As mentioned earlier, this survey focuses on the international harmonisation position of two states ; Malaysia and Singapore, chiefly due to clip restraint and besides because they have a more advanced accounting and regulative establishments every bit good as the largest and most good developed capital markets in ASEAN ( Saudagaran and Diga, 2000 ) .
The chief intent of this chapter is to mensurate the grade of harmonisation in Malaysia and Singapore. Data for this survey is obtained from the web site of companies listed in the stock exchange of their several states. The companies selected are from the electronics, information engineering and telecommunications industries, foremost because these are the taking industries in both Malaysia and Singapore and secondly because these industries have faced enormous growing over the last few decennaries. Furthermore these industries are really important for emerging markets in the ASEAN part as they are the largest exporters of electronic merchandises in the ASEAN part.
To prove the grade of harmonisation in Malaysia and Singapore we used cardinal assets and net income measuring patterns. These steps were obtained from the book written by Radebaugh and Gray ( 1997 ) . The cardinal measurings used in this survey is cost of stock list, rating of non-current assets, good will, depreciation and research and development disbursals.
This survey is really much a qualitative 1 as such statistical cognition is non the purpose. The trying techniques used is the non chance trying alternatively of the chance trying given the nature of the survey. All companies within the electronic, information engineering and telecommunication industries were looked at. In position of the clip constrain, this survey is based on informations collected from companies that have their latest one-year studies in their web site. Data was collected from 30 companies from both Malaysia and Singapore ( 10 from Malaysia and 20 from Singapore ) . The names of the companies are listed in Appendix 1.
3.2 Empirical Research on Key Measurements in the Financial Statements of Malaysian and Singapore Listed Companies
The informations gathered from the 30 companies allowed a better apprehension and cognition about the grade of accounting harmonisation every bit good on the development of the criterions puting procedure at the domestic degree in both Malaysia and Singapore. It besides allowed us to analyze these states conformity with IAS.
In Malaysia, 10 companies from the electronic, telecommunications and information engineering industries were chosen in our sample. Merely certain accounting methods were utilized instead systematically by these companies, nevertheless all the companies used the historical cost convention in the readying of their fiscal statements. Some of the companies ‘ besides perform a reappraisal of certain non-current assets to follow with the sanctioned Malayan Accounting Standards.
The consequences indicated that nine companies companies utilized the straight-line method in deprecating their assets. However the utile lifes of the assets are different depending on the single company policies and premise every bit good on the type of plus being depreciated. While the staying one company uses the cut downing balance method.
Merely six companies unwrap the intervention of good will in their fiscal statements. Two out of the six companies amortize the good will within a certain clip frame while the other four companies recognizes good will as an plus and trial annually for damage. However these patterns are capable to annually reexamine by the Board of Directors in audience with the Accounting an Audit Committee. Four companies do non uncover their intervention.
In the reappraisal of non-current assets, seven companies use both methods which is at cost or reappraisal value while 3 companies merely value their non-current assets at cost.
The intervention of research and development disbursals are merely disclosed by six companies. Four companies disbursals this cost straight to the income statement as and when incurred while the other two companies amortizes the disbursals based on its ain internal company policy. Four companies do non uncover their methods.
As for the cost of stock list, four companies use leaden mean method, two companies use the First In First Out ( FIFO ) method and the remainder of the four companies uses both the leaden norm and the FIFO method.
In Singapore 20 companies from the electronic, telecommunications and information engineering industries were chosen in our sample. Merely certain accounting methods were utilized instead systematically by these companies, nevertheless all of them used the historical cost convention in the readying of their fiscal statements. Some of the companies ‘ besides perform a reappraisal of certain non-current assets to follow with the approved Singapore Accounting Standards.
The consequences indicated that 15 companies utilize the straight-line method in deprecating their assets. However the utile lifes of the assets are different depending on the single company policies and premise every bit good on the type of plus being depreciated. Three companies used the cut downing balance method while the staying two companies used both the consecutive line and cut downing balance method.
Merely 15 companies unwrap the intervention of good will in their fiscal statements. Three of these companies amortize the good will within a certain clip frame while the other 12 companies recognises good will as an plus and trial annually for damage. However these patterns are capable to annually reexamine by the Board of Directors in audience with the Accounting an Audit Committee. Five companies use other methods and the staying five companies do non uncover their intervention.
In the reappraisal of non-current assets, 17 companies use both methods which is at cost or reappraisal value for certain assets while three companies merely value their non-current assets at cost.
The intervention of research and development disbursals are merely disclosed by 15 companies. Twelve companies expense the cost straight to the income statement as and when incurred while the other three companies amortizes the disbursals based on its ain internal company policy. Five companies do non uncover their methods.
As for the cost of stock list, 12 companies use leaden mean method, six companies use the First In First Out ( FIFO ) method and the staying two companies uses both the leaden norm and the FIFO method.
3.4 Consequences Analysis
Based on the consequences, it is rather obvious that companies in both Malaysia and Singapore prepare their fiscal reports/statements in conformity to their several state ‘s sanctioned accounting criterions. Malaysia and Singapore ‘s accounting rules are really much in compliant with IAS, i.e really much rule based ( users are strongly encouraged to used their ain opinion ) , and certain accounting methods are used instead systematically. For illustration, most companies in Malaysia and Singapore use the straight-line method in deprecating their assets, historical cost and in some instances the reappraisal value for the non-current assets. They use FIFO and leaden mean method in measuring their cost of stock list and none of the companies use the LIFO method which is prohibited by the IAS 2. As for research and development disbursals and good will, it is a little more hard to analyse as non all the companies in our sample have revealed their intervention for these costs.
Our consequences indicate that most companies in our sample usage methods which are really much in compliant with IAS while the remainder of the companies in our sample, although non important, utilize other methods. As such it might to be excessively premature to reason that international accounting harmonisation has been to the full embraced in the visible radiation of the Malaysian and Singapore environment.
Chapter FOUR – DISCUSSION & A ; ANALYSIS
The result of the survey in chapter three clearly shows that despite there being some grade of accounting harmonisation in the emerging markets ( Malaysia and Singapore ) , there is still non adequate grounds to reason for certain that accounting harmonisation is to the full embraced by the aforesaid states. This chapter analyzes international accounting harmonisation from four wide positions viz. , the barriers to international accounting harmonisation, its advantages and disadvantages, grade of accounting harmonisation, and eventually the mechanisms needed to prosecute accounting harmonisation.
4.1 The Barriers to International Accounting Harmonization
Harmonizing to Nobes and Parker ( 2002 ) , the most cardinal obstructions to international accounting harmonisation are as follows: –
Size of present differences between the accounting patterns of different states ;
Lack of strong professional accounting organic structures in some states ; and
Differences in political and economic system.
The important economic and cultural differences that exist amongst assorted states are a major hindrance in international accounting harmonisation. The differences are so huge that even a consecutive forward accounting criterions can hold assorted readings. It is a good known fact or an unwritten regulation that political relations do so play a really of import function in the constitution of an accounting criterion in most states. While it can be argued that many national and international criterion compositors are independent self-acting organic structures and by right should non be influenced by the political government, in world, the criterions set is a consequence of a complicated political procedure ( Saudagaran 2001 ) . This is chiefly because ; the criterion compositors would necessitate strong support and purchase in from the politicians, as they have a vested involvement in national criterions. Another barrier confronting the authorities of assorted states is the coordination and their ability to synchronise their domestic accounting policies with policies of other states to guarantee they have the best of both universes, i.e to extinguish or minimise the negative influence and to retain the positive influence from the other states.
The phase of uniformity of fiscal describing under the same international criterions crucially depends on the institutional environment in which companies operate. It is non practical to use the same accounting criterions in different legal powers to accomplish echt value and comparison of fiscal statements across the universe. Examples of institutional differences across legal powers are scrutinizing, enforcement, and judicial proceeding patterns ( Ball et al. , 2003 ; Daske et al. , 2008 ) . To see how establishments and accounting criterions unite, see a criterion that places big accent on relevancy and assumes that relevancy requires direction ‘s estimation for the measuring of certain assets. If such a criterion is applied in an environment with weak reappraisal and enforcement, it is unlikely that the criterion will do applicable accounting Numberss. In such a scene, a criterion that places more accent on dependability and reduces the demand for allowance of estimations in acquiring the Numberss will ensue in higher value fiscal coverage.
The different demands and demands of users of fiscal statement in assorted states is besides another barrier to international accounting harmonisation. Depending on the significance of accounting in a peculiar state, the accounting system can be categorized either as a macro-user or micro user oriented system ( Saudagaran and Diga, 1998 ) . The more developed states in ASEAN such as Malaysia and Singapore realized the importance of capital markets and reinforced a penchant for micro-user oriented accounting attack, necessitating more information and extended fiscal revelations similar to the accounting attack in the UK and USA. However, this does non intend that the demands of smaller household owned concerns prevalent in the two states would be met. The smaller household owned concerns prefer non to unwrap excessively much information to the populace about their concern because of the states weak legal system, which does non supply equal protection for concerns as a whole. Furthermore, it would be a really expensive matter for them to maintain “ separate set of books ” simply to follow with the international accounting criterions. This would halter the growing of local concerns or would coerce bing companies to take their concern elsewhere. These barriers emphasizes the believe that international accounting harmonisation may non be desirable after all.
4.2 The Advantages and Disadvantages of International Accounting Harmonization
Earlier chapters of this survey found that there are plentifulness of advantages to international accounting harmonisation such as cost nest eggs for international corporations, enhanced comparison of cross-border fiscal studies, widespread airing of high quality accounting criterions and patterns and proviso of low cost accounting criterions to states with limited resources. These advantages are besides applicable to states in the emerging markets such as Malaysia and Singapore.
With globalisation, the ASEAN markets are non to be ignored. Despite traveling through tough times during the Asiatic fiscal crisis in 1997/98, the ASEAN part have really strong growing potency. This part continues to be the Centre of attractive force of many international corporations and investors. For states with more developed capital markets such as Malaysia and Singapore, international accounting harmonisation would convey approximately immense benefits. First and foremost it would cut down the disbursal and the clip taken to make their ain domestic accounting criterions. There would besides be cost nest eggs for the international corporations established in these states as they would non hold to set their fiscal studies to adhere to the local criterions.
Globally it is a good known fact that a state is non able to last on its ain without international trade and by holding a close-door policy. Even the Chinese authorities realized this and unfastened China ‘s doors to the universe about a decennary ago. However, equal and orderly fiscal coverage is required to promote international trade and investings. International accounting harmonisation can help this intent by cut downing the difference in fiscal coverage demands for participants in the capital markets. The ability to compare and contrast fiscal information of assorted companies would promote investors ‘ assurance in making concern and doing equal investing determinations. It would besides be easier on the investors as they merely have to understand and use a individual set of international criterions in doing their investing determinations.
Another major benefit of international accounting harmonisation is to advance high quality accounting criterions and patterns. Given that Malaysia and Singapore are the more developed states within ASEAN, they are able to take the regional accounting harmonisation in ASEAN, at the same time taking the ASEAN fiscal coverage criterions to greater highs while being in congruity with international criterions. Once once more, high quality, comprehensive and comparison of accounting criterions will hike investor assurance and contribute towards the overall economic growing of the ASEAN part.
On the impudent side, oppositions of international accounting harmonisation believe that harmonisation is an infliction of criterions by the first universe states upon the 3rd universe and developing states. It is impossible to hold a “ one size fits all ” criterion, as these criterions would non be flexible plenty to provide to the differences in civilization, legal systems and national fortunes. Users of fiscal information besides differ well from state to state. While in some states the chief users are the investors, for other states the chief users could the authorities or the revenue enhancement governments and all these users require different type of information for assorted intents. It is non easy to make a criterion that is able to provide to the demands of all users.
Another hindrance in prosecuting accounting harmonisation in Malaysia and Singapore is their historic background or civilization. Despite the fact that Malaysia and Singapore were both antecedently colonized by the British and both states closely follow the accounting criterions of the U.K. , there are still differences both states institutional mechanisms, which consequences in the differences in accounting patterns. There is a huge difference in the manner the authoritiess of these two states operate, and the precedences of these two authoritiess differ well, automatically taking to different accounting patterns.
These obstructions would somehow affect Malaysia and Singapore when following IAS. Nevertheless, after the weighing the pros and cons of international accounting harmonisation, it is in the best involvement of these two states to go on to prosecute international accounting harmonisation given that its advantages far outweigh its disadvantages.
4.3 Degree of Harmonization in Malaysia and Singapore
Given that Malaysia and Singapore were antecedently colonized by the British, their several accounting patterns are really influenced by the British accounting criterions. Both Malaysia and Singapore began following IAS as their national accounting criterions in the 1970 ‘s. The acceptance of IAS was recognized as one of the methods to hike international trade and to promote foreign investing into their several states. Furthermore, the ASEAN part lacked the resources and research capablenesss in developing their ain criterions and by following IAS seemed like their best manner frontward. They besides did non hold a specific organisation concentrating strictly on developing accounting criterions for their several states. For case, in Malaysia, the MASB was merely established in 1997 as the primary organic structure for bring forthing accounting criterions. Despite set uping the MIA and MACPA in the 1950 ‘s, their function was strictly a enrollment organic structure as oppose to a standard puting one. Furthermore, being developing states, the authorities of these states had instead give the resources they had to other socioeconomic aims than to set up accounting criterions. There are besides other grounds for this two states to follow IAS, foremost is because IAS has been tried and tested globally with non much opposition. Second, for Malaysia and Singapore to be the taking fiscal centres in the ASEAN part, it is important for them to hold accounting criterions that are internationally recognized and trusted.
From the assorted degrees of treatments in this survey, it is obvious that both Malaysia and Singapore are on the right way towards international accounting harmonisation. However, the consequences of the empirical survey indicates that there is still much more to be done to accomplish complete harmonisation or if complete harmonisation is come-at-able. However, despite the difference in accounting criterions used by these companies, in general bulk of them comply with IAS. Furthermore, the figure of companies that use other methods non stipulated by the IAS are non important.
As discussed in chapter two, there are assorted organic structures ‘ i.e authorities and private organic structures involved in the standard-setting procedure in Malaysia and Singapore. Each of these organisations carry out their several map in their attempts toward standard scene and international accounting harmonisation. In order to ease and to guarantee the success of the standard scene and harmonisation procedure, a high degree of coaction is needed between them. Given that the standard-setting procedure is really political in nature, the private sector organic structures require the bargain in of the authorities to guarantee successful execution of the national criterions set. The authorities would besides guarantee that the criterions set are suited to run into national economic aims. On the other manus, the authorities looks to the private sector organic structures to guarantee that the criterions set would increase public sector answerability. Although there are plentifulness of attempts toward international accounting harmonisation, it is still hard to reason if Malaysia and Singapore will efficaciously achieve harmonisation by simply merely being IAS compliant ( in most instances ) .
4.4 Mechanisms to Pursue International Accounting Harmonization
To help the chase toward international accounting harmonisation, a set of institutional mechanism is needed. Saudagaran and Diga, 1998 lineations four options available for prosecuting ASEAN accounting harmonisation: amalgamation of national criterion puting bureaus ; acceptance of an European Union ( EU ) harmonisation theoretical account ; attachment to IASC dictums ; and free market attack. Each mechanism will be discussed in bend.
4.4.1 Merger of National Standard-setting Agencies
The first step suggests for ASEAN criterion puting bureaus to unify to organize a supranational organic structure. In world a organic structure of such nature is already in being ; the ASEAN Federation of Accounting ( AFA ) . For the AFA to play a more effectual function in international accounting harmonisation, they need to be a portion and package of the standard scene procedure and non simply an organisation for comptrollers. As such there is a demand for the standard puting organic structures of each ASEAN state to be apart of AFA to ease the standard scene procedure within the ASEAN part. Despite the difference in civilization, the brotherhood of ASEAN criterion compositors under one umbrella would guarantee the criterions set would take into considerations all the demands and positions of its members states and concentrate on the ASEAN needs on a corporate footing. They would besides be able to react rapidly to the germinating economic conditions go oning in the ASEAN part.
4.4.2 European Union ( EU ) Harmonization Model
The 2nd step is to follow the EU Harmonization Model. The harmonisation procedure starts with the harmonisation of the legal system, which includes company jurisprudence, concern jurisprudence, accounting and fiscal coverage of all EU member states. These enterprises take the signifier of directives, which so becomes a legal instrument for the attachment of EU member states.
This option would let for the ASEAN secretariat to be the chief histrion in prosecuting international accounting harmonisation within the ASEAN part. This Secretariat would be responsible to suggest Directives and Regulations for its member states. However, the drawback of this option is that the ASEAN part does non possess a well-developed political substructure, which is a demand for accomplishing regional harmonisation. As a consequence, the move towards regional harmonisation would be slow.
In the ASEAN part, the AFA, could play a more active function in prosecuting international accounting harmonisation. At present, this undertaking may look impossible for AFA as they do non hold equal support from other influential parties such as the stock exchanges, fiscal analysts etc. However, ASEAN can larn from the EU experience on how to get the better of the obstructions in accomplishing accounting harmonisation.
4.4.3 IASC Based Harmonization
The 3rd step is to adhere to all the IASC enterprises. With this option, IASB becomes the chief histrion in the international accounting harmonisation procedure and all the ASEAN states would hold to follow IAS. If this step is adopted, the function of AFA would go undistinguished as the authorities and the national professional accounting organic structure of each state would take over the function of AFA. This is a low cost institutional option.
Despite the many benefits of IASB harmonisation, there are drawbacks to this mechanism. First and the most important drawback is the possible struggle between the adopted IAS and domestic statute law. Not all states would profit every bit from international accounting harmonisation, as some IAS might non be appropriate for all ASEAN states. States such as Malaysia and Singapore are really selective when following IAS and have made alterations to the IAS as and when necessary to accommodate their economic environment. For the ASEAN part to to the full bask the benefits of IAS, there should take part more active engagement from these ASEAN states in the IASB treatments to guarantee the demands of their single states are taken into consideration ( Saudagaran and Diga, 1997b ) .
4.4.4 Free Market Approach to Harmonization
The 4th step is the free market attack to harmonisation, which allows the market forces to make up one’s mind which fiscal coverage patterns would predominate. This step provides full flexibleness for companies to make up one’s mind what they want to describe depending on the demand for information. This option is really much in the favour of investors as they are the chief participants in the capital market who demand fiscal information to do investing determinations. The drawback of this step is that companies in different states may choose to follow different criterions depending on the demand of their assorted stakeholders, which would get the better of the intent of international accounting harmonisation. It is besides hard to utilize this option as non all ASEAN states have active capital markets.