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When the IASB and FASB began the convergence process in 2002, they considered R & D as a high-priority project, where differences between US GAAP and IFRS were seen as particularly straightforward. However, as this article notes, still no consensus has been reached because IASB’s R&D treatment  appears to defeat comparability in the eyes of the FASB.


1. The author refers to SFAS 2 as support for R & D reporting under U.S. GAAP.  What is SFAS 2?

2.  What are the capitalization criteria from IAS 9 that became part of IAS 38 to distinguish research costs from development costs?

3.   Briefly summarize the article’s presentation of why FASB ruled  in the 1970’s that all R&D expenditures must go straight to the income statement.


Selling, Tom (2010). Failed Convergence of R & D Accounting: Only Politicians and Opportunists Would Have Downplayed the Implications, The Accounting Onion, June 5 (Retrievable online at

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