Treading the fine line
This article in CFO.com has particular resonance for the Business KPI Wiki contributors. The author points up the ongoing differences between regulators in the US and Europe attempting to make meaningful progress in converging US GAAP and IFRS. While the argument implies that there are both political and power issues at stake it struck me these are the kinds of thing that can impact otherwise good intentioned projects. The author says:
The controversy also highlights ongoing tension between the IASB and Europe, which has wanted its own standard-setter. Meanwhile, some have expressed concern that the SEC may use convergence as an opportunity to exert influence on global accounting standards.
The FASB chalks it up to anti-American sentiment in Europe. “We’re even less popular than we were before,” Herz said. “There is a view in particular parts of Europe that having the IASB work with the FASB will allow the importation into IFRS of bad American things.”
Herz went on to explain that the FASB and IASB are trying to strike the right balance, not to impose a standard that is more rules-based and more open to litigation, as some fear. “Anything that has to do with America is not viewed as being good,” Herz said.
I’m not sure I’d go as far as the persion quoted in the piece though it is fair to say that ongoing discussions in the EU have been hampered by country specific positions. How these get resolved remains an open question.
From a Business KPI perspective, I think it is important that while the project is clearly aimed at helping SAP customers, we should be sensitive to regional differences in opinion. Similarly, SAP should not be seen as the ‘standard setter’ but as the facilitator that provides a framework where all contribtions are valid.