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Accounting Board Should Focus on China Over U.S., ICAEW Says

The International Accounting Standards Board should stop trying to get the U.S. to adopt its standards and instead focus on China and other countries that are more willing to follow the rules, a U.K. group said.

The era of convergence between U.S. and international standards “should be ended formally in a matter of months” the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales said in an e-mailed report. The IASB should look at “countries that have moved their standards close” to its proposals, known as IFRS.

Hans Hoogervorst, chairman of the IASB, last year criticized the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board’s rules that differ from IASB standards during a hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels. U.S. rules, known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP allow banks to be less transparent about derivatives on their balance sheet, he said.

“It is better that the IASB and FASB boards issue separate standards, than deliver unsatisfactory compromise solutions or do nothing at all,” said Nigel Sleigh-Johnson, Head of ICAEW’s Financial Reporting Faculty.

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