Kevin Stevenson retires as AASB Chair Essay

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Kevin Stevenson retires as AASB Chair Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2064

  • Pages: 8

Kevin Stevenson retires as AASB Chair

This article is concerned with the accomplishments and achievements of Kevin Stevenson upon his retirement as the Chairman of the Australian Accounting Standards Board on 30th June 2014. During his tenure, Kevin Stevenson ensured that the long traditions of financial reporting were upheld both internationally and domestically and also provided counsel on issues concerning the FRC. Mr. Stevenson was an example of pioneer standard setters for generations down the line as he was among the founding members of the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum of the International Accounting Standards Board. Through his leadership, the AASB’s Research Centre was established as Stevenson served the Asian-Oceanian Standard Setters Group’s chair. His main focus was to work in the interest of the public, as stated by Lynn Wood, the FRC’s chair and trustee of the IFRS Foundation. In concurrence is Ian Mackintosh, the former Chair of the PSASB of Australia and Deputy Chair of IASB. According to Mackintosh, Stevenson largely contributed in the moves by Asia countries like Nepal and Korea to the IFRS. From the onset of the 1970s, Mr. Stevenson’ attention was driven towards setting ‘principal based’ standards and developing a Conceptual Framework to be used in financial reporting. He advocated for accounting regulations as evidenced by his association with the Accounting Research Foundation and later on watched over the growth of the AARF upon being appointed its Director. He was at the forefront of setting the international pace in the development of common accounting standards for both the public and the private sectors. Stevenson largely contributed to the formation of the Public Sector Accounting and also played a significant role in the establishment of the stable platform of International Financial Reporting Standards in 2005 for adoption in Australia and the entire Europe.

Concepts, ideas and facts

              Teamwork and leadership are two important components that must be in alignment so as to provide effective high quality and efficient accounting services. A strategic human resource management model provides guidance to accounting teams and leaders to deliver high-quality services in a timely manner. Accounting operates within a performance measurement that tolerates no errors. Therefore, a state-of-the-art investigation requires scientific leadership working with major stakeholders as a team to provide the best accounting services to a fraud investigation. The new techniques of accounting are significant steps in the right direction and they require leaders with skills and business tools to apply concepts such as efficiency, cost benefit analysis, economies of scale and cost-effectiveness analysis that will measure continuous improvement on a regular basis. Effective leadership is needed to develop, design and implement a solution that would resolve the core competency of an organization. Strategic leadership in accounting provides quality and timely accounting services to a company. Such leadership like that o Stevenson brings together a fragmented system consisting of thousands of accountants working within a fragmented system of organizations. Effective teamwork and leadership in accounting shows the way through the development of new innovative fraud investigations for the future. Leaders in positions like that of Stevenson are encouraged to consider both the social and moral implications of their decisions with regard to how their decisions will affect the clients and shareholders of the company. It is the ethical responsibility of every employee to ensure their company does not illegally evade income taxes or allow questionable deductions. They should ensure that the company finds are allocated to the appropriate activities based on their importance and determine the important elements of the business.

The accounting issue

              One major way of improving the confidence in financial reporting and accounting is to ensure that there is improvement in ethical standards, reporting mechanisms, strengthening of governance and adequacy of financial management. It is ethical to maintain the right to the truth while practicing accounting and financial reporting. Those who use financial statements have the right to accurate and truthful information when engaging in investment strategies. Clients have a legal right to receive competent and professional services from accountants who have a legal obligation to perform their responsibilities within the constraints of their skills. It is often argued that most accountants lack ethical ability to recognize and solve ethical dilemmas. This has necessitated the need to include ethics education as a major component of the accounting profession. The development of professional ethics and values should be initiated early in the accounting profession and be emphasized throughout the career.

Major issue of the article

              Stevenson clearly shows that it is the responsibility of management to serve the best interests of the company that they are providing auditing and accounting services for, investors and society as a whole. This can be done by providing truthful and accurate financial records. Ethical guidelines require that management should be honest, concise, accurate and complete while recording financial data to ensure ethics are held to the highest degree. It is also the duty of every employee to make wise, informed decisions about the future of a company. These accounting standards are useful in financial reporting and accounting as they are processes that are currently under a great deal of scrutiny. The two are important functions that organizations should take care of and ensure that they exhibit a high code of ethics. This is because clients and shareholders use accounting and financial reports in their decision making process. Legal and ethical issues are important elements of financial reporting and accounting as has been demonstrated by the positions assumed by Mr. Stevenson. These issues prompted Stevenson to establish financial reporting and accounting departments to set up specific sets of rules that govern the functioning of any organization.

Relevant topics and theories

              The long traditions of financial reporting applied Positive Accounting theory by focusing on various aspects that are of major interest to accounting techniques and the issues that provided an informative background and the gives in depth details of the functionality of accounting in financial reporting. Positive Accounting gives a holistic description of what is currently unknown and proposes future considerations. Financial reporting and accounting apply to any economic entity relating to the company’s future business. The major ethical elements involved are objectivity, competence, independence and integrity. These ethical elements require that accountants and financial reporters are independent of the clients to whom they provide financial and accounting services. Ethical obligations help to determine the effectiveness of accounting and financial report and redress any imbalance that may alter information symmetry. The move by Nepal and Korea followed the ethical guidelines of financial reporting and never let the desire for a better living and acquiring more possession get in the way of their financial obligations. It is ethical for any employee of the accounting or financial department working in the public or private sector to remain loyal and impartial to ethical obligations when reviewing both individual and financial reports. It is usual for one to encounter various ethical issues and it is therefore important for one to remain vigilant to resist temptations to manipulate financial records that could violate ethical guidelines. Transparency and integrity are important ethical elements of normative accounting theory. Some companies may receive pressure from management to maintain a certain public image. This is because some public companies have the burden of succeeding at high levels and it becomes an ethical issue for them to maintain true reports of the company assets, profits and liabilities without succumbing to the pressure from management. It is unethical for management to alter the financial records of its company and manipulate the numbers to create a false image of the success of the company. This only leads to prosperity in the short term since such fraud cases are discovered by the Securities and Exchange Commission ultimately spelling the downfall of the company. For these reasons, accounting theories assert that companies must remain ethically vigilant to avoid breaching the code of conduct. High standards of ethical behavior are expected for those people engaging in accounting and financial reporting. These standards provide rules and guidance to employees in the performance of their professional obligations. Poor decision making by management based on faulty or manipulated financial records aimed at deceiving the public about a company’s financial health has negative consequences on the business. It is therefore unethical for management to overlook such behavior. Given how tempting it is for companies to manipulate their financial records in order to portray an image of economic health, management should provide the last defense possible to prevent accounting fraud.

In comment letter 1, the Financial Reporting Committee of the IMA wrote to express its views on financial accounting standards on simplification of the income statement presentation through the elimination of the concept of extraordinary items. The FRC is in charge of several accounting books of different companies this in essence means that they are charged with the responsibility of making timely responses to statements, pronouncements, research legislations, proposals and pending legislations. Their main concern in this letter is the complex nature of financial statements in FASB comment letters. They support the simplication initiative adopted by the board as regards to making the financial statements easier to understand by the common folk CITATION Sch l 1033 (Schroder, 2014). Their support is on the elimination of elimination of extra ordinary items as in most times this criterion is not always met.

Their proposal thus rids of the tedious work in the preparation of financial documents and whether this requirement is met by auditors in the process of doing their work. Their support is based on the fact that it reduces to a great extending the complex nature of the time for the allocation of the provision of income tax by reducing the occurrence of other income items occurring. They thus advocate for a thorough examination of the details of this suggested proposal CITATION Sch l 1033 (Schroder, 2014).

In comment letter number 2, Marcum Accountants and Advisors write to the FASB regarding the proposed accounting standards through the simplification of the income statement by elimination of the concept of extraordinary items. Their letter is generally a response to several questions regarding the process of simplification of the income statement. They support the concept of elimination of extra ordinary items from the General Accounting principles. Their contention is based on the difficulty of application the extra ordinary items in accounting practice CITATION Giu14 l 1033 (Giugliano, 2014). They thus support the application for extra ordinary items in previous accounting periods. A sudden change of the rules would otherwise lead to confusion in the accounting practice. The ease of application of the proposed update makes it easy to make these recommended changes quite easy to adopt. They thus suggest the immediate adoption of the proposed update.

They are in agreement with the decision by the board to stick to the principle of separate disclosure of infrequent transactions. Items must thus meet the definition of occurring infrequently in recurrent expenditure. They list the following examples as those that should not be classified as unusual or infrequently occurring: occupancy related expense, routine tax audit returns and losses and gains from reimbursements from insurance CITATION Giu14 l 1033 (Giugliano, 2014). They thus suggest the importance of offering guidance on the determination of unusual items. Proper definitions should thus be provided of the unusually occurring items.

In comment letter 3, Ford Motor Company also writes in support of the simplication initiative by FASB. Their agreement is based on the objective of evaluation, identification and improvement of the generally accepted accounting principles CITATION Cal14 l 1033 (Callahan, 2014). This thus means that the reduction of the cost of complexity is possible with the simplification of the income statement. They are also in agreement with the board that such an update would not lead to data loss. The overall benefit would be to the end users of such financial statements.

References

Callahan, S. (2014). Ford Company.

Giugliano, G. (2014). Marcum Accountants.

Schroder, N. (2014). Institute of Management Accounting.

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Kevin Stevenson retires as AASB Chair Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Kevin Stevenson retires as AASB Chair Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2350

  • Pages: 9

Kevin Stevenson retires as AASB Chair

This media article is about the accomplishments and achievements of Kevin Stevenson regarding his retirement from Chairman of the Australian Accounting Standards Board on 30th June 2014. (Media releases, 2014)

While Kevin Stevenson was in his position, he ensured the long traditions of financial reporting was being supported both internationally and domestically and that counseling was provided for the issues raised about FRC. (Media releases, 2014)

Mr. Stevenson was the first to research, develop and create Accounting Standards Advisory Forum which is dealt within International Accounting Standards Board. The AASB’s Research Centre was established while Stevenson worked as the Asian-Oceanian Standard Setters Group’s chair. His leadership focus was mainly on the interest of the public. This was stated by Lynn Wood, FRC’s chair and trustee of the IFRS Foundation. Ian Mackintosh, the former Chair of the PSASB of Australia and Deputy Chair of IASB was in agreement with this statement. (Media releases, 2014)

According to Mackintosh, Mr. Stevenson has largely contributed to have Asian countries to join IFRS, like Nepal and Korea. From the beginning of the 1970s, Stevenson has put all his attention in setting principal based standards and developing a Conceptual Framework to be used in financial reporting. Mr. Stevenson supported accounting regulations as it was evidenced by his organisation and also by Australian Accounting Research Foundation. He has also been appointed as a director of AARF while watching AARF grew with it’s development of regulations. He was a leader and was in the most important position when setting the international pace to develop the common accounting standards for both the public and the private sectors. (Media releases, 2014)

Stevenson has contributed in the formation of the Public Sector Accounting. He took a significant role in the establishment of International Financial Reporting Standards in 2005 and this Standard has widely been used in Australia and the entire Europe. (Media releases, 2014)

Concepts, ideas and facts

There are two important components that need to be satisfied to offer accounting services exhibiting high efficacy and quality. These are teamwork and leadership. Management models in accounting services need to employ strategic human resource techniques to teams in accounting teams and leadership positions in order to provide high-quality services in the shortest time possible. The operation of accounting services operates under a clear and concise manner and performs its measurement. Therefore, to provide the best accounting services and not get involved in fraud accounting, there needs to be an ultramodern investigation that uses scientific leadership when working as a team with major stakeholders (Topic 2, 2014).

Stevenson was leading in the right direction by using new techniques in accounting. These techniques of accounting were important steps which need leaders with efficient skills to apply concepts like efficacy, cost benefit analysis, economies of scale and cost-effectiveness analysis that will progressively measure improvement.

To resolve a core issue of the organization and get a competent solution, it is important to acquire efficient leadership. Strategic leadership in accounting provides quality and up to date accounting services to an organization. Leadership like that of Stevenson, brings together all of the incomplete system consisting of thousands of accountants working within a fragmented system of organizations. (Topic 7, 2014)

Advanced fraud investigation is developed through effective teamwork and leadership in accounting. Leaders’ decisions are encouraged to be made by considering social and moral implications so it will have a positive effect on the shareholders and customers of the organization, such as the leadership of Stevenson’s. (Topic 7, 2014)

Every employee bears an ethical responsibility to act in an ethical manner and make sure that their company does is tax compliant and allows reasonable deductions. Employees should ensure that the company appropriately allocates the importance of the business activities.

The Accounting Issue

The best way to improve the truthfulness in accounting and financial reporting is by ensuring that ethical standards are used through efficient manners of reporting, sufficient financial management and a strong system of governance. Maintaining a right to the truth is an ethical practice in financial reporting and accounting.

Both the clients and stakeholders of an organization have the right to information that is true and accurate when making any investment discussions. It is the legal obligation of any accountant to provide services that are professional and competent and this should be done within their required skills.

It is a common argument that a large number of accountants do not have the ability to recognize and solve ethical dilemmas in an ethical manner. This has made it necessary to incorporate ethics education as a key element in the accounting profession. Early initiation of the inclusion of professional values and ethics should be emphasized in the accounting profession.

Major issue of the article

Stevenson clearly shows that ethical management and taking responsibility to act in the best interest of the company that they are providing accounting services for, relates with providing accurate and truthful records. This beneficial not only to the organization, but also to the society in general (Media releases, 2014)

Management should be ethical by being honest, accurate and complete when dealing with financial data and have ethics held in place. Every employee bears the responsibility to make decisions that are wise and up to date for the future well-being of the company. The accounting standards are useful in financial reporting and accounting as they are critically examined when processed. (Topic 2 , 2014)

In order to uphold the highest code of ethics, organizations should emphasize on the major functions because shareholders and customers often make their decisions based on financial and accounting reports. Mr. Stevenson’s case is a clear demonstration of the importance of legal and ethical factors in accounting and financial reporting. It is through these two issues that Mr. Stevenson was able to establish effective departments of accounting and financial reporting and design specific rules that govern general functioning of any company.

Relevant topics and theories

Positive Accounting Theory plans for the future and gives information of what is currently not known. Financial reporting has its history with Positive Accounting Theory applied. It has focused its major interest on various aspects of accounting techniques which has provided an informative background with in depth details of the functionality of accounting in financial reporting (Topic 2, 2014)

The application of financial reporting and accounting is concerned with all the future business of a company that relates to any economic unit. There are four main ethical elements involved in accounting and financial reporting. These elements are truthfulness, objectivity, autonomy and competence and they require employees in the accounting and financial reporting profession to act independently towards the clients to whom they offer their services. They should ensure that their desire to attain better living and to acquire more wealth should not be an obstacle to their financial responsibilities.

Obligations of ethics greatly affect the decisions of accounting and financial reporting. Also helps solving unfair situations that may alter information symmetry. (Topic 2, 2014) The decision by Nepal and Korea to join the IFRS was based on the financial guidelines that govern accounting and financial reporting.

Every employee in the accounting and financial reporting profession, whether in a private or public company bears an ethical responsibility to act in a manner that is loyal and impartial to his or her obligation when reviewing both the financial or individual reports of an organization. It is quite normal for accountants and financial reporters to encounter possible ethical violations when working. As a result, one should maintain carefulness and desist from manipulation of financial records as this is a violation of ethical guidelines.

The important elements of normative accounting theory are the integrity and being open to public scrutiny. For some companies to maintain certain public image they may receive pressure from management. Most companies in the public sector are faced with the pressure to be seen as highly successful. Consequently, it becomes an ethical concern for the company to maintain ethical reports of the company assets because the pressure from management could fail them to resist the temptation (Topic 2, 2014).

Management should not manipulate the company’s financial records and alter the figures in an effort to create an image that falsely portrays the company as successful. This is often temporary because it only portrays the prosperity of the company on a short term basis before the fraud is detected by the Securities and Exchange Commission (Topic 2 , 2014). Such manipulation, which is often based on poor decision making skills aims at putting up a false image of the financial status of the company and only has negative effects on the well-being of the company. Accounting professional should by all means disregard such practices. Despite the temptation associated with manipulating financial records, management should act as the last defense tool against accounting fraud.

For these reasons, accounting theories assert that companies should maintain their ethical vigilance in order to avoid any potential breach of conduct (Callahan, 2014). Every individual engaging in any activity relating to financial reporting and accounting should uphold the highest standards of ethical behavior. It is through these standards that guidelines and rules are set to guide employees in performing their professional responsibilities.

Question 2

In comment letter 1, the Financial Reporting Committee of the IMA wrote this letter to express its opinion on financial accounting standards, to simply the income statement presentation by eliminating the concept of extraordinary items. The FRC is in charge of several accounting books of different companies. This basically means that FRC has the responsibility of making timely responses to statements, pronouncements, research legislation, proposals and pending legislation. Their main concern in this comment letter is the complexion of financial statements within FASB. They support the simplified financial statements adopted by the board which is easier for common people to understand CITATION Sch l 1033 (Schroder, 2014). Their support is on the elimination of very unusual items as in most times this criterion is not satisfied.

Their proposal to simplify the income statement gets rid of the tedious work in the preparation of financial documents. Their support is based on the fact that the allocation of time in preparing income tax reduces to a great extend by eliminating the occurrence of other income items. They thus advocate for a thorough examination of the details of this suggested proposal CITATION Sch l 1033 (Schroder, 2014).

In comment letter number 2, Marcum Accountants and Advisors write to the FASB to simplify the income statement by eliminating the concept of extraordinary items regarding the proposed accounting standards. Their letter is generally a response to several questions regarding the process of simplification of the income statement. They support the concept of elimination of extra ordinary items from the General Accounting principles. Their argument is based on where the extra ordinary items make the application difficult in accounting practice CITATION Giu14 l 1033 (Giugliano, 2014). They thus support the application for extra ordinary items in previous accounting periods. A sudden change of the rules would otherwise lead to confusion in the accounting practice CITATION Top14 l 1033 (Topic 2 , 2014). The ease of application with the proposed update makes it easy to make these recommended changes to adopt. They thus suggest the immediate adoption of the proposed update.

They agree with the decision made by the board which was to comply with the principle of separate disclosure of infrequent transactions. They also suggest the importance of offering guidance on deciding the unusual item. CITATION Giu14 l 1033 (Giugliano, 2014) Proper definitions should be provided of the unusually occurring items.

In comment letter 3, Ford Motor Company also writes supporting the simplification of financial report assessed and initiated by FASB. Their agreement is based on the reasonable evaluation, identification and improvement of the generally accepted accounting principles CITATION Cal14 l 1033 (Callahan, 2014). This thus means that by reducing the complexity and simplifying the income statement, it will possibly reduce the cost of application. They are also in agreement with the board that such an update would not lead to data loss. The overall benefit would be to the end users of such financial statements.

References

Callahan, S. (2014). Comment Letter No. 6 (1st ed.). FORD MOTOR COMPANY. Retrieved from http://www.fasb.org/jsp/FASB/CommentLetter_C/CommentLetterPage&cid=1218220137090&project_id=2014-220

Callahan, S. (2014). Comment Letter No. 6 (1st ed.). FORD MOTOR COMPANY. Retrieved from http://www.fasb.org/jsp/FASB/CommentLetter_C/CommentLetterPage&cid=1218220137090&project_id=2014-220

Giugliano, G. (2014). Comment Letter No. 5 (1st ed.). MARCUM LLP. Retrieved from http://www.fasb.org/jsp/FASB/CommentLetter_C/CommentLetterPage&cid=1218220137090&project_id=2014-220

Media releases,. (2014). Kevin Stevenson retires as AASB Chair.

Proposed Accounting Standards Update. (2014) (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www.fasb.org

Schroeder, N. (2014). Comment Letter No.2 (1st ed.). IMA/FRC. Retrieved from http://www.fasb.org/jsp/FASB/CommentLetter_C/CommentLetterPage&cid=1218220137090&project_id=2014-220

Topic 2 The role of ethics in accounting. (2014).

Topic 6 International Accounting. (2014).

Topic 7 Normative Accounting theories. (2014).

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