End of reconciliation 'is clearly in sight' – SEC official

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24 Feb 2007

In remarks on The Promise of Transparency presented at the 29th Annual Conference on Securities Regulation and Business Law in Dallas, Texas, John W White, director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the US Securities and Exchange Commission spoke about a range of topics of international interest, including:

  1. Foreign deregistration
  2. Guidance on implementing Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 (internal controls)
  3. E-proxies
  4. The SEC's new executive compensation disclosure ("the Division's biggest project from last year... historic rulemaking")
  5. Proxy access
  6. International Financial Reporting Standards ("I believe the time when the staff will recommend the 'end of reconciliation' is clearly in sight.")
  7. Interactive Data.
  8. PIPEs (private investment, public equity offerings)
  9. Restatements and Item 4.02 of Form 8-K
  10. Small business capital raising and private offering reform
An excerpt from Mr White's remarks is below. Click for full text of Mr White's Remarks (PDF 77k).

International Financial Reporting Standards

This is a big one. Last Tuesday (on February 13, 2007), the Commission issued a press release announcing a staff roundtable we have coming up on International Financial Reporting Standards ('IFRS') as promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Board (the 'IASB') The roundtable will explore where things stand today with the so-called 'roadmap' laid out by then-Chief Accountant Donald Nicolaisen as to how we might eliminate the requirement that companies filing IFRS financial statements reconcile those with US GAAP The roundtable will be held on Tuesday, March 6, at the Commission's headquarters in Washington.

The Division of Corporation Finance has already been extremely busy reviewing filings from foreign private issuers that use IFRS. I detailed that review and where we stand with our growing understanding of IFRS in a speech I gave last month in London, and I do not have the time to go into that much detail here today. Suffice it to say, the recognition and growing use of IFRS is an exciting topic today and something we should all keep in focus. I believe the Commission and the staff will be devoting considerable attention and energy following the March 6 roundtable to developing and announcing next steps, and I believe the time when the staff will recommend the 'end of reconciliation' is clearly in sight.

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