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New study compares key U.S. standards with international practices.

At the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission Office of the Chief Accountant, the nation's six largest CPA firms surveyed and compared key accounting practices in the United States to those in other major countries and to international accounting standards.

Arthur Andersen & Co. surveyed accounting for business combinations, goodwill and intangible assets; Price Waterhouse, consolidations and equity accounting; Deloitte & Touche, foreign currencies; Ernst & Young, lease accounting; Coopers & Lybrand, pensions; and KPMG Peat Marwick, income taxes. There were eight countries included in the survey: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The survey demonstrates that U.S. accounting standards are more complex than those of other countries in a number of areas. The significant differences in accounting methods used by enterprises in surveyed countries may hamper comparative analysis by users.

The survey concludes it will require initiatives from a number of different parties, both in the United States and other countries, to achieve greater comparability and to reduce barriers to international capital formation. It also says the Financial Accounting Standards Board recognizes the need for greater international comparability of financial statements and will be considering a number of initiatives in this area.

A 56-page summary of the study, Survey of International Accounting Practices, includes an overview of the key differences among the surveyed countries and a side-by-side, country-to-country comparison of each Significant accounting standard covered by the study. Summaries are $5, and detailed studies on each topic are also available for $7 each.

To order, contact the AICPA order department, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036-8775. Telephone: (800) 334-8775 [(800) 258-0445 in New York State].
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Institute of CPA's
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Article Details
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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