International Accounting Standards: A Study and Comparison to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Standards

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Accounting




John Coulter


Accounting --Standards, Financial statements, Cross-cultural studies.

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 .N29 Acc. 1995 no.5


Critics say that U.S. accounting standards are not only too cumbersome and too costly, but downright unfair compared to those which their foreign competitors must follow.

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the issue with respect to what is, can, or should be done to diminish the differences between U.S. generally accepted accounting standards and those of foreign countries. Although it cannot be proven that U.S. accounting standards cause an uneven playing field, areas where unfairness exists or is perceived to exist are pointed out and observations and conclusions are made about what changes may make a difference.

An examination of a considerable amount of research about international accounting standards suggests that harmonization of accounting standards between countries is an attainable goal that, when accomplished, will make comparisons of accounting standards between countries easier to conduct and more meaningful to users of the statements.

It is possible, however, that understanding why differences in accounting principles exist between countries may lead to the realization that these differences will remain after harmonization of standards is accomplished.