Challenges of adopting global standards in the US

  • PCAOB (US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) (dark gray) Image

18 Sep 2008

In a speech earlier this week before a university group, Bill Gradison, a member of the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) addressed the implications and challenges of adopting global accounting and auditing standards in the United States.

Click to Download Mr Gradison's Speech (PDF 155k). Here is an excerpt:

Tonight I want to touch on the implications of this new reality with special attention to the impact on the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. The current state of play involves two sets of accounting standards: GAAP and IFRS (with its numerous local variations), and three sets of auditing standards, each of which is in a state of flux: the ISAs toward which many non-US jurisdictions seem to be moving, the ASB standards which apply to non-issuers in the United States (and are conceptually 'ISAs plus'), and the PCAOB standards for issuers....

Nor are regulators untouched by these challenges. Currently 873 non-US firms are registered with the PCAOB and about 250 firms in 51 countries are subject currently to periodic inspections, which is to say they audit issuers. Now that foreign private issuers no longer need to reconcile their financial statements to GAAP, PCAOB inspectors will be reviewing audits based on IFRS alone. As a result, PCAOB is developing a robust training program which eventually will involve most of its divisions. But initially we will focus on making sure that our international inspectors are conversant with IFRS.


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