Accounting & Auditing | Corporate Finance & Governance | Legislative / Regulatory

The convergence train keeps rolling …

Merge International financial reporting standards have come under renewed fire overseas, but the concept of convergence seems to be chugging along.

Efforts to converge existing international reporting standards with U.S. GAAP -- to improve them and eliminate their differences -- took another step forward when the Financial Accounting Standards Board and its international counterpart, the IASB, issued new guidance on how the use of fair-value accounting should be measured and disclosed.

Here's what AccountingWeb says about the move:

"The requirements do not extend the use of fair value accounting, but provide guidance on how it should be applied where its use is already required or permitted by other standards within IFRS or U.S. GAAP, FASB and the IASB emphasized.

"For U.S. GAAP, the update will supersede most of the guidance in Topic 820, although many of the changes are clarifications of existing guidance or wording changes to align with IFRS 13. The update also reflects FASB’s consideration of the different characteristics of public and non-public entities and the needs of users of their financial statements. Non-public entities will be exempt from a number of the new disclosure requirements."

It's an interesting development, considering that less than a week earlier the boards had announced that the target date for completing the remaining convergence projects would be pushed back from June 2011 to the end of 2011.

It's hard to get a good read on all of this. Some companies overseas appear to be souring on IFRS and convergence timelines are getting pushed back stateside, but international regulators keep moving toward their convergence goals. One step up, two steps back, a little do-si-do, and the IFRS dance continues.

I can't help but believe that in an increasingly global environment, reporting standards will become increasingly global as well. But what the heck to I know?

I want to hear from you -- particularly you folks who have had some hands-on experience with IFRS. What do you think? What's the best path to take at this point?

Want to learn more?
Don't miss the 2011 Maryland CPA Summit on June 3 at the BWI Hilton. Pete Margaritis, CPA, will offer an update on all that's happening on the IFRS front, and there'll be plenty more learning opportunities as well. Get complete details and register here.


Bill Sheridan