The Evolution of Indian Accounting Standards: Its History and Current Status with Regard to International Financial Reporting Standards

5318 Words Sep 1st, 2009 22 Pages
1. Introduction
Propelled by globalization, world attention today is centered on two emerging market economies, India and China. China's managed liberalization has allowed it to achieve more rapid growth and has attracted a larger portion of direct foreign investment. India, with its messy democracy and nod to individualism in recent times promises a more exciting market environment with greater potential for future growth. The liberalization of the Indian economy since 1991 has exposed Indian firms to foreign competition and foreign investment. As a result, the information needs required by both managers and investors have changed. A first step in this process is the demand for transparency in the financial reporting. This transparency
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The largest obstacle hindering the harmonization of accounting standards is national culture, especially in developing countries. Riahi-Belkaoui (1995) researched the required accounting standards across thirty-three national stock exchanges and found that accounting disclosure is significantly affected by the cultural dimensions of power distance, individualism, and uncertainty avoidance studied by Geert Hofstede. In particular, Riahi-Belkaoui (1995) found that in “societies in which people accept a hierarchical order in which everyone occupies a place that needs no justification…” people are “expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only….” As a result, these societies are “tolerant of ambiguity and have strong conditions for extended disclosure requirements of stock exchanges” (p. 124). Hence, disclosure requirements of stock exchanges of certain developing nations were more extensive than that nation's general financial reporting standards. This is a major point in the case of India, whose stock exchange, for example, required a statement of cash flows long before its general standard – setting body did in 2000. Also, since 2002, consolidated financial statements have been required by the Securities Exchange Board of India, while the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) only provides some loose
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