Kroeker Stresses Importance of Investors in IFRS Decision; Search is On For Next Chairman of IASB

In remarks earlier today at the AICPA's annual conference on current SEC and PCAOB developments, SEC Chief Accountant Jim Kroeker said, "implementing a single set of global accounting standards for U.S. issuers can, and must, be done only in a manner that is beneficial to U.S. capital markets and consistent with the SEC's mission of protecting investors."

Kroeker outlined six general areas that the SEC would have to "carefully consider...fully understand and address" regarding the potential use of IFRS by U.S. companies. He added that this list is not all-inclusive. The six areas are:

  1. U.S. Investor understanding of and perspectives on IFRS;
  2. The development and application of IFRS for use as the single set of globally accepted accounting standards for U.S. issuers;
  3. The impact on the U.S. regulatory environment;
  4. Preparer considerations, including, among other matters:
    - changes to accounting systems,
    - changes to contractual agreements,
    - corporate governance considerations, and
    - litigation contingencies;
  5. Human capital readiness; and
  6. The role of the FASB in achieving the goal of a single global standard.

Kroeker noted, "I expect that you will hear more from us on this topic in the near term."

My two cents (I remind you of the disclaimer on the right side of this blog): For those self-appointed "IFRS Watchmen" watching and weighing every utterance coming from the SEC on the status of its proposed IFRS roadmap, most will probably view Kroeker's reference to more info coming in the "near term" as further testimony to the fact that something more definitive is expected from the SEC "this fall" regarding the status of its IFRS roadmap, to use the terminolgy previously used in remarks by SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro, and by Kroeker in an number of speeches earlier this year.

It will be interesting to see if the six areas outlined by Kroeker in his remarks to the AICPA today will form the general outline of the SEC's 'next steps' for its IFRS roadmap. Although he did not use the term 'next steps,' the term has been used in previous speeches, such as in remarks by SEC Commissioner Kathleen Casey at an FEI conference last month when she said: "It is also my hope and expectation that the Commission will soon articulate the next steps to be taken with respect to the use of IFRS by U.S. issuers – further signaling our commitment to this important goal."

Separately, Prof. David Albrecht has indexed some writings on IFRS in his blog, The Summa. At the present time, he notes his posts include everything he's written on the issue, and a summary of some opposing arguments to a move to IFRS. "Yet to write," says Albrecht: "Comparing and Evaluating Both Sides of the IFRS Issue."

Search is On For Next Chair Of IASB, And What About FASB?
In related news on the IFRS front, the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation (IASCF), parent of the IASB, issued a press release earlier today announcing Trustees Seek Nominations for Chair of IASB From 2011. Current IASB Chair, Sir David Tweedie's term, ends on June 30, 2011. Read more about implications of this issue, and a related issue at the FASB, here.

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FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI

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