International Accounting Systems

This assignment requires an independent write up of the “principal accounting system” of one country, your choice.

Where appropriate, comparison may be made between your subject country and the accounting environment of Canada.

Elements of interest in your write up include nature of accounting systems in place and important influences on the development of the system, the nature of the standard setting process and the development of standards over the past few years. Remember that standards are constantly evolving, so both older and recent sources are critical.

This is an exercise for the second stage of the course, after the initial considerations of the first several chapters. There are a number of objectives of this assignment, including:

  • Development of a realization that accounting systems of countries vary upon as many dimensions as there are countries
  • That there is no one single source available for the accounting system of all countries, nor is there a single best source for most countries, so a lot of digging may be necessary to develop even a rudimentary outline of the accounting system of many countries. We have/will discuss many of these sources in class.
  • Accounting is changing with such speed that accessing today’s rules is a real challenge, even with the best of research libraries and Internet tools at your disposal, and the risk of using weak, outdated or erroneous sources is high.
  • To provide fodder for class discussion on all of these issues as we consider different regions and countries.

This is meant as a simulation of a real situation that some of you may face, which goes something like this: “We have a major deal pending with ‘Company X’ in ‘Country Y’ and we need to know all about their accounting environment and practices before we meet in the morning. Tomorrow morning.” Even the most seasoned of accounting researchers is unlikely to find a clear and unambiguous description of the financial reporting system for public companies in use in many countries. Instead, you will have to piece together a description from a series of clues about the systems of countries, from a variety of sources. Choose wisely, write carefully, and be careful to provide a comprehensive description that is, wherever possible, in your own words.

These sources include;;; accounting associations in (your country); governments in (your country); stock exchanges in (your country); annual reports of companies; searching on “doing business in (country)” or “accounting standards in (country)”; library books; journal articles and many other sources.

This is an exercise for which the write up is only one outcome of the process, and the process is the part that I will try to evaluate. You must provide a bibliography and footnotes as necessary, with all sources carefully acknowledged when and where used. We all should learn something from your research.

Our choice is Russia!!!!!!

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