Comments on IFRSs at annual AICPA SEC conference

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12 Dec 2004

A number of SEC speakers at the 32nd Annual AICPA National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments addressed international financial reporting issues.

Links to the presentations of SEC Chief Accountant Donald T. Nicolaisen and SEC Deputy Chief Accountant Julie A. Erhardt whose area of responsibility is international financial reporting are below. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Nicolaisen's remarks:

Anticipating that investors will embrace IFRS, OCA is considering the steps that need to be taken to allow us to eliminate the reconciliation from IFRS to U.S. GAAP. One such step is to review the quality and consistency of the application of IFRS. While a great many non-U.S. companies register securities with us, currently less than 50 of these registrants use IFRS for their primary financial statements. This will change in 2005 as we expect perhaps as many as five hundred of those filing with us to use IFRS. I recognize that, within Europe, some companies may not fully apply IFRS, but my expectation and hope is that the majority of those companies that file with the Commission will fully comply with IAS, including accounting for derivatives.

We are gearing up for a review of these filings, which will be available for our review in the second half of 2006, to take advantage of the knowledge that can be gained from studying such a large number of IFRS-based financial statements. As part of the study, we will carefully review what differences exist between U.S. GAAP and IAS, and I will strongly encourage the FASB and the IASB to eliminate many of these differences as quickly as possible. Throughout this process, we will be working with preparers, the IASB, FASB, and other regulators to gather information on the experience and knowledge of those adopting IFRS for their 2005 filings.

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