The accounting standard IFRS 13 “Fair value measurement” was published in May 2011. It represents the outcome of six years of IASB discussions, largely conducted jointly with the FASB.
The debates were long and difficult, largely for the following reasons:
- The first relates to the IASB’s desire to publish a standard setting out “how” to determine the fair value of an asset or a liability without ever addressing the question of “when” to do so. Establishing what a fair value should be without being able to ask about the circumstances in which it should be used disconcerted many commentators.
- The second reason, more context-specific, relates to the financial crisis which accompanied this project. Determining a “fair value” is more straightforward when the economic environment is stable than during a liquidity crisis.