Qualified Surprise

Had wondered about Hans Hoogervorst, the Chair of the International Accounting Standards Board. No professional or academic accounting background. Compare his predecessor, Sir David Tweedie, who had a distinguished career as an accounting academic , accounting standard-setter and accounting regulator.

Then reflected on accounting standard-setting as being legislative, rather than a judicial actions, delegated by government. Since there is no specific qualification required to be a legislator, why need one have any direct association with financial accounting in order to contribute to the formulation of International Financial Reporting Standards? After all, most Canadian Ministers of Finance have been lawyers, rather than professionally-qualified accountants, and having any professional association is not a precondition to the appointment to any ministerial role.

The issue become more whether the accounting regulations proposed have been subject to full and fair debate. In addition, it is important that those responsible for setting such standards are considered to be fairly representing the public interest on whose behalf they have been appointed, rather than elected.

Now, if accounting standard-setters could be elected…


About brucelarochelle

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