The PCAOB’s audit risk approach comes under ;re
Report says regulators missed Lehman accounting fraud
Microsoft and NetSuite square off
Clean tech offers CPA engagement opportunities
Our readers on the 150-hour rule, IFRS and more
The Supreme Court takes on tax workpapers
Using the installment sales method to create liquidity
A blue ribbon panel tackles private company standards
the spirit of accounting
The two evils of lessor accounting
Business intelligence comes of age
Picking the right payroll provider
Technology remains critical to your ;rm’s future
special report: CPA Wealth Provider
Building a new PFP practice
Software review: Basic analysis packages
Client portfolios: Balancing transparency and control
One CPA’s exploration of renewable energy
Plante & Moran’s green of;ce success
Understanding client loyalty
Rebecca Ryan on spotting great managers
16 VAR News
32 New Products: Software
32 New Products: Books
35 Resource Center
In a classic episode of ;e Bob Newhart Show, Bob and his wife Emily have mapped out a three-month cruise around the globe when Bob begins to have second thoughts: “I’m not saying we’re going,” he mutters to his now-seething bride. “But then again, I’m not saying we’re not going.”
In the opinion of some, the Securities and Exchange Commission recently performed a fair impression of Bob Newhart via its tepid re-assurance to the U.S. and international community that it was still
sort of on course with International Financial Reporting Standards.
Back in February, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and the regulator’s commissioners hammered out a
statement a;rming their support for a single set of high-quality globally
accepted accounting standards, as well as kind of agreeing to incorporate
IFRS into the U.S. ;nancial reporting system.
But the SEC’s embrace of IFRS appears somewhat chillier than it
was back in 2008, when then-Chairman Christopher Cox proposed an
aggressive strategy for transitioning from U.S. GAAP to IFRS by 2014.
However, Cox’s exit from the commission and the installment of a new
chair derailed, or at least braked somewhat, that ambitious timeline until
;e SEC’s most recent plan generally follows its previous roadmap, in
that it delays a decision on whether or not to adopt IFRS until 2011. ;at
ruling is also contingent on whether a series of milestones have been
met, including convergence between U.S. GAAP and IFRS, improved
governance of the International Accounting Standards Board, and IFRS
education and training for ;lers.
Questions also remain about the costs of conversion, an issue that,
along with the above-mentioned, will be examined by SEC Chief Accountant Jim Kroeker and prepared in a detailed report.
If and when the commission gives a thumbs-up to proceed, ;lers
would be granted up to ;ve years to prepare for the transition, which
would push the date back to 2016.
;e reaction domestically to the SEC’s announcement was generally positive, but the sentiment for
IFRS obviously depends on the size of the ;rm and the type of clients they service.
Currently, about 120 countries have adopted or agreed to adopt IFRS, and U.S. ;rms have, in general, accepted a “not if but when” philosophy regarding IFRS. But international patience appears to
be growing somewhat thin regarding the U.S. appetite for IFRS. Recently the head of the Institute of
Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Financial Reporting Faculty said that many may view
the SEC’s work plan as one that “fails” to provide re-assurance that the march toward adoption is on a
But as many in the profession have pointed out, there are other considerations regarding IFRS adoption than a basic timeline. One is that while many have accepted the inevitability of IFRS, a number
of ;rms are not particularly accelerating their IFRS training. As one member of a Big Four ;rm asked
rhetorically, why should a ;rm shoulder the cost of training thousands of people before they have to?
;ere’s also the elephant in the room about the fate of the Financial Accounting Standards Board,
should the U.S. adopt IFRS.
“I’m not saying we’re converting, but then again, I’m not saying we’re not converting.”
A decision ... sort of
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