This document was received by the Digital Commons on July 27, 2006 and posted on August 2, 2006.

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The accounting profession is a field that functions through a set of complex and contradictory standards. As a result of the ever-increasing complexities brought on by a rules-based standard approach, several countries and regions including Japan, China, Hong Kong, the European Union, and the United States have all begun to converge their respective generally accepted accounting standards towards more principles-based accounting standards. The research conducted examines through a comparison of various nations and regions generally accepted accounting principles for important issues to determine which, if any, are deemed to have an objective-oriented standard; also, if the comparison does not result in an objective-oriented standard then derive any modifications that may need to be made to have the particular standard qualify as an objective-oriented or principles-based standard. The important concepts compared included: intangible assets, accounting for impairment, related party transactions, financial instruments with a specific focus on derivatives and hedges, stock options and share-based payments, business combinations, and segment reporting. This study serves as a preliminary comparison for principles-based standard setting. Taking into consideration that definitive plans for revision of current regional and national accounting standards have not been finalized, this particular study gives some insight as to the possible direction or possible revisions that will be made to implement a unified, principles-based accounting standard set.

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