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GASB 45 and other post-employment benefit promises : the fog is clearing
It is often said that you won?t get rich working for the government, but you can?t beat the benefits. One form of these benefits is ?Other Post-Employment Benefits"(OPEB), which represent government promises to employees to provide health care and other non-pension benefits after retirement. Government employers commonly use these benefits to attract talent in lieu of large salaries or bonuses and to provide future security to employees. Until now, governments have also been able to apply preferential accounting treatment to OPEB plans, which allowed deferral of the costs of today?s promises into the future. However, due to a standard issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in June 2004, this is about to change.
AUTHORS: Brady, Steffanie
Implementing international financial reporting standards in Asia: Bringing greater transparency and comparability to Asian banks financial statements
This Asia Focus reviews the status of the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in various Asian economies, discusses the benefits of using one set of internationally accepted accounting principles, and provides some background information on the ongoing reviews of different jurisdictions' accounting practices in connection with the federal banking agencies supervision of foreign banking organizations (FBOs) that operate in the United States.
AUTHORS: Yao, Walter
Accounting standards and information: inferences from cross-listed financial firms
Publicly traded financial firms within the European Union will be required to adhere to International Accounting Standards (IAS) in their financial reporting beginning in 2005, which can entail a higher degree of financial disclosure than was previously mandated under national accounting standards. A number of European financial firms had previously subjected themselves to additional disclosure by listing their stock on U.S. exchanges, which obligates them to reconcile their financial accounts to U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Among national accounting systems, U.S. GAAP is considered to be both among the strictest and the most similar to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). To test whether U.S. GAAP reconciliation effectively enhances disclosure, we examine several measures of transparency for the cross-listed firms, relative both to pre-listing measures and to a control sample of firms that have not cross-listed. Our measures include bid-ask spreads, earnings forecast errors, analyst coverage, dispersion in earnings expectations, and disagreement between Moody?s and S&P?s bond ratings. We find evidence that cross-listing increases transparency in at least some cases. Our cross-sectional results also distinguish a handful of European financial firms that had already adopted IFRS before the European Commission announced that IAS would be required in the near future, with results similar to those of the cross-listed firms. Accordingly, to the extent that commitment to increased transparency has been a motivation for cross-listing, the adoption of IAS in Europe may reduce the incentives for European firms to cross-list in the United States.
AUTHORS: Clinton, Nathanael; Ammer, John; Nini, Gregory P.
Regulatory perspectives on the changing accounting landscape: a speech at the AICPA National Conference on Banks and Savings Institutions, Washington, D.C., September 14, 2009
AUTHORS: Duke, Elizabeth A.