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IASB Moves to End Impenetrable Insurance Accounting

Global Glimpses | August 3, 2010

The International Accounting Standards Board this week launched a draft new standard on insurance accounting, which it said would put an end to a mish-mash of national rules that produced “impenetrable” financial reports.

But the draft led to immediate warnings of heavy compliance costs and a fundamental shift in accounting practices that could particularly disadvantage European companies.

The new standard will replace IFRS 4, “Insurance Contracts”, which the IASB created as an interim measure in 2004. IFRS 4 did little to harmonize national practices; the IASB wants to scrap it in favor of a new standard that all insurers, in all jurisdictions, can apply to all insurance contracts.

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