SEC staff comments on implementation and enforcement of IFRSs

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09 Oct 2007

In remarks presented at the IASB's conference with world standard setters on 24 September 2007 in London, Julie A Erhardt, Deputy Chief Accountant of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, addressed Implementation and Enforcement of IFRSs.

Here is an excerpt:

I offer three observations related to keeping IFRS 'healthy':

  • My first 'healthy habit' observation relates to square one of financial reporting, which is whether investors can determine the basis of accounting under which a set of financial statements is prepared by reading the basis of presentation footnote, which is typically footnote 1.... In today's environment I would suggest that the safe bet is not so safe because more and more often a company's financial statements are likely to be prepared in accordance with IFRS as published by the IASB and/or a jurisdictional adaptation of IFRS. Even in these situations an investor may not be sure what the distinction between the two means and how significant it is for a particular company.
  • My second 'healthy habit' observation relates to whether and how those who identify rough spots in IFRS in implementing it locally can – for the good of the international order – make those rough spots knowable on a timely basis to not just the IASB but also to the other parties working with IFRS around the world?
  • My third 'healthy habit' observation relates to how to make IFRS as a body of standards robust and adequate for investors' purposes, yet at the same time somehow nimble and not overly complex.

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