SEC commissioner discusses global accounting standards

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Mar 27, 2015

On March 26, 2015, Kara Stein, a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, gave her opinion on the future of IFRS in the United States during a speech at the Brooklyn Law School in New York City. Ms. Stein discussed international cooperation in the wake of the global financial crisis and called for worldwide collaboration on data aggregation and disclosure.

She then discussed IFRS adoption in the United States, noting:

I am not convinced of a need to abandon U.S. GAAP in favor of IFRS. That is not to say that U.S. GAAP is perfect. Nor is IFRS perfect. I’m also not convinced that providing financial statements in two different sets of accounting standards would be beneficial for either investors or issuers. With complexity in both businesses and products on the rise, it seems that presenting information in a dueling set of financial reporting standards does not really aid in understanding.

Ms Stein acknowledged that convergence “makes sense” but suggested “reimagining” accounting regimes to use technology and globalization to “minimize differences and maximize global investment and access to capital.”

The full transcript of Ms Stein’s speech is available on the SEC's website.

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