How do accounting standards change?

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ACCT20074: Assessment Item 1
How do accounting standards change?
It should not surprise you that accounting standards, or even the conceptual framework, are not static documents; they do in fact change a lot over time. How does this occur, and who decides which standards should change and how?
This assignment introduces you to the processes used to inform, debate and decide on changes to accounting standards. The basic questions you may wish to consider are:
• Who pushes for changes,
• How is it done, and
• Who gets to have a say in whether the changes are a good idea or not?
The two parts to the assignment below address this topic of how and why accounting standards change. In Part A, you are to do research and write a literature review into how accounting standards are changed. In Part B, you are required to review a specific instance and write about whether or not that accounting standard should change as the IASB recommends.
Part A Literature Review (1,500 words, 15 marks)
You are to report on the processes used to make changes to Australian accounting standards. You will find a lot of information here at the AASB web site to get you started. The AASB site is a great place to find out information on the Australian accounting standard setting environment, but you will have to read more widely than that.
To address the topic in Part A, you will have to answer these two questions:
1. How does the AASB incorporate changes to international accounting standards (i.e. changes being pushed from the IASB) into the Australian accounting standards?
2. How does the AASB incorporate local, Australian issues into the Australian accounting standards?
You are expected to undertake independent research into this topic, which should include finding information from:
• The IASB and AASB web sites,
• Professional commentary
• News sites
• Academic publications (which may or may not be critical of the processes).
Part B Report (1,000 words, 15 marks)
Please locate and read Exposure Draft ED 116. You will find the current call for comment on this ED at the AASB web site. You can download the ED in PDF format here. Write a report as if you were responding to the call for comment. Your report must cover, as a minimum:
• The likely impact on company accounting if the recommended changes are written into IAS 116/AASB 116.
• The likely impact of the change on countries with higher exposure to manufacturing operations.
• The effectiveness, or fairness, of trying to incorporate a -one size fits all- approach with international accounting standards. In other words, should this proposed change be to international standards, or should national accounting boards such as the AASB modify their own standards if the need arises?
Presentation should be as follow:
You are to present your assignment as a single report. It should be presented according to the following outline:
• Title page
• Executive Summary
• Introduction
• Report body
o Part A literature review
o Part B report
• Conclusions and recommendations
• Reference list.



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