- June 1, 2011: Vol. 5, Number 6

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Blessing or Curse? International Financial Reporting Standards Are a Good Thing. Arent

by Sheila Hopkins

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t agree that a single set of standardised international financial reporting standards is — in theory — a good thing. Why wouldn’t investors want to be able to quickly compare the financial reports of investments made in Germany, Brazil and the United States? As always, however, the devil is in the detail. Whose standards should be adopted? What types of companies should be required to use them, and which ones should simply be encouraged or permitted? What are some of the unintended consequences of standardisation? And, most importantly, how does it all affect institutional real estate investing?

In 1973, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) was formed to develop a standardised reporting system. For decades afterward, regulatory agencies around the world issued periodic statements of support for the IASC work, but it wasn’t until 2001 that the movement began to gain

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