There is no guarantee the International
Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and US Financial Accounting
Standards Board (FASB) will resolve all, or any, of their
differences on financial instruments.
The IASB and FASB confirmed this commonly held
concern in a quarterly progress report on the IFRS/US GAAP
convergence project, which is due to be complete by mid-2011.
The boards said they have also reached
different conclusions on important technical issues relating to
accounting for insurance contracts.
The decision to explore an alternative
approach to lessor accounting means the lease accounting project
could also be delayed.
The biggest challenge
But it is the financial instruments project
where the boards are most at odds.
Different development timetables and other
factors have led to the boards reaching different conclusions on
important technical issues.
One method the boards will use to address the
issue is publishing the proposals of the other board so
stakeholders can compare and assess the different views.
The IASB and FASB have also established an
expert advisory panel to evaluate their credit impairment
The next major step in the financial
instruments saga should come in the first week of May when the FASB
is due to publish a comprehensive proposal covering classification
and measurement, impairment and hedging.