Friday, January 23, 2009

Will the tortoise win over the hare in US IFRS conversion?

There are signs on the horizon that the US changeover to IFRS may be in jeopardy or perhaps slowed down considerably.

I previously reported on the statements of the new SEC Chair about IFRS. The general tenor was to take a deep breath and take a second look. Comments on the SEC IFRS Roadmap are due February 19.

In this vein the FEI in the US has issued a letter to the SEC asking for a 45 day delay in the comment period. The pressures of year end reporting under unusual circumstances are restricting time that can be spent on responding to the important document.

Please read about it in the latest FEI financial reporting article.

My advice to anyone following this issue is not to jump to any conclusions. As I understand people seem to be asking for more breathing room all round. We must await the comments on the proposed IFRS Roadmap. As far as I have seen there has been no official repudiation of the document that was issued for comment under the previous Republican administration. There are reports of differences of opinion in the Obama administration. I will remind everyone that the proposed Roadmap would mandate a phased in approach with a significant review of progress in 2011. Just before the next presidential election. Just when you thought that it was over.

There are some that are saying that a Tortoise approach would be better. The proposed IFRS Roadmap seems a rather slow "hare"to me. What do I know I am a Canadian. You have to build in the requirement in the USA for two years of comparative data so it would be on top of us before we know it.

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