ESMA Hosts Meeting of Regulators to Discuss IFRS
On 1-2 December 2011, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) hosted a meeting of accounting enforcers from around 30 countries to discuss International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), enforcement systems and enforcement decisions.
In addition to representatives from national enforcers, representatives of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), the European Commission and the International Organization of Securities Commission Organizations (IOSCO) participated in the meeting.
In a press release discussing the outcomes of the meeting, Steven Maijoor, ESMA chair, noted:
"IFRSs are global standards of which the ultimate success depends on their worldwide consistent application. Our experience in Europe has shown that this can only be achieved by bringing national enforcers together. There is a clear need to extend that cooperation on a global level, and ESMA is actively contributing to this."
ESMA periodically publishes extracts from the enforcement database of European Enforcers Coordination Sessions (EECS), a forum in which all EU National Enforcers of financial information meet to exchange views and discuss experiences of enforcement of IFRS. IOSCO is also involved in efforts to promote comparability and consistency of application and enforcement of IFRSs.
Global consistency in the application of IFRSs is a key theme. For instance, the recent SEC Staff Papers on IFRS also discussed this aspect, noting "diversity in the application of IFRS presented challenges to the comparability of financial statements across countries and industries".