On 4 March 1997, the Department of Treasury of the Australian Government announced sweeping measures to reform standard setting arrangements in Australia (CLERP Paper No. 1, Commonwealth of Australia, 1997). The Government's agenda is profoundly reformist as it recommended the wholesale adoption of International Accounting Standards by Australian reporting entities, as well as advocating the introduction of market (selling) price accounting both nationally and internationally. While the notion of market value accounting is not new, this recommendation appears to be a historical first from a government, regulatory or standard setting body. Against this background, our study draws on a framework of 'political agenda building' proposed by Cobb and Elder (1972) and Cobb et al. (1976), in order to compare and contrast the competing standard setting reform agendas adopted by the Australian accounting profession and the Government. Using the Cobb and Elder framework, we discuss potential reasons why the CLERP agenda has supplanted that of the Australian accounting profession as well as some implications of these developments for the future of standards harmonization.