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Independent viewpoints

Divided by common language - Where economics meets the law. US versus non-US financial reporting models.

As part of the Beyond the myth of Anglo-American corporate governance initiative, the ICAEW welcomes independent viewpoints. Divided by common language has been written by Tim Bush of Hermes Pension Management Ltd. It highlights the major differences that exist between the US and other countries surrounding the purpose, authority and enforcement of financial reporting and audit.

Divided by common language emphasises that the common language of the UK and US can at times create a superficial similarity in both governance and reporting matters, when beneath the surface, the law is entirely different in intent and effect. With the globalisation of capital, understanding these differences is important for policymakers, not just in the UK and the US, but also in emerging markets worldwide.

In particular the paper examines:

  • The evolution of the US financial reporting model
  • Contrasting approaches to accounting and auditing: 'principles' versus 'prescription'
  • Shareholder rights and the governance function of annual financial statements
  • Possibilities for global accounting convergence .

ISBN-13 978-1-84152-359-0

To order your free printed copy of Divided by common language please email your name and full postal address to: corporategovernance@icaew.com.