IAS: Interpretation and Application of International Accounting Standards provides analytical explanations and copious illustrations of all current accounting principles promulgated by the IASB (and its predecessor, the IASC). The book integrates principles promulgated by the Board—international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and the earlier international accounting standards (IAS)—and by the Board's body for responding to more narrowly focused issues—the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), which succeeded the Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC). These materials have been synthesized into a user-oriented topical format, eliminating the need for readers to first be knowledgeable about the names or numbers of the salient professional standards.
The focus of the book is the practitioner and the myriad practical problems faced in applying IAS. Accordingly, the paramount goal has been to incorporate meaningful, real-world-type examples in guiding users in the application of IAS to complex fact situations that must be dealt with in the actual practice of accounting. In addition to this emphasis, a major strength of the book is that it does explain the theory of IAS in sufficient detail to serve as a valuable adjunct to, or substitute for, accounting textbooks. Not merely a reiteration of currently promulgated IAS, it provides the user with the underlying conceptual basis for the rules, to enable the reasoning by analogy that is so necessary in dealing with a complex, fast-changing world of commercial arrangements and structures. It is based on the author's belief that proper application of IAS demands an understanding of the logical underpinnings of its technical requirements. This is perhaps more true of IAS than of various national GAAP sets of standards, since IAS is by design more "principles based" and hence less prescriptive, leaving practitioners with a proportionately greater challenge in actually applying the rules.
Each chapter of this book, or major section thereof, provides an overview discussion of the perspective and key issues associated with the topics covered; a listing of the professional pronouncements that guide practice; and a detailed discussion of the concepts and the accompanying examples. A comprehensive checklist following the main text offers practical guidance to preparing financial statements in accordance with IAS. New to the current edition is a detailed, tabular comparison between IAS and both US and UK national GAAP, keyed to the chapters of this book. Also new this year is a set of three comprehensive financial statements that illustrate application of financial reporting standards to different types of enterprises.
The authors' wish is that this book will serve practitioners, faculty, and students as a reliable reference tool, to facilitate their understanding of, and ability to apply, the complexities of the authoritative literature. Comments from readers, both as to errors and omissions and as to proposed improvements for future editions, should be addressed to Barry J. Epstein, c/o John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 155 N. 3rd Street, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, prior to May 15, 2003, for consideration for the 2004 edition.
Barry J. Epstein
Abbas Ali Mirza