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Accounting for Financial Instruments

Accounting for Financial Instruments

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This work, motivated by the controversy surrounding fair value accounting for all financial instruments in financial institutions, generates empirical evidence on preparer and user preferences. An understanding of actual perceptions is important for standard-setters to determine the most acceptable accounting standard for financial instruments, particularly for the complex financial institutions industry in Australia and Singapore, two prominent financial markets of the Asian Pacific region. On average, preparers neither strongly support nor strongly oppose fair value accounting, while users are slightly more supportive. Results show that achieving the qualitative characteristics espoused by the IASB framework for financial reporting is far more important than trying to fulfill the different needs of various groups. This slight support for fair value accounting is part of a bigger tapestry of a slow but steady movement towards fair value measurement in financial accounting and reporting. The findings would be useful to those interested in accounting standards, especially in relation to fair value accounting for financial instruments in financial institutions.