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CFA Institute dispels myths on need for new oversight of acc

www.lsjiamei.com发布时间:2009-11-25 20:59文章来源:未知投稿给我们

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    Accounting Did Not Cause the Crisis

     

    CFA Institute dispels myths on need for new oversight of accounting standard setting

     

    New York, November 16, 2009 – In response to legislation proposed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the so-called “Perlmutter/Lucas Amendment,” CFA Institute today offered investor friendly perspectives to what is myth and what is reality when it comes to setting financial reporting standards. 

     

    “There is much misinformation regarding the role accounting played in the financial crisis. It is important to look at the facts regarding the purpose of accounting standards so as to dispel the myth that they caused the financial crisis,” said Sandra Peters, the CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity’s new head of financial reporting policy. “Moves to add further regulatory and political oversight of the FASB and the standard-setting process are unnecessary.”

     

    Myth: Congress should address accounting policy as a part of reform or it will not have addressed one of the significant causes of the nation’s financial problems. 

     

    Reality: Accounting standards do not cause financial problems or create systemic risk. Accounting standards are about providing investors and others with accurate information upon which they can make appropriate investment decisions. 

     

    “Accounting standards did not create bad lending practices, cause an increase in home foreclosures, result in the creation of complex securities purchasers may not have understood, or force financial institutions to ‘bet the house’ on credit default swaps or other complex securities,” said Peters. “Underlying economic events – not financial accounting standards – created systemic risk. Accounting standards such as fair value did, however, rightly require companies – most significantly financial institutions – to report the effects of such practices and events on their results. Accounting and financial reporting standards are a lens by which investors can analyze corporate management’s decisions, right or wrong.” 

     

    Myth: Accounting standard setting and financial reporting are created and exist to enable regulators to evaluate solvency of the company, principally financial institutions.   

     

    Reality: Accounting standards enable accurate measurement of the economic events affecting a company’s operations and address issues that cut across industries or are specific to a particular industry. Financial reporting is charged with providing investors and others with timely, transparent, comparable, and consistent financial information upon which they can make sound investment decisions. 

     

    “The premise of this legislation seems to be that bank capital adequacy and solvency are the paramount objectives of the accounting standard-setting process, which doesn’t recognize that accounting standards and the financial reporting process serve a wide variety of interests,” said Peters. “Controversy over fair value measurement does not warrant a reconsideration of the entire accounting standard-setting process. Bank regulators can and should improve bank capital adequacy and solvency without Congress bringing the entire accounting standard-setting process under more oversight.”

     

    On November 6, 2009, the CFA Institute Centre submitted a letter to the House Financial Services Committee leadership (PDF) stating “We believe the notion that FASB needs to be governed by a board of regulators stems from two mistaken beliefs. First, that fair value accounting caused the financial crisis, was pro-cyclical, and created or exacerbated systemic risk…Second, the effect that fair value had on capital adequacy created an inaccurate perception that accounting standard setting and financial statement preparation are done solely in the context of regulating solvency, and more specifically, the capital adequacy of one industry.”

     

    Peters added, “How can the interests of equity investors, creditors, and depositors be best served by this change in oversight? How is it possible that banks, as major providers of capital, will not have an unfair advantage in establishing standards for all industries to which they lend?” 

     

    Myth: The FASB’s independence and its oversight are not touched by the supervision of the Financial Services Oversight Council (“the Council”).

     

    Reality: Making FASB beholden to a board of regulators – principally banking regulators – will increase the potential for political influence in the accounting standard-setting process. Doing so implies to investors that accounting standards are primarily developed for banks. 

     

     “This myth simply does not ring true,” said Peters. “We question how the FASB can remain independent when the Council can privately question and ‘recommend’ changes to generally accepted accounting principles as well as override the SEC if it does not implement the Council’s recommendations. As frequent participants in FASB’s and SEC’s public comment process, the CFA Institute Centre was very surprised to learn of possible legislation that completely bypasses the long-standing public comment process.” 

     

    “We question whether investors’ views will be heard,” added Peters. “Also, we wonder whether investors, as capital providers, will be given decision-useful information with their interests so firmly superseded by regulators in the standard-setting process.”   

     

    About the CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity

    The CFA Institute Centre develops timely, practical solutions to global capital market issues, while advancing investors’ interests by promoting the highest standards of ethics and professionalism within the investment community worldwide. It builds upon CFA Institute’s 40-year history of standards and advocacy work, especially its Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct for the investment profession, which were first established in the 1960s. More information may be found at www.cfainstitute.org/centre

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