Call it a new realism. Like Hoogervorst, FASB President Russell Golden is leading the many successes of the convergence efforts that began with the Norwalk Agreement of 2002 (named after FASB Norwalk Headquarters, Conn.). As part of this agreement, FASB and IASB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the convergence of accounting standards. The proposed leasing is perhaps the clearest example of how such differences have led to a collapse in convergence. After half a decade of deliberations, following an agreement in principle on the declaration of leases of more than 12 months in the company`s balance sheets, the two boards of directors announced, at a joint meeting on 27 August, their decision to approach leasing reports differently. The split has led to differences of opinion as to whether leasing accounting should take a duly or unique approach. Norwalk Agreement refers to a Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 2002 between the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the Standardetzer and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).  The agreement is designated as being concluded at Norwalk. The objective of this project is to eliminate a large number of differences between international financial reporting standards and US GAAP standards. The project, jointly led by FASB and IASB, was born out of an agreement reached by the two boards of directors in October 2002 (the “Norwalk” agreement). A few years later, the SEC announced its support for a Memorandum of Understanding – norwalk`s agreement – between the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board. This agreement, reached in Norwalk, Connecticut, established a common obligation to develop compatible accounting standards that could be used for both national and cross-border financial reporting. In a following Memorandum of Understanding, FASB and IASB agreed that a common set of high-quality global standards would remain their long-term strategic priority and established a plan to align the financial information of U.S.
issuers under U.S. GAAP with those of companies using IFRS. Given that STELLE is committed to achieving a unique set of improved and accepted high accounting standards worldwide, the IFRS Foundation must continue to feel committed to the long-term goal of the overall introduction of IFRS, as developed by the IASB, in its entirety and without modification. Convergence can be an appropriate short-term strategy for a particular jurisdiction and facilitate adoption during a transitional period. However, convergence is not a substitute for adoption. Acceptance mechanisms may vary from country to country and may require an appropriate implementation period, but regardless of the mechanism, they should allow the companies concerned to indicate that their financial statements are in line with the ifrs published by the IASB. But errors in meeting common standards on two important issues – leasing and financial instruments – seem to have abandoned default with an informed assessment of the obstacles they had tried to overcome for so long. (The chambers also appear to be following their separate channels for accounting for insurance contracts, although this was not part of the original MEMORANDUM of Understanding.) The recent divergence “requires us to realize that differences in the cultural, commercial, legal and regulatory environment in different legal systems will inevitably lead to some differences in these standards,” Golden wrote. The accompanying table “Results of Convergence” contains my views, it is true, subjectively, on the success of convergence and the resulting improvements in IFRS for each of the projects listed in the various agreements between the IASB and the FASB.
Finally, I would like to add that convergence may have been the most realistic way to launch the application of IFRS in the United States, but such regulation is not sustainable in the long term.