Legislative / Regulatory

Accounting standards: Convergence creeps closer

Sec_3We may be a step closer to seeing one global set of accounting standards.

The SEC is seeking comment on a proposal that would allow foreign companies that trade on U.S. exchanges to file their financial statements using International Financial Reporting Standards, rather than U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

The plan is "a significant next step in the road toward a single set of globally accepted accounting standards," said SEC Chair Christopher Cox. According to CFO.com's Sarah Johnson, Cox claims such a move "will cut filing costs for foreign companies and encourage more companies to raise capital in the United States."

Meanwhile, WebCPA reports that "the SEC will, in the upcoming months, issue a concept release to float the idea of giving U.S. firms the choice of reconciling in the international rules. That may lead to regulators eventually giving U.S. filers a choice between GAAP and IFRS."

What do you think? Is it time for financial reporting standards to go global?


Bill Sheridan