Earlier this year, some pretty serious skepticism was surfacing worldwide about the United States' desire and ability to adopt IFRS or, at the very least, converge U.S. GAAP with IFRS.
Some of that doubt seems to be evaporating.
For starters, there's a proposal from the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board that would create a single revenue recognition standard for IFRS and GAAP that would be enforced across industries and capital markets.
From a convergence point of that, that's a pretty big deal.
“The boards consider revenue recognition, financial instruments and two projects closely related to financial instruments — fair value measurement and the presentation of other comprehensive income — to be urgent projects in the larger IFRS-U.S. GAAP convergence effort, and they said they remain committed to completing them by their self-imposed June 2011 deadline,” write Matthew G. Lamoreaux and Kim Nilsen in this Journal of Accountancy article. “Other priority projects include insurance contracts, leases, consolidations and derecognition.”
Next, there's Barry Melancon.
The AICPA's president and CEO looks at the number of countries that are committed to moving to IFRS — more than 120 to date — and says, “Moving U.S. public companies to IFRS isn't a question of if, but when.”
Private companies might be another matter.
A blue ribbon committee tasked with determining the direction of financial reporting for private companies has “eliminat(ed) models that were based on IFRS and a model that effectively would have maintained the status quo,” Alexandra DeFelice writes in this JofA article. “All of the remaining models under consideration would result in differences in GAAP for privates companies, where warranted, compared with GAAP for public companies.”
It all makes for a pretty interesting spectator sport. As we wait to see what happens next, tell us: Where do you stand on IFRS?