Accounting Roundup: Special Edition - The Tidal Wave Of Accounting And Financial Reporting Changes

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Executive Summary

Much of the recent debate in the financial reporting community has focused on when and if U.S.-based public entities should be permitted or required to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) as a basis of reporting. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to decide on the use of IFRSs for U.S. public entities sometime next year. In the meantime, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have been working both individually and jointly on a number of projects that, if finalized, would bring about a seismic shift in the accounting and financial reporting landscape, the likes of which U.S. entities have never before experienced. While the FASB and IASB have been working together for over a decade, their more recent collaborative efforts have been under the auspices of a "Memorandum of Understanding" (originally the Norwalk Agreement that was signed in 2002). Recently, the two boards committed to expediting many of the joint projects in an effort to complete them by mid-2011. So, regardless of whether the SEC sets a date for U.S.-based public entities to convert to IFRSs, all U.S.-based entities will be affected by the changes to U.S. GAAP as a result of these efforts.

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