Thursday, October 30, 2008

Which President will support IFRS adoption in the USA?

Obama or McCain will either of them be supportive of the SEC proposals to adopt IFRS? Has the train left the station or is convergence now in doubt?

There is an excellent article in today's Accountancy Age by Joseph Goldstein "When looking for scapegoats anybody could be found". This article speculates on who would be against IFRS adoption? Obama or McCain which one or perhaps both?

The support for IFRS is by no means unanimous in the USA. However, an increasing number of business people are seeing the need for global cooperation in many areas. This cooperation continues to be demonstrated in the response to the credit crisis. One of the issues being discussed is mark to market or fair value accounting especially in relation to illiquid assets.

The SEC has been mandated to review this issue and come back to Congress with a proposal by early 2009. Yesterday the SEC held a Roundtable. I saw the first panel on the webcast and it was a useful discussion. I had to leave for a meeting but I will catch the re-runs on the SEC Website archives later (a weekend project). In the first panel Bill Isaac spoke strongly against ceding control of GAAP to the IASB. He proposed greater control over standards setting, including the Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC as participants. Mr Isaac was the former Chairman of the FDIC. He spoke strongly against fair value accounting. Worth listening to if you are interested in the subject.

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