There's harmony in accounting*, and then there's harmony in accounting**... for all of you aficionados of music, financial reporting, regulatory reporting, or combinations thereof, watch for the FEI Blog's 2011 music video, set to launch in the FEI Blog tomorrow, July 29!
* The first "harmony in accounting" link above goes to a research paper entitled, "Will Harmonizing Accounting Standards Really Harmonize Accounting? - Evidence from Non-U.S. Firms Adopting US GAAP," published in 2007 by two associate professors of accounting at the Harvard Business School: Mark T. Bradshaw, and Gregory S. Miller. The Abstract from their paper is copied below; the last sentence is highlighted as it appears particularly significant:
International harmonization of accounting standards appears to be inevitable. However, little evidence exists regarding whether harmonizing accounting standards will result in actual harmonization of accounting practices. Using a sample of non-US firms that adopt US GAAP to provide evidence on this issue, we find that most firms that adopt US GAAP adjust their accounting methods to those required by US GAAP. Properties of the firms’ accounting numbers also change significantly after adopting US GAAP, but do not fully converge towards that of US firms. In the cross-section,
regulatory oversight is associated with more successful implementation of US
GAAP; firm-specific capital market incentives are not. These results suggest that harmonizing accounting standards may result in more comparable accounting methods and numbers, but that effective regulatory oversight will be important in reaching this outcome.
** The second "harmony in accounting" link above goes to a youtube video entitled "Accounting Songs" posted by "Hescott12" on October 29, 2007. My guess is the singing Professor and his class are based in Australia, as I thought I heard a reference to "ASIC," which would be the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, but I could be wrong. For the curious, I have reached out to Hescott12 for further info and if I receive any I'll update this post.