SEC Stalls on IFRS, Some Companies May Adopt Anyway

Following a final report by the Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S companies will not be required to meet a mid-2013 deadline for adopting IFRS accounting standards. At least not anytime soon.

On Friday, the SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant published its final staff report on the work plan related to global accounting standards, recommending against full-scale adoption of the international standards.The full report is available online at: www.sec.gov/spotlight/globalaccountingstandards/ifrs-work-plan-final-report.pdf.

Although the report noted that there was little support for IFRS, which is used in more than 100 countress and is overseen by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), many economic experts still expect larger corporations to adopt them, while also adhering, at least temporarily, to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles standard used in the U.S. and overseen by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

"I don't see the U.S. being cast adrift into glorious isolation," Nigel Sleigh-Johnson told Reuters. "I still think it's on the table to have an option to use IFRS, which would go down well with the largest U.S. companies." Sleigh-Johnson is the head of financial reporting for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the British equivalent of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

The SEC has been studying the viability of moving to the international standard, which would result in a more consistent methodology for accounting and reporting, particularly for multi-national companies. The IASB and FASB have also been working to make their standards more similar, in order to ease the transition for U.S. companies and gain more support from the SEC.

More on the IFRS ruling at:
Reuters
Wall Street Journal

 

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