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The pooling of interests to end the pooling method in IFRS

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The pooling method of accounting for business combinations was banned in the USA in 2001 and by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in 2004. Although the US ban was controversial, the IASB ban received much less opposition. We review comment letters to the IASB and discuss possible reasons for this disparity. Understanding why reactions to similar proposals can be so different is increasingly important as efforts to converge US generally accepted accounting principles and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) gather pace. Our paper investigates the consultative stage for IFRS 3, exploring various aspects of the proposed standard, including elimination of pooling, non-amortisation of goodwill and consideration of fresh start. While the earlier US process possibly contributed to the lack of controversy around the IASB proposals, we suggest that other factors also played an important part. This study contributes to our understanding of factors that shape accounting reforms.

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