administration policy.  She has her marching orders to install IFRS, and she is loyal to the hand that feeds her.


Mark Schaefer of {Grow} has another post out on Klout, “Kould Kare Less.”

His Klout score is high, but he doesn’t care.  Mine isn’t, and I don’t care either.  Yet, many do.


Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

Read Full Post »

Tom Selling, author of The Accounting Onion

Tom Selling, author of the The Accounting Onion, has just published a new post, “Why Do Accounting Academics Blog Less Than Other Academics?” [October 12, 2011]

There is a very select list of bloggers who I view as must reads.  Tom is on that list.  He is both an excellent writer and an insightful commentator.  He also is a retired professor.

The organizational structure of his post is very interesting.  I can’t ever recall Tom sharing details of his speaking engagements, but he does today.  He starts his post by disclosing that he will be the keynote speaker to an accounting academic conference (Northeast Section, American Accounting Association) on Friday, October 28, 2011.  He has been asked to speak on IFRS issues, a subject he has blogged on dozens of times in recent years.  He’s the only blogger who has written more frequently on the subject than I.

In other words, the organizers of an accounting academic conference have decided to give top billing to a blogger.  Yet, accounting academics shun the act of blogging for themselves?  Why is that?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Last year, the Accounting Today published its list of the Top 100 Most Influential People in [American] Accounting on September 9, 2010.  I don’t know that it ever causes a stir, but we talked about it on AECM.  AECM is the e-mail listserv for accounting professors (with a membership of 750).  We wondered why no one from the academic side of accounting made the list (or ever makes the list, for that matter).  Upon closer examination, it turned out that Frank Ross (Howard U) made the list.  Bob Jensen contacted the editor and suggested the names of 20 academics for the 2011 list.

It’s an interesting question, I think, as to who should qualify to be on the list.  The accounting industry in the U.S. is so large, certainly over 1,000,000.  There are auditors, accountants, thought leaders, professors and students who are all directly part of it.  Then there are those who are indirectly related, such as companies/investors that benefit from using accounting information, businesses that serve the accounting industry, journalists, bloggers, government regulators and even tax collectors.  And what about those Europeans who have their IFRS, FRC and the EC?  And should the person’s contribution be for only the most recent 12 months, recent years, or a lifetime of activity?  And what about fraudsters who influence the accounting industry?

For that matter, what does it mean to be to have been influenced?  I look at the list and I wonder how the honorees influenced me?  I have heard of almost none of them.  Does being influential mean having had an impact?

I’m sure the editorial staff at Accounting Today has grappled with these questions over the years, time and time again.

A short while ago, I was asked who I would say are the most influential.  Here are the people in the accounting world who have influenced me the most in the past year.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Hans Hoogervorst

Tom Selling’s latest on Accounting Onion is about Hans Hoogervorst, leader of the International Accounting Standards Board (the organization responsible for IFRS).  “The Hans Hoogervorst IFRS Sales Pitch Hits the Road.”  Selling’s post further cements his reputation as the premier commentator on financial reporting and accounting standard setting politics.

I do not like Hans.  Hans is a career politician.  As such, we should remember the typical politician’s propensity to be willing to say anything at any time to further his agenda.

Until just less than three years ago, he knew little more than “transparency is good,” and “global accounting standards are a must.”

Now, Hans is travelling the world, trying to get all countries to unconditionally accept IFRS.  He has made recent speeches about a United States switchover.  Hans, why not start with Europe?  Europe uses a customized version of IFRS.  The reason, of course, is that to Hans, it matters not what accounting rules are in place as long as they are branded IFRS.  During a recent speech in China, Hans admitted that he decided he wanted to chair the IASB before he became interested in accounting for accounting’s sake:  “These experiences triggered a personal interest in accounting … my desire to lead the IASB as it adapts to become the global accounting standard-setter.”

Selling says it well:

For a standards setter, Hans Hoogervorst, the new IASB chairman, doesn’t know much about accounting. By his own frank admission, he wasn’t even very interested in the subject until after the financial crisis hit in 2008, and he seems almost proud to disavow a command of the details of IFRS.

Consequently, his role on the IASB is obvious: to sell IFRS to as many countries as possible. Why anyone should expect someone with his background to do that with any sort of credibility is beyond me, but his selection seems to reflect a conscious strategy on the part of the IFRS Foundation: to promote the sizzle instead of the steak.

Recently, Hans has turned his attention to China, asking it to unconditionally adopt IFRS.  During his speech, Hans said,

[W]hile Chinese GAAP is not word-for-word IFRSs, I understand that analysis by the Chinese regulator shows that for companies with dual listings in Shanghai (using Chinese GAAP) and Hong Kong (using IFRSs) the average difference in reported profit is 0.6%. The difference in term of net assets is even as smaller as around 0.2%.

Hans, that companies can report the same results under Chinese GAAP and IFRS is not an argument for why the country should switch to IFRS (Selling agrees).  Actually, that there is little difference in reported financial results is a condemnation of both sets of accounting standards.  IFRS is notorious for allowing corporate flexibility in reporting results.  Chinese GAAP is much less exacting than IFRS.  It is entirely reasonable to expect that a company can look at financial recordings and be able to paint the sky any color it wants, either chartreuse or polka dotted.  Application of general accounting rules depends upon assumptions, and assumptions depend upon intention.  If a company wants to paint the sky a particular color, it can do so under either IFRS or Chinese GAAP.  The paintings will be similar because it is only one corporate painter.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: