Blog Article

So, as we go into the final quarter…

Robert Moulin | Other | | Return|
Tuesday 9 February 2016


Now, here's a question. How does a UK corporate reporter write an article about the US Super Bowl? - a sport and a competition that it's fair to say, he knows nothing about! Hmmmm.

Well, in the spirit of IFRS and US GAAP relations, I present the following discussion paper for your perusal.

You see, the thing is, that as a little research is done here, some interesting facts can be found. Strangely enough, the similarities between our accounting and footballing worlds are quite striking.

Consider the following:


Of course, us corporate reporters love our terminology - what would we do without a 'highly probable here', or a bit of 'vested benefits' there? Where would we be without our Glossary of Terms, our A-Z of the jargon, which at the last count occupies a quite substantial 41 pages of The IASB's 'Red Book'?

Well, never have I come across a sport that can quite happily compete with this. Wow. There are pages and pages of the stuff in American Football, starting from the '2-4-5-defense' right down to 'zone read'. This is complex stuff. We've got some serious competition here!

And, not only do we both love our terms, we also share some!

Gridiron too has PAT , which for the uninitiated is 'Point after Touchdown'.

They also like a bit of Turnover can you believe - 'The loss of the ball by one team to the other team'. By the way, as I'm on a roll here let me explain that turnover is usually the result of a fumble or an interception - but of course!

And then there's an Option - not for them a fancy financial instrument under IAS 39 but 'a type of play in which the quarterback has the option of handing off, keeping, or laterally passing to one or more backs and often described by a type of formation or play action, such as "triple option", "veer option", or "counter option". What!???! Hold on a minute, this is sounding like IAS 39! It's just as complicated! To cap it all, the footballers have their own Black Monday. Not the superlative for a market meltdown but 'the day following the final Sunday of the National Football League season in which coaches and administration are either fired or resign their position'. Oh, ok then..….


Now, in both our worlds we do like to measure things as accurately as is possible. Yet again though I think the footballers take first prize here.

Whilst we're quite happy to measure results fairly broadly - annually, and ok on an interim basis when we need to, they prefer to break things down little by little. Not only is their playing field marked out every 10 yards, it's also subdivided into increments every 2 yards, and that is of course how they measure success - yard by yard by yard.

And look at these requirements for the goal post: "On each end of the 18-foot, 6-inch cross bar there must be an upright post that rises to a height of 30 feet above the ground. At the top of that must be placed a 4-inch by 42-inch ribbon."

I thought it was just us that liked detail! We're not alone!

Standards, Training and Development:

We here at IASeminars are dedicated to bringing you the highest quality IFRS and Gaap training. Yet us trainers cannot do that without our own continuous learning of new principles, details and techniques. At the moment I'm sure I'm not the only one wading through the revenue and instrument standards to find the challenging concepts, ambiguities and problem areas. For those involved in corporate reporting the research never stops. And of course it's the same for the masters of the gridiron. To reach the final of Super Bowl 50 must surely take years and years of hard work, constant development, learning the rules, meeting the standards.

And, as with us those rules sometimes change. For those in the know you'll already be aware that the NFL has recently adopted a new rule on extra points that states the following: "the placekick must be kicked at the 15 yard line. However, for a two-point conversion, teams are still eligible to scrimmage from the two-yard line" (there's that 2 yarder again). Even they have 'however' exceptions in their standards, just like us!

Unusual Items

Ah yes…as corporate reporters we do like to disclose our unusual items with rather more fanfare than the mundane. And it seems Super Bowl takes the same view, at least for the telecasters. For this I'm thinking of the famous, or maybe now infamous Halftime Show. It now seems rather strange if this event did not conjure up something unusual! Even now, all these years later, the mid point breather appears synonymous with a certain Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction". And strangely enough, even here, in the corporate reporting world, we have our own little malfunction; one that continues to challenge us on both sides of the pond. Convergence. It seems that for some of our big financial reporting issues the convergence project will continue to be a case of 'so near, yet…not quite'. Who will win this game? Unlike the result on February 7th, ours could well end up a tie.

So, as you were sitting there watching the play unfold, engrossed in the commentary as Jim and Phil analysed the game, you may well have been shouting out:

"Hey, that was one great fair value gain" as the offense advanced another ten yards, or "Whoa, that defensive end looks seriously impaired" as the linebackers failed to break through (please refer to Glossary). All sounds good to me. We do after all occupy the same turf.

Next week, baseball. For now, hey Panthers come back next year with improvements.

Join us in New York City this April for further discussion! See below for details or visit our website for the full April course listing.

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