IAS 19 and Employee Benefits: Some reflections on the Norwegian experience
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The accounting law of employee benefit plans is complex, and it demands a lot both of prepares and users. It is an observation that this in itself is a problem. Benefit plans include such things as defined benefit pensions. On this, Norwegian companies report according to either the international standard, that is International Accounting Standard (IAS ) 19 Employee Benefits, or the equivalent national standard. A fundamental question is what this does to financial statements, and whether it is an improvement. This has to do with more than just the problem of whether what is reported is distorted or even incorrect. A serious and possible result is that the company’s situation is not understood in its essence, with all what this may lead to. Of course, this is something that concerns all parties involved. The effects of the accounting law of benefit plans are clarified on a more general basis, and by a case study. After a closer analysis of the problem of financial reporting, the conclusion is that the reporting of effects of benefit plans should be limited to notes, or otherwise.