The UK Accounting Standards Board, 1990-2000
Restoring Honesty and Trust in Accounting
- Available for pre-order on July 7, 2023. Item will ship after July 28, 2023
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In the late 1980’s financial accounting in Britain was in disarray. ‘Creative’ accounting was rife. The authority of the industry’s standard-setters had been drastically compromised when their rules for inflation accounting were first ignored by many firms and then abandoned. There were calls for government to replace the accountants’ self-regulation with a tough regulatory regime close to the American model. Also, rapid change in the financial industry was generating complex new financial schemes for which existing accounting standards were inadequate. This book tells the story of the next decade: the problems the standard-setters faced, both technical and political, the resistance they met, the solutions they developed, and the durability of their work. Innovations they developed have become part of global accounting standards.
The story is told in the words of three Board members, all of whom had spent their careers in accounting, one as senior technical partner of a Big 4 audit firm, one as executive in major multinational businesses, one as a university professor: respectively, the Chairman, Sir David Tweedie, the Technical Director, Allan Cook, and the academic Board member, Professor Geoffrey Whittington. The medium is for the most part conversation, recorded over three years, producing a more vivid picture of motivations and events. Also, in this technically demanding subject, it has the advantage of a simpler, more informal and engaging conversational style and language.
The book will appeal not just to accountants interested in the origins of the rules they are following and students learning why those rules were adopted, but also to anyone interested in how, in spheres beyond accounting, to harness the expertise and support of business regulatees without suffering regulatory capture.
Table of Contents
1. Origins 2. Getting started 3. Reporting financial performance 4. Capital instruments 5. Reporting the substance of transactions 6. Accounting for mergers and acquisitions: the problems in 1990 7. Accounting for mergers and acquisitions: dealing with the problems 8. Pension obligations 9. Other issues 10. Review
David Tweedie was the first Chairman of the UK’s Accounting Standards Board (1990-2000) and of the International Accounting Standards Board (2001-2011).
Allan Cook brought to the ASB extensive experience of working with major accounting standard-setting bodies and, on behalf of his employers, Unilever then Shell, and other multinationals, pressing in international fora for convergence in accounting standards worldwide.
Geoffrey Whittington is an accountant and economist who has held chairs at Edinburgh, Bristol and Cambridge universities and has also been closely involved in standard setting and the use of accounting information, as a member of regulatory bodies such as the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, the Technical Committee of the ICAEW, the ASB and the IASB.
"The early years of the ASB transformed concepts and practice in financial reporting, setting an example that was followed globally. The authors of The UK Accounting Standards Board, 1990-2000 led this transformation; there is nobody better to tell the story." — Prof. Richard Barker, Member, International Sustainability Standards Board
"We all have a clear interest in company accounts painting a true picture of their financial position, which in the 1980s they often did not. The three authors of The UK Accounting Standards Board 1990-2000 paint a personal and fascinating picture of how they succeeded in radically reforming standards, dealt with technical and political challenges, overcame opposition and established the independence of the standard setting board." — Sir Bryan Nicholson GBE, Deputy Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council, 1993 96 and Chairman 2001-5
"The interview format used in The UK Accounting Standards Board,1990-2000: Restoring Honesty and Trust in Accounting by Tweedie, Cook and Whittington brings a stimulating period of accounting standards history to life. The authors’ innovative ideas on accounting have stood the test of time." — Pauline Wallace, Chair, UK Endorsement Board