SEC Statement in connection with the 2018 AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments

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11 Dec 2018

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released a Statement by Chief Accountant Wesley R. Bricker that summarises SEC contributions at the 2018 AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments.

Following some general information about the backbround of the SEC and developments at the Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA), Mr Bricker turns to the activities of the OCA that include overseeing the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and supporting the implementation of the new GAAP standards. In the context of the latter, Mr Bricker especially discusses revenue recognition, leases, and current expected credit losses.

About two thirds into the statement, Mr Bricker also comments on SEC contributions to international accounting, audit, and disclosure work. He especially notes the OCA efforts to promote high-quality IFRSs as he stresses that: 

Reduced differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS make the preparation and use of financial statements considerably more effective and may lead to higher-quality financial reporting by U.S. registrants. Accordingly, we will continue to encourage the FASB and the IASB to work together to keep converged standards converged, to reduce differences in standards where they continue to exist, and to continually look for opportunities to improve standards in producing decision-useful information for investors. [...] Although U.S. GAAP continues to serve well the interests of investors and other stakeholders and will for the foreseeable future, it does not diminish the need – in the United States and abroad – to continue strongly supporting high quality international standards. [...] Building upon the quality of IFRS is of central importance to U.S. investors and companies as business transactions and investor needs continue to evolve globally. 

Concluding his discussion of international OCA activities, Mr Bricker mentions the SEC efforts to help implementing new IFRSs. He mentions the SEC's consultation process and notes that throughout the year, the OCA consulted on many matters involving the application of U.S. GAAP and IFRS. However, Mr Bricker stresses that the OCA continues to note that the level of consultation activity from foreign private issuers that file with the SEC using IFRS or U.S. GAAP is low compared to what is sees from U.S. domestic companies and encourages foreign private issuers to seek staff views on technical accounting positions, whether involving IFRS or U.S. GAAP.

Mr Bricker's statement offers an appendix with a list of published speeches and statements given by OCA staff members during 2018, which also include other staff speeches at the 2018 AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments also discussing revenue recognition, leases, current expected credit losses, and LIBOR developments. All speeches can be accessed here.

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