Could SMEs in the United States use the IFRS for SMEs?
Oct 17, 2007
Paul Pacter, webmaster of IAS Plus who also serves as the IASB's Director of Standards for SMEs, has written an Article in Financial Executive Magazine October 2007 that considers whether U.S. private companies might use the IFRS for SMEs.
Most American accountants are surprised to learn that millions of SMEs around the world have statutory reporting and audit obligations. That's because the situation in the U.S. is so different. There are roughly 5 million limited-liability corporations and roughly 15 million more partnerships, proprietorships and other forms of ownership.
By law, only a relative handful of those are required by law to publish U.S. GAAP financial statements, audited or unaudited – generally the 15,000 SEC registrants plus a few other regulated entities. Sometimes, lenders or contracts impose such requirements. But for the vast majority of American private companies, there is no requirement to prepare U.S. GAAP statements.
So, could private companies in the U.S. use IFRS for SMEs? There does not appear to be any reason why not – provided that the basis of presentation note clearly explains that the statements conform to IFRS for SMEs. If audited, the auditor would report on conformity with the IFRS for SMEs.