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The role of the IASB and auditing standards in the aftermath of the 2008/2009 Financial Crisis.

Ojo, Marianne (2010): The role of the IASB and auditing standards in the aftermath of the 2008/2009 Financial Crisis. Forthcoming in: European Law Journal

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Abstract

The primary argument of this paper is, namely, that the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), is in need of an enforcement mechanism. In drawing attention to this argument, the paper not only proposes considerations which are to be taken into account if such a mechanism is to be implemented, but also considers areas in which the regulation of accounting standards, and auditing standards in particular, have contributed to the recent global financial crisis. The impact of such standards on pro cyclicality, the level of success achieved by the IASB and other international standard setters such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, relates to how effectively the accounting and audit standard setting is implemented.

As well as identifying the importance of convergence in contributing towards high quality audits and the consistent application of auditing and accounting standards, this paper also acknowledges the difficulties and challenges encountered in attempting to achieve a convergent framework. Furthermore, through a discussion of recommendations aimed at consolidating transparency and accounting, as proposed by the G20, ways in which accounting standards, and consequently the IASB, could contribute further to the improvement of transparency and accountability of the framework for fair value measurements and evaluation, are considered.

The absence of enforcement mechanisms, the fact that enforcement actions are carried out at national level in various EU member states, present sources of obstacles to attempts to realise the proposals put forward by the G20. This paper not only attempts to address such factors, but also to suggest ways in which the IASB, to an extent, could realise its goals. Through a consideration of two enforcement regimes in Europe, namely, Germany and the UK, two related standards which govern enforcement in Europe, principles on which harmonisation of the institutional oversight systems in Europe may be achieved , and the vital contribution made by CESR and EFRAG (the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group), this paper will consider how enforcement could be implemented by the IASB at European level.

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