Moving Ever Closer to IFRS Convergence


By Todd Lucas

At the recent American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Conference, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner, Elisse B. Walter, noted, “As with any important policy question, we are proceeding deliberately and thoughtfully. We are working diligently to make sure we understand all of the advantages and disadvantages.” Walter continued, “At this stage in our review process, I expect we will likely consider further action sometime in early 2010.”

Commissioner Walter’s comments came after SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker noted that more information on convergence is expected. Chief Accountant Kroeker further noted that significant consideration would be given to the impact on investors.

In 2008, Former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox proposed the IFRS Roadmap, which called for the SEC to decide on convergence by 2011 and for companies to begin reporting under international standards in 2014.

“As many of you know, the proposed Roadmap sets out milestones that, if achieved, could lead to the use of IFRS by U.S. issuers in their filings with the SEC,” Commissioner Walter said. Further, Walter noted “The myriad of issues raised by the comments we received on the proposed IFRS Roadmap are and continue to be a priority for me. I remain committed to striving towards one global set of high-quality accounting standards. I also continue to believe that there are critical issues that still need to be addressed as the Commission moves forward. My views remain the same — I believe that we should move forward with further incorporating IFRS into the U.S. capital markets if, and only if, it is the right thing to do for U.S. investors.” 

While it may be debated when and how we will get there, it appears to be a certainty that the U.S. standards will converge with international standards. 

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