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Analysis of the structure of the financial statement - Balance Sheet - U.S. GAAP and IAS (IFRS)

  • Law


This article evaluates the similarities and differences between the balance sheet as defined by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS / IAS) and American Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP). Both systems define the balance sheets elements in a very similar manner. Neither prescribes a single standard form. But in the practice we can see many similarities between balance sheets prepared according to the two. Since examining the overall structure of the balance sheet would not yield any meaningful information, this article focuses on examining individual line items. Such an 75 analysis is, however, complicated by the fact that there are certain systemic differences that make a line-by-line comparison problematic. Nevertheless, such a study was performed by Ernst and Young and examined 32 companies converting their financial reports from IAS to US GAAP. On the other hand, vast differences exist in the vary conceptual foundation on which a balance sheet created to these two international norms and one created according to Czech legislation (as well that of most continental European countries) exists, the January 1, 2005 transition to IFRS is thus presenting the Czech and European accounting professions with challenge of historic proportion, a challenge such scope and magnitude that it has no modern day precedent.

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