Accounting appropriately for benefit plans has always been challenging for multinational companies, which must keep consistent, accurate financial reports while staying current on local accounting rules and ensuring compliance in each market.
As accounting standards worldwide converge, new international accounting standards will eventually address these challenges. But the international standards will also raise questions for multinationals: Will changes brought about by new benefit regulations mean lower net income, higher balance sheet liabilities or more disclosure requirements for our organization? Are we prepared for more rapid recognition of some or all changes to vested benefits? How will the new reporting options affect our organization? How organizations respond to these issues can have far-reaching implications for their benefit programs, financial governance, balance sheets and ability to comply with local and international regulations.