The AICPA says a reasonable time frame for the profession to adopt international financial reporting standards would be three to five years. AICPA President Barry Melancon said as much during a recent forum on international accounting. Even so, he said the time has come to set a date and move forward.
“The overwhelming feedback we get from people who focus on this issue is, ‘Let’s get it done,'” Melancon said. “Let’s get a date certain for public companies. Let’s put that date out there so the momentum can build, all of the proper steps can be put in place, and work groups that need to be in a whole variety of different areas can follow.”
The sooner, the better, as far as accounting education is concerned. While accounting enrollments are at all-time highs, CFO.com reports that the number of educators is actually falling, leaving academia ill-prepared to update their curricula, edit textbooks and prepare students for a new set of global reporting standards.
In fact, writes CFO’s Marie Leone, until the SEC mandates a move to IFRS, “universities won’t change their curricula. And … that means publishers won’t see a demand and won’t change textbooks.”
So, if that article is correct, we face the very real possibility that, for the short term at least, students won’t be learning much about some of the groundbreaking issues that are changing the very nature of the profession. I’d love to hear from some educators: Is that assessment accurate? If so, what can be done to remedy the situation?