Accounting News

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Islamic Accounting Standards

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have been working diligently for years to consolidate their two accounting standards. In a global economy it is much more efficient to have one accounting standard. That makes it easier to share financial data for investing or mergers and acquisitions.

It may be time for the two accounting boards to look at the third largest accounting standard. That is accountants using Islamic finance. Islamic finance is estimated to have $1.3 trillion globally in 2011. Most is in the Middle East and Malaysia.

The problem is that the integration between western accounting to Islamic ones come with several pitfalls. The most obvious is working between secular principles and ones based on religion. Another issue is a lack of a governing board. The laws are different in every country that Islamic finance is practiced.

A solution would be to have separate rules for Islamic transactions. But this works against the FASB and IASB goal of a standard system over all industries. Exceptions, even standardized ones, increase the overall complexity to the accounting.

At this time it doesn't appear as if there is any traction to tackle this issue. As the world economy continues to integrate it is likely not a question of if but how the standardization of accounting standards will take place.

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