Accounting methodologies have been centuries in the making. As societies matured fiscally, so did corresponding accounting techniques. Since societies evolved independently, there is now a variety of extant reporting practices. The technological advances of the latter part of the twentieth century have taken trade to a new level. Competition for products and capital has increased exponentially. Investors depend upon the information recorded in financial reports to determine where they will invest their resources. The information derived from financial reports may be misunderstood when the reporting entity is from another country, however. This lack of "harmony" is one of the latest problems facing the accounting profession. Many think that the answer to this problem is to adopt a set of universal, generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). However. while universal GAAP may make financial reports more compatible, the validity of legitimate current differences would be ignored.
Sales, Deborah, "The Development of Accounting and Financial Reporting: A Global Perspective Is universal acceptance of International Accounting Standards Imminent?" (1996). Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 90.