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My attitude on IFRS in the United States is starting to drift into “I'll believe when I see it” territory.

In early 2010, the SEC said it would vote before the end of 2011 on how to incorporate IFRS into the U.S. financial reporting system, if at all. A year and a half later, with the end of 2011 approaching and no SEC decision on IFRS in sight, SEC Commissioner Kathleen Casey urged the SEC to incorporate IFRS, adding that the SEC “can no longer kick the can down the road.”

Then came the AICPA's National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments in early December, where SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker told attendees that the Commission would need “a few additional months” to complete its IFRS deliberations. This Reuters article seems to imply that the delay could be even longer than that.

In response, Financial Accounting Standards Board Chair Leslie Seidman offered her own vision of a “modified incorporation” of IFRS into the U.S. financial reporting system. According to Accountancy Age, it looks like this: “Under her vision, the FASB would gather input and research, while refraining from working on standards being tackled by the (International Accounting Standards Board).”

It all seems like semantics though, doesn't it? As Peter Margaritis says, the U.S. is already dealing with IFRS. It's hard not to, considering that about 120 countries already permit or require the use of IFRS for listed companies.

“IFRS is already here through the back door, and it's not going to go away, even if the SEC says, 'We're not going to do this,'” says Margaritis, an instructor with the Business Learning Institute and president of IFRS Education and Training, LLC. “You've got Canada, Mexico — all the major economies throughout the world are using IFRS. We will run into it somewhere down the line — and that's if the United States doesn't adopt it. I believe we will.”

If that's the case, we'll need to bone up on our IFRS — and sooner rather than later. Here are some crash courses in all things IFRS:

Customized training also available
The MACPA’s Business Learning Institute can also customize your on-site IFRS training for you. Visit www.BizLearning.net and click on “Search the Customized Training Catalog” for a full list of available options.

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