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SEC chair discusses global accounting

  • SEC speeches (green) Image

Jan 06, 2017

SEC Chair Mary Jo White has issued a public statement, “A U.S. Imperative: High-Quality, Globally Accepted Accounting Standards,” urging the next SEC chair to continue to pursue global accounting standards to protect investors and the strength of the U.S. market.

While Ms. White acknowledged that the Commission has not taken “formal action” related to such standards since 2010, she described the past years as a success:

Although the FASB and IASB have completed their agreed-upon, priority convergence projects, this milestone must not mark the end of the intense collaboration that has occurred between the two Boards over the last few years. These efforts have greatly enhanced the quality of accounting standards in a number of important areas, including recently narrowing many differences in the accounting standards for revenue recognition, leases, credit losses on financial instruments, and recognition and measurement of financial assets and liabilities.

Ms. White also noted that such progress needs to continue, since it is greatly beneficial to boards and investors. She concluded:

The United States cannot afford to be myopic about this issue in light of the benefits of these efforts for all stakeholders. Strong support of both the FASB and the IASB by U.S. investors, companies, auditors, and others, including the Commission, is essential. Indeed, it should be self-evident that the pursuit of high-quality globally accepted accounting standards is part of the SEC’s continuing re-sponsibility to encourage, facilitate and direct efforts to enhance the quality of all financial reporting that directly impacts the protection of investors and the strength of our markets.

Ms. White’s full statement is available on the SEC’s Web site.

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