No more special treatment

Under political pressure to help fix the subprime crisis, the Financial Accounting Standards Board in April unanimously voted to remove Qualifying Special Purpose Entities (QSPEs) - a mainstay of securitisation accounting - from its list of acceptable accounting practices. The question now is: what will replace it? Brian Jobe investigates

In the accounting world, 'principles-based standards' are the buzz words of the day. Public companies and their accountants have repeatedly encountered problems over the last decade misinterpreting or misapplying highly prescriptive accounting rules, resulting in restatements and lost reputations.

International Accounting Standards are often lauded (occasionally without basis) for being 'more principles-based'. Similarly, the new standard on fair value measurements shows that the Financial

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