Transnational Politics of Professional Expertise: Convergence in International Accounting Standard Setting?
Sigrid Quack and Paul Lagneau-Ymonet, IRISSO, Université Paris-Dauphine
The criteria for performance evaluation, especially economic performance, have gained social and scholarly prominence in recent years. At the same time, valuation expertise has become highly political, particularly in transnational governance and policy making, an area often based on expert knowledge. This project explores the politics of professional expertise in the realm of international accounting standard setting. These standards are crucial for evaluating companies that operate in global markets; they also provide important indicators for monitoring and regulating financial markets. The financial crisis has sparked debate about the convergence of international accounting standards: the US GAAP and its transnational counterpart, the IFRS. Over the last ten years, convergence has been slow due to negotiations being wrought by power struggles between the US, the EU, and the BRICs, and complicated by conflicting expert views held by accountants, market operators, and regulators. How can accounting standards be reformed to balance market transparency and regulatory effectiveness? How can cooperation between standard setters and regulators be optimized? How should accounting standard setters be made accountable to the broader public? This project addresses these issues by analyzing expert interviews with key actors and publicly available documents on accounting standards in the banking sectors of the US and Europe, as well as reform proposals at the national, European, and international levels. The project explores how discussions and struggles between various expert groups with differing views of accounting, influence international reform. Project duration: September 2012 to December 2013.
Botzem, Sebastian/Sigrid Quack, 2009: (No) Limits to Anglo-American Accounting? Reconstructing the History of the International Accounting Standards Committee: A Review Article. In: Accounting, Organizations and Society, 34(8), 988-998.
Lagneau-Ymonet, Paul/Sigrid Quack, 2012: What's the Problem? Competing Diagnoses and Shifting Coalitions in the Reform of International Accounting Standards. In: Renate Mayntz (ed.), Crisis and Control: Institutional Change in Financial Market Regulation. Frankfurt a.M.: Campus, 213-246.