Most countries require registered companies to prepare accounts to common standards. The most widely used standards amongst those countries which do not have their own national standards are currently the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and the UK GAAP (which is used in many Commonwealth countries). With increased globalization of industry and investment, there has been pressure to harmonise all standards throughout the world in order to facilitate the effective comparison of performance between companies. The International Accounting Standards (IAS) are a set of standards which can be used to bring about uniformity in financial reporting on a global basis. Uniform accounting will reduce the costs of preparing financial statements for multinational companies and facilitate the jobs of investment analysts, investors and other users of company accounts in assessing business results. Many multi-national companies with bases in the UK are now adopting IAS, the EU now supports IAS as the appropriate means of harmonising international reporting, and they are now recognised by most stock exchanges worldwide.