Legislative / Regulatory

GAAP: Going global?

Here's yet another take on the ongoing debate over the fate of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. It comes from David Nicklaus of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who takes a closer look at the effort to bring U.S. GAAP in line with international accounting standards.

From reading the column, you'd think it was a forgone conclusion. The column cites a recent agreement on accounting convergence between the United States and the European Union "that the Financial Times called the 'equivalent of the financial reporting world's Berlin Wall falling,'" Nicklaus writes. And there's more. Nicklaus quotes American Institute of CPAs President Barry Melancon as saying he believes one global set of accounting standards will be in place as soon as 2009.

"If the issue is whose rules are going to survive, the rest of the world clearly has the upper hand," Nicklaus writes. "Some folks who read financial statements for a living are worried about that."

What do you think? Should the U.S. ditch GAAP in favor of a global solution? Or are there benefits to keep GAAP in place?


Bill Sheridan