IFRS Everyone's still talking about IFRS, but they're not speaking the same language.

Look at what's hit the wires in just the past few days alone:

  • Sir David Tweedie, soon-to-be-former chair of the International Accounting Standards Board, has extended his “America Must Conform” tour with yet another very public call for the United States to start toeing the IFRS line. “We all know there cannot be a global system without U.S. acceptance of IFRS,” Tweedie told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, adding that “(d)elaying the adoption of IFRS imposes unnecessary costs and risks on U.S. companies.”
  • Former PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner Peter Wyman believes IFRS might be a flawed concept. Consider this excerpt from a recent Accountancy Age artice: “Wyman said many leading accountants — including himself — 'were not wrong' to push IFRS, but admits … new research is 'compelling in demonstrating that significant further work is necessary before IFRS can be said to be totally fit for purpose.'”

    The article paraphrases Wyman as saying that IFRS is “too academic, complicated and unintuitive.”

  • According to a recent Duke University / CFO Magazine survey, CFOs understand the importance of IFRS and feel a sense of urgency about the issue, but most of them work for companies that have not yet begun to address the IFRS question.

    “Asked which are the most crucial accounting issues their companies are facing in 2011, 34 percent of the 472 CFOs who responded to the question ranked 'convergence to IFRS,' or international financial reporting standards, as number one. Cumulatively, the respondents ranked IFRS convergence higher than any other accounting issue. Yet asked to describe their companies' 'readiness to comply with global accounting standards,' 44.2 percent said they hadn't 'begun to address convergence,' while 38.8 percent said they were preparing but were 'far from ready.'”

Make no mistake: IFRS is coming to America. The debates over when, how, and whether we are prepared continue unabated. It's going to be fun to follow.

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