“The costs of introducing a new standard, of course, include the out of pocket costs of converting to the new standard, the costs of processing and reporting the information required, and possible increases in audit cost…..But costs may also include disclosure costs, measured in terms of lost competitive advantage. Even harder to assess are the costs incurred by all parties in attempting to understand, digest, and adapt to new rules. The new rules can have an impact on existing and prospective contractual relationships, and internal management and organizational adjustments must often be made to understand and relate to new ways of measuring entity performance. External users of financial reports also must adjust to and interpret reported information produced in accordance with the changed standards”.
The FASB considers the economic consequences of a standard during the normal course of its political “due process”. According to FASB’s The Structure of Establishing Accounting Standards, “The process of setting accounting standards can be described as democratic because like all rule-making bodies the board’s right to make rules depends ultimately on the consent of the ruled”. One of the advantages of the process is that external parties are invited to comment on exposure drafts or present testimony during roundtable discussions. The history behind SFAS No. 123 provides us with a prime example of external parties influencing Board decision in order to avoid detrimental economic consequences on reported earnings and finally influencing to regulate because of the economic consequences. The 1993 Exposure Draft was extremely