SEC staff presentation on accounting complexity, IFRS initiatives

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12 Jun 2007

At a recent conference, James L Kroeker, Deputy Chief Accountant of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, spoke about complexity in financial reporting, the need to use judgement in identifying and applying the principles in accounting standards, and the importance of clear disclosure of the judgements made and the basis for those judgements.

He also spoke about the SEC's current initiatives regarding IFRSs. Click to Download Mr Kroeker's Remarks  (PDF 59k). Here is an excerpt:

The third major initiative that I want to briefly highlight is in the area of international financial reporting standards. Just a few short weeks ago the Commission issued a press release announcing the intention to issue a Proposing Release requesting comments on rule changes that would permit the use of IFRS (international accounting standards), as issued by the IASB, in financial reports filed with the SEC by foreign private issuers. In addition, the Commission expects to issue a Concept Release addressing whether US issuers should be provided the same option as their foreign counterparts. That is, the Concept Release will address the issue of whether US issuers should be permitted the option of moving away from US GAAP and applying IFRS. While the idea of allowing the use of international accounting standards is a new one, the impacts on investors, preparers, auditors and others could be significant. The opening up of the US capital markets to IFRS has the potential to shape the future of financial reporting and I encourage each of you to take the opportunity to provide input to the releases. I look forward to reading what I am certain will be many thought provoking and insightful responses.

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