Thursday, January 5, 2012

IFRS Update

Comprehensive IFRS Update, courtesy of AICPA

SEC decision on IFRS is at least a few months away
The Securities and Exchange Commission staff will need a few more months to produce a final report on International Financial Reporting Standards, SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker said Dec. 5 at the AICPA National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments in Washington. SEC members are not expected to make a determination on the use of IFRS for reporting by U.S. public companies until the staff's work is complete.

 Comment letters support IFRS, call for more convergence work: The Securities and Exchange Commission said comment letters in response to a staff paper called "Exploring a Possible Method of Incorporation," issued in May, expressed support for global accounting standards. But commenters also wanted the International Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board to make more progress on joint standards-setting projects before International Financial Reporting Standards are adopted as the U.S. standard.

 AICPA advises IASB to complete work on conceptual framework
Richard Paul, chairman of the AICPA's Financial Reporting Executive Committee, advised the International Accounting Standards Board in a letter to complete its work on a conceptual framework, including a presentation and disclosure framework. This framework will guide the board as it continues to develop International Financial Reporting Standards. The letter was sent in response to a request for feedback when the IASB issued its Agenda Consultation 2011 in July.

FASB, IASB reach tentative decisions on aspects of lease accounting
The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board announced progress in their ongoing, high-profile convergence project on leases. Although an exposure draft hasn't been released, the boards reached tentative decisions regarding cancelable leases, and revenue recognition and disclosure for lessors with leases of investment property. They also reached an agreement on how to require banks to book losses on loans earlier than they do now. The boards will release the revised joint proposal on impairment in 2012, with the standard likely to be effective in 2015.

FASB, IASB issue new disclosure requirements on offsetting
The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board issued on Dec. 16 common disclosure requirements on the effect or potential effect of offsetting arrangements on a company’s financial position. The new rules will require companies to disclose gross amounts subject to rights of set-off, amounts set off in accordance with the accounting standards followed, and the related net credit exposure, according to the IASB.

Key accounting-policy decisions are mired in uncertainty
Details about whether and how International Financial Reporting Standards will be incorporated into the U.S. financial reporting system remain unclear, as Securities and Exchange Commission officials say they are still a few months away from deciding. The SEC has floated a "condorsement" approach, although the AICPA has urged the agency to give companies the option to adopt IFRS as issued by International Accounting Standards Board. Meanwhile, leaders of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the IASB say the current convergence project model is likely to end when the priority projects are completed.

Revised FASB proposal could change revenue-recognition timing
The timing of revenue recognition for certain companies could be affected by revised accounting proposals from the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board. The new rules also would bring other changes, such as increased disclosure requirements. AICPA members can download an updated Revenue Recognition Accounting Brief from

Amendments aim to clarify transition guidance for IFRS 10 (12/23)

IASB pushes mandatory effective date for IFRS 9 to 2015 (12/23)

How the switch to IFRS could affect M&A

The convergence of International Financial Reporting Standards and U.S. generally accepted accounting principles will have implications for the treatment of mergers and acquisitions, writes Brian Reed, CPA/CVA. For example, GAAP and IFRS take different approaches to measuring the fair value of business combinations, and in many cases, revenue is recognized sooner under IFRS. In general, IFRS offers fewer rules and less guidance.

IFRS allows banks to inflate profits, report says
Banks are using complex financial products to bolster profits under International Financial Reporting Standards, according to a report by the Adam Smith Institute that calls for changes. In particular, banks are able to recognize expectations of future income as current profits under IFRS.

IFRS rule led to misdiagnosis of financial crisis, U.K. group says
Flaws in the IAS 39 International Financial Reporting Standards rule kept U.K. and Irish banks from booking potential bad loans during the 2008 financial crisis, leading to losses totaling $236 billion, according to a report by a pension fund lobby group. The accounting rule led to misdiagnosis of the root problem as one of liquidity, rather than solvency, the report said.

Commission: U.K. local authorities handled switch to IFRS well
U.K. local authorities handled the transition to International Financial Reporting Standards well in 2010, the Audit Commission found. However, some filed late accounts because of the change, with 18 of the 457 local bodies without auditors' opinions by Oct. 31, compared with seven in 2010-11.

Ireland eyes new deadline for U.S. multinationals to use IFRS
U.S. companies operating in Ireland reportedly will have another five years before being required to prepare a second set of statements under either International Financial Reporting Standards or Irish generally accepted accounting principles, in addition to U.S. GAAP. A proposed law would allow U.S. companies to continue using U.S. GAAP until 2020. The measure is intended to encourage foreign businesses to invest in Ireland.

Official: Russia's public companies will switch to IFRS by 2013
Bloomberg (12/13)
 CPA Exam to be given in South America under AICPA deal with Brazil
Accounting Today (12/9)

Discover the IFRS Certificate Program from the AICPA
The AICPA's IFRS Certificate Program is a comprehensive curriculum of online training, research tools and practice aids designed to help CPAs understand, implement and apply International Financial Reporting Standards. Courses cover revenue recognition, leases, impairment, intangible assets, inventories, EPS and more.