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Will the global accounting experiment succeed?

Sir David Tweedie

Sir David Tweedie

09 November 2012

Sir David Tweedie, President of ICAS, answered this question for an enthusiastic audience of over a hundred alumni and staff at the Lancaster University Management School CFO Lecture on Monday 5 November. The event was generously hosted for the third time by Ernst & Young at their London head office.

‌The evening, a highlight of LUMS’ alumni programme, is an annual opportunity to hear from a leading figure in the finance industry and also a chance to network with fellow alumni who share an interest in this field.

Responding to the question set for his lecture, Sir David gave the short answer ‘Yes’, elaborating in witty and lively style and injecting sparkling enthusiasm for this intense and important subject. He described the ten-year journey of the International Accounting Standards Board to implement International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the current status of the project.

In his former role as Chairman of the organisation, he is uniquely positioned to give this perspective. The talk centred particularly on the challenge faced in achieving parity with US reporting standards. The key to success lies in the US adoption of IFRS. Sir David believes that the goal of a global accounting language is close. He was keen to stress that accounting is political, and that the future depends on people – many of the critical actors are due to change imminently so decisions will be affected.

During the lively question and answer session, members of the audience asked insightful questions regarding pensions, auditing and fishermen in Mexico.

Reactions to Sir David's talk were very positive, as the issues raised had specific relevance to many there. The audience had plenty to talk about in the networking reception that followed.

Professor Sue Cox, Dean of Lancaster University Management School, thanked Ernst & Young for hosting the event and Sir David Tweedie for his presentation.