New AICPA survey says members delaying IFRS preparation

BVWireIssue #85-4
October 28, 2009

When the financial crisis hit, the SEC sidelined its review of IFRS implementation to focus on managing the Wall Street fall-out and the Washington response. After a nine-month delay, Chair Mary Schapiro recently announced that the agency would revisit its proposed “roadmap” for adopting the international accounting standards by 2014, hoping to provide follow-up in the next month or two. (See Schapiro Says SEC Will Discuss Transition to IFRS This Fall.) Similarly, the FASB and IASB have put IFRS convergence back on their current joint meetings agendas.

As a result, nearly two-thirds (62%) of public-company CPAs say they will delay preparing for IFRS until the SEC sets a date certain for U.S. adoption, according to a new AICPA member survey. “Most CPAs believe the U.S. should move toward IFRS and they are looking to the SEC for leadership and direction,” commented Arleen Thomas, the Society’s V.P. of member competency, in a press release last week. Accordingly, at least half (50.6%) of survey respondents say they will need relevant IFRS knowledge within the next one to three years; a proactive 8% say they need more knowledge now.

Overall, a clear but close majority of AICPA members (53.6%) supports IFRS adoption by U.S. public companies. Of those, 14.1% support an SEC mandate of IFRS, but more than twice as many (39.5%) would want mandatory IFRS only after U.S. and international standards are further converged. A minority (18%) believe the SEC should not mandate use of IFRS but rather allow IFRS as an option for U.S. companies. To access the complete survey, click here.

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