International accounting books: publishers' dream, authors' nightmare and educators' reality

Aisbitt, Sally (2005). International accounting books: publishers' dream, authors' nightmare and educators' reality. Accounting Education: An International Journal, 14(3) pp. 349–360.




The emergence of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as the required convention for reporting to stock exchanges in the European Union (EU) and other important markets, together with the convergence programmes of major standard setters, has accelerated the reduction in differences in financial reporting between countries. The education of potential accountants would be expected to respond to these changes and, indeed, there is evidence that the teaching of accounting techniques now frequently draws on both IFRS and local GAAP. Perhaps a greater shift has been in the discipline of International Accounting (IA), which has moved from being an optional subject to being core to most programmes and an increasingly popular choice for more specialised degrees at both undergraduate and Master's levels. This article surveys the books that are available to support educators and learners in IA building on the analysis and classification of Laidler and Pallett (1998) Accounting Education: an international journal , 7(1), pp. 75--86. A range of IA textbooks is examined in detail, along with a more general review of reference works. The analysis finds that there has been a growth in the number, breadth and depth of texts serving the IA market. Authors have fallen upon a number of devices in their battle to keep their materials up to date in this dynamic environment. Some of Laidler and Pallett's (1998) criticisms of the writing and coverage of IA texts have been addressed, although not necessarily in the way that they envisaged. In spite of the growth of this section of publishers' catalogues, there remain a number of areas given scant coverage, notably enforcement and audit, and countries outside of the EU and US. The article concludes with recommendations for publishers, authors and educators to enhance the teaching of IA and the resources needed to support it.

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