Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top Ten IFRS Stories from 2009

The AICPA has an informative IFRS mailing list. Listed below is a summary of the year’s most clicked IFRS articles on their site.

It has been an interesting year for International Financial Reporting Standards. After a flurry of activity in 2007 and 2008, the first eight months of 2009 were fairly quiet. Other than stakeholders commenting on the
proposed IFRS road map released in November 2008, there was no regulatory action. Then, in mid-September 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission's chairwoman and chief accountant began to make public statements that would reignite the IFRS discussion. Most importantly, they said more information on IFRS for public companies would be provided by winter, which is right around the corner.

SEC's draft Five-Year Strategic Plan released in early October included support for a single set of high-quality global accounting standards and promotion of ongoing convergence initiatives between the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board. Moreover, in late October, the FASB and the IASB reaffirmed their commitment to improve both U.S. GAAP and IFRS and to intensify their efforts to complete the major projects described in their 2006 memorandum of understanding, as updated in 2008, by June 2011.

The AICPA is on record as supporting one set of high-quality global accounting standards for public companies, and we are working to ensure a smooth transition should the SEC decide to adopt IFRS.

Regarding private companies, in July the IASB released
IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs). The AICPA welcomed the introduction of the new standard, which gives private companies an additional accounting and financial reporting option.

Now, we eagerly await the SEC's next move for public companies. Private companies already have the option to use IFRS or IFRS for SMEs because of the AICPA governing Council's action in May 2008 to recognize the IASB as an international accounting standard setter.

Members can stay current on developments and access many helpful resources from the AICPA
IFRS resources Web site.

Top 10 news stories identified by the AICPA SmartBrief readers in the past year.
IASB publishes accounting standard for SMEs (7/9)
G-20 calls for single set of accounting standards by June 2011 (9/27)
Survey: Execs say IFRS will cost U.S. firms more than Europeans spent (3/30)
Schapiro discusses IFRS with IASB's Tweedie (2/12)
Accounting-rule changes would affect equipment leasing (8/14)
IFRS conversion to affect most aspects of operations (9/2009)
FASB, IASB will work more intensely to reach common set of standards (10/29)
CPA Exam to get makeover, include IFRS questions (9/30)
Herz: Full convergence shouldn't delay U.S. adoption of IFRS (4/30)
How to launch a successful IFRS conversion (4/2009)

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