Different generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) have been developed in various countries over the past few decades. These differences have arisen largely due to unique legal, regulatory, litigious, social, economic, religious, and cultural environments. They result in financial statements that are not comparable and difficult for users to interpret. This in turn acts as a barrier for global capital movement, potentially resulting in less than optimal allocation of capital.

More recently, there has been a movement toward harmonization and convergence of GAAP. The most significant initiative has been led by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), formerly known as the International Accounting Standards Committee. This group has primary responsibility for the development of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

All of our accounting courses at St. Joseph's University will begin including international accounting topics. Specifically, the FAIS III course (307) has a unit designed to cover the essentials of IFRS. These essentials include the following: