A Shot Across the Bow


By Donald Applegarth

According to a Reuters news release, the United States may have to give up its seat on the IASB Monitoring Board, a top global accounting body, if it continues to drag its feet over the adoption of international financial reporting standards.

Discussions over whether the United States would adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have been going on for a "very long time and, despite repeatedly expressed commitments from the U.S., things are advancing very slowly,” European Commission spokesman Stefaan De Rynck said.

"The lack of a clear vision from the U.S. creates uncertainty and hampers the IFRS from becoming a truly global accounting language," said De Rynck, who speaks on behalf of Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner responsible for financial services.

"It is also becoming more difficult to justify the representation of jurisdictions not applying IFRS in the IASB governance framework," he added in remarks that could be seen as taking a swipe at the United States.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) drew criticism from the IASB on Friday by saying there was no broad support for adopting IFRS in a comprehensive way and gave no timetable for taking such a decision. SEC chairman Mary Schapiro is a member of the IASB's Monitoring Board, a key committee of select regulators that has a powerful influence over the IASB's work.

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