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Harmonisation of accounting standards: disclosure policies and practices of european commercial banks

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par Michael Forzeh Fossung
Gothenburg University - Master of Science (MSc) Accounting 2002
  

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2.3 THE ISSUE OF TRANSPARENCY IN ACCOUNTING INFORMATION

It has always been argued by members of the accounting world that efficient disclosure of accounting information in an accurate, timely and reliable way will help influence an accurate assessment of a companies financial performance at a particular point in time. As the internal market commissioner for the European commission Frits Bolkestein (2000) puts it, adequate disclosure serves to improve the transparency of financial information published by banks and other financial institutions.

The market is an important user of financial information and an effective assessment of a company's financial situation can't be done if there is not adequate disclosure. But, the question arises, how can financial information be clear when languages and meanings may differ from one country to another? Translation and other problems may hinder transparency and fairness in accounting information, especially when they are not prepared using a particular reporting standard. Users of accounting and other financial information have always been emphasizing the need for the world to have a common accounting language to facilitate an understanding of the information. Country specific accounting principles are so varied that the aspirations for a globally integrated capital market can be fulfilled only through a uniform financial reporting code (Ghosh, 2001).

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