Not a day goes by without seeing more and more about IFRS and international accounting standards. It definitely has our attention. We see this as possibly the most significant change in the CPA profession in its history, possibly bigger than the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Check out MACPA member Jack Ciesielski’s post over at his blog, the AAO weblog. He quotes from the latest PCAOB strategic plan about the PCAOB’s need to devote resources and get trained on IFRS. This is clearly an indication that the foundation is being built for such an enormous task as retooling the United States to convert from GAAP to IFRS. (Remember how well we converted to the metric system?)
Combine this with the plethora of FASB projects, from Codification to the “new” financial reporting format and the latest restructuring of FAF / FASB governance, and you can see we are moving at a rather fast pace.
Then there is the SEC Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting (CiFiR) and the U.S. Treasury Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession, both of which raise major global / international issues. The AICPA is also considering global changes by adding IASB and IFRS as recognized under GAAP in its upcoming meeting of the governing council.
Why so fast?
Think about this: If the SEC roadmap suggests a convergence point of Dec. 31, 2013, then for comparative purposes you will need to “restate” 2012 and 2011 for f/s presentation. That means 2010 would be the “transition” year.
What year are we in?
I can tell you that the AICPA, the MACPA and many state CPA societies are watching this closely and assembling resources to help all of our CPAs figure this out and, according to our purpose, help our members “thrive in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment.”
And this isn’t just about public companies, either.
The trends in globalization of small, privately held businesses and the voice of private company CFOs complaining about complexity may point to IFRS as an opportunity to help the millions of small businesses and the CPAs and CPA firms who support them. We are looking at this now as well.
And by the way, congratulations to Jack for making BusinessWeek’s Best of the Bunch for Financial Blogs. It is great to see a CPA blogger in the top list!
Here are some MACPA resources to help you understand and prepare for IFRS:
- May 5th webcast (9-11 a.m. EST): IFRS: An Overview of the Looming Change to Global Standards
- Maryland Business and Accounting Expo, June 17-18 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The Expo will feature several sessions on XBRL, IFRS and the new FASB–IASB proposed financial statement formats from industry leaders who are at the forefront of these changes. To register, click here.
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