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State Board Report

May 2013

Standard setters from all parts of the world came together for the first meeting of the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) on April 8-9, 2013 in London. The aim of the group is to provide a technical advisory body to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for its development of “a single set of high quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted financial reporting standards based upon clearly articulated principles.” Over the last 10 years the IASB had entered into memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with national accounting standard setters in Brazil, China, Japan and the United States. At the ASAF’s inaugural meeting these bilateral MoUs were replaced by a single joint agreement that was signed by all ASAF members (including the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board).

The agreement states that the IFRS Foundation “recognizes that National Standard Setters (NSS) and regional bodies have expertise in standard-setting and valuable local jurisdictional experience and knowledge, which should be taken into account by the IASB in setting global financial and reporting standards. The ASAF will provide the opportunity for greater valuable discourse, complement the existing IASB’s outreach activities and enhance the quality of the final standard.”

In addition, it states: “The parties of this MOU respect each other’s role and the establishment of ASAF does not in any way undermine their respective formal mandates: The IFRS Foundation recognizes the independent roles that NSS and regional bodies have within their own national and regional context, and the members of ASAF recognize that the IASB operates within the framework of the Foundation’s constitution which sets the principle of the IASB’s independence in developing IFRS.”

Among the commitments made by the Foundation are: “Respecting the independence of ASAF members and recognizing that ASAF’s members operate under their own specific national mandates, and undertakes not to undermine or compromise the existing legal rights and obligations of the ASAF members within their respective jurisdictions.”

The initial ASAF membership includes representatives from 12 standard-setting bodies located in Africa, Asia-Oceania, Europe and the Americas.

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