I am not so sure how the IASB and its governing foundation view academics, and I wonder what this portends for future standards if the IASB ascends to the role of chief standard setter for the world.  A few recent events send positive signals.

First, at the AAA meeting, I attended a session in which current and former standard setters were to discuss what they wished academic researchers knew.  At one point, someone asked Mary Barth about the IASB’s seeming lack of a formal process for academic input (e.g., no academics on the Board after Mary’s departure, no academic fellow, nothing like FASRI).  Her response was that IASB’s current mode of operation is to incorporate input from national standard setters.  According to Mary, while the Board acquires academic input second hand from the national standard setters, that input is valued.  My interpretation is that the IASB at this time is sort of free riding on academic outreach of the FASB and others.  This might be an efficient allocation of resources during this full court press of working on the MOU projects, but a long-term strategy of free riding is a bit scary.

Second, Lisa Koonce sent me the June 2011 Report of the IFRS Advisory Council.  Near the end of the report, I found the following:

Holly Skaife conducted an education session on academic research and related methodology. Professor Skaife noted that a lot of academic research on IFRSs is being done, but the nature of the research is greatly influenced by the publication criteria of the major academic journals. Most academic research is inductive, not deductive, in nature. She provided a list of some of the relevant research…  [Council] members suggested that more deductive research dealing with basic concepts would be useful to standard-setters. Perhaps the IASB should establish an academic advisory council to foster research etc.

I hope that academics as well as other stakeholders will urge the IASB to continue these outreach efforts.]]>