Monday, September 14, 2009

Survey Says IFRS Still Alive in U.S.

A recent survey by Deloitte of over 245 financial executives from July 2009 indicates "green shoots" in what otherwise might have thought to have been an IFRS planning process that was slowing down or dead ending. In the wake of the financial crisis, other surveys indicated tha t resources allocated to IFRS were being cut back. Many thought that companies would be scaling back their activity around IFRS planning. The survey indicates that the overall thrust behind IFRS preparation in the U.S. may still be strong.

Survey highlights

89% of respondents indicated their companies
• viewed IFRS conversion to be highly or somewhat likely to become mandatory in the U.S.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) viewed mandatory conversion in the U.S. as highly likely.

Over two-thirds (67%) of respondents indicated
• that their company had designated a person or team to focus on IFRS or monitor IFRS developments

Eighty percent (80%) of respondent companies
• are positioning themselves to address IFRS: 40% are performing or have performed a high-level IFRS assessment, while 40% plan to perform an assessment.

When it comes to seeking outside assistance with planning activities, such as assessments, some respondents indicated that their companies are accessing help from either their external auditor or another outside professional services firm.

The survey indicates that approximately sixty percent (60%) of companies who performed or are performing a high-level IFRS assessment sought or are seeking external assistance.

However, a significant number of respondents (around 40%) are taking on the task themselves. Given the economic climate and the pressure on cost-reduction, the go-it-alone strategy may not be surprising.

For post-assessment plans, many survey respondents are looking at cross-functional approaches that include not only accounting, but also tax, technology/systems, and training personnel/human resources.

The SEC will likely be discussing its proposed roadmap in the fourth quarter.

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