GLOBAL - The Accounting Standards Board in the UK has been accused of a lack of joined up thinking with its international counterpart, following the release of a new discussion document on IAS 19.
David Cule, principal, Punter Southall, told Global Pensions: "This document is another step along the very long path to getting accounting into a consistent format rather than an extreme shake up.
"The question of why the ASB released a document addressing similar issues, but from a more radical standpoint, when they surely knew the IASB was working in this area, is important."
He concluded there appeared to be a lack of joined up thinking between the stand setting authorities.
A spokesperson from the ASB told Global Pensions it had been aware of the IASB's pending document, but its work had been mainly focused on the long term changes needed, rather that what it called 'quick fixes' tackled by this recent discussion paper.
The discussion document sets out areas the IASB plans to take to the industry for consultation. The paper looks at the smoothing of company balance sheets which allow companies to potentially disguise gains and losses of its pension fund assets.
The IASB document stated: "IAS 19 allows a company many different options for recognising gains and losses. The IASB believes that there should be only one approach for recognising gains and losses and that immediate recognition of all gains and losses in the period they occur is the best approach."
Cule said the document did not set out new ways of creating the accounting figures, as the ASB had set out, but was pushing for a more uniform way of displaying them.
Accounting for a third way, or type of hybrid scheme, was also mooted in the paper which could affect scheme design in the future, according to Cule.
The IASB requested all input to the consultation period by 26 September 2008.
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