Accounting Diversity and Convergence

Happy Labor Day, International Accounting Students! I hope you’re enjoying the unofficial conclusion of the summer vacation season.

It was a pleasure to meet all of you last week. Here are some notes to guide our way, as we venture into the semester together.

Last week, we engaged in an introductory discussion about international accounting (i.e. Chapter 1), and segued into the emerging field of international corporate social reporting (i.e. Chapter 15). For the next two weeks, we’ll extend this conversation by addressing issues of worldwide accounting diversity (i.e. Chapter 2) and the international convergence of financial reporting standards (i.e. Chapter 3).

So how, exactly, will we do that? Let’s proceed a step at a time:

1. The Teaching Strategies section of our syllabus states that “Some days are hybrid days. On these days, students will complete online assignments outside of our assigned classroom.” Although our September 4th session will be a normal classroom meeting, our September 11th session will be an online meeting. Please do NOT travel to our classroom on September 11th!

2. For our online meeting, we will discuss the impact of international reporting standards on corporate strategy, operations, and financial valuation by addressing fixed asset accounting in the energy industry. To prepare for this online discussion, please open a free basic account with the IFRS Foundation.

In addition, please ensure that you can access the annual financial reports of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. This American organization utilizes U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for its financial reporting standards; we will discuss how a hypothetical shift to international reporting standards would affect it.

3. Given our “classroom without walls” teaching strategy, I will begin to post selected course notes and materials on (both) the University’s internal Blackboard system and an external social media resource. This will enable colleagues from the academic and practitioner communities to contribute their perspectives to our discussion.

4. Finally, I have an administrative requirement to share with you. Although I’ve decided that it is premature to begin giving quizzes this early in the semester (we’ll wait a couple of weeks to do so), I do need to obtain electronic “signatures” from you regarding our syllabus. Please bring an internet equipped electronic device to class this week.

As you can see, our lives are about to become more interesting! But please don’t worry; we’re embarking on this journey together.

Click here for the course materials.