The International Accounting Standards
Board (IASB) will not make further changes to IFRS without
completing proper due process, according to board member John
Hill.

Political pressure recently forced the IASB to make rapid
changes to IAS 39 and IFRS 7 without completing due process.

However, Hill said that following the amendments, the board has
heard “loud and clear” from stakeholders, including financial
statement preparers, users, analysts and auditors that any future
changes must be made with proper due process and in co-ordination
with the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Hill was speaking as chair of a joint IASB and FASB round table
held in London last week to help identify financial reporting
issues highlighted by the global financial crisis. A similar round
table was held in the US on 25 November and one will be help in
Japan on 3 December.

His comments follow requests from the EC that the IASB consider
rushing through further changes to IAS 39 in time for European
banks to prepare their end of year financial statements.

Hill told The Accountant the board will not know
whether it will make changes to IFRS in time for the year end until
after the final round table is held in Japan. If they decide urgent
changes are needed, due process will still be followed.

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He added that the IASB is “very fortunate” FASB has disrupted
its own schedule to participate in the round tables to ensure any
changes are made in unison by the two boards.

The IASB’s commitment to due process follows concerns from
several stakeholders that the independence of international
standard-setting is being threatened.

In a letter to the Financial Times, UK Accounting
Standards Board chair Ian Mackintosh, representatives of all Big
Four firms and several other industry stakeholders voiced concern
about the EC requests.

They said that after due process, the IASB must remain
independent, even if it disagrees with the EC, and that Europe must
accept the board’s decision or risk detaching itself from the
global movement towards common standards.

The IASB’s oversight body, the International Accounting
Standards Committee Foundation, also voiced concern, writing to the
G-20 leaders to urge them not to tamper with existing accounting
rules.

Carolyn Canham