Legislative / Regulatory

Are we lost on the road to IFRS?

Global What's going to happen with IFRS? It depends on who you ask ... and when.

Less than a year ago, U.S. adoption of international financial reporting standards was all but certain. Former SEC Chair Christopher Cox, a huge IFRS proponent, had helped drive through the SEC's "roadmap" for how public companies should make the switch, and all lights on the road to IFRS were green.

But Cox is gone, his successor is slowing things down considerably, and IFRS is no longer the sure thing it once was.

In the past few months, we've seen the International Accounting Standards Board take further steps forward and IASB Chair Sir David Tweedie call us out by asking, "Where is the United States?"

Meanwhile, the stateside excitement over convergence has dulled considerably, U.S.-based companies aren't really sure what IFRS means for them, and some naysayers are actually saying that switching to IFRS might be bad for the United States.

So it's somewhat surprising that, despite all that recent negativity, nearly 90 percent of finance executives believe mandatory IFRS adoption in the U.S. is inevitable and 80 percent of U.S. companies are performing or have performed a high-level IFRS assessment. That's according to a new Deloitte survey.

Do the folks in the trenches know something that the critics don't? My money's on "Yes." Just in case, though, we're offering a bunch of IFRS programs that take an in-depth look at international standards. Check 'em out and decide for yourself.

What do you think? Where is IFRS going, and how quickly will it get there?


Bill Sheridan