September 20, 2020

IFRS

Accounting Professors Aren’t Waiting for Bureaucrats to Get Their Act Together

graduation.jpgEven though the convergence of IFRS and U.S. GAAP seems like a DeLorean ride away accounting professors polled believe that it should be included in the curriculum, according to Web CPA:
More, after the jump

The survey, by KPMG and the American Accounting Association, found that half of the professors who responded to the survey said they thought a low sense of urgency exists among U.S. regulators to adopt IFRS by a “date certain,” while only 16 percent believe regulators have a high sense of urgency.

Regardless of academics’ pessimism about the SEC getting their shit together and making this marriage of accounting rules happen, the slow integration into the American curriculum is still occurring:

Despite this challenge, 70 percent said they have taken significant steps to incorporate IFRS into the curriculum. In addition, 83 percent believe IFRS needs to be incorporated into their curricula by 2011…Given the dynamics of the current regulatory environment, 79 percent of faculty believe that U.S. GAAP should continue to be taught over the next three to five years, while progressively incorporating more IFRS concepts via a compare-and-contrast approach as the conversion date approaches.

A majority of the respondents to the survey also expect IFRS to be included in the CPA Exam by 2012/2013 and in intermediate accounting textbooks by 2011/2012.
For those of you still cracking the books, discuss if your profs have brought this up and what kind of priority they’re putting on IFRS. We’re not holding our breath for anything meaningful from TPTB.
Accounting Professors Urge IFRS Education [Web CPA]

IASB Chairman Would Like the SEC to Get With It

TOLD YOU.jpgSir David Tweedie, IASB Chairman, would sure appreciate it if the SEC would make up its damn mind about whether or not to commit to converging U.S. GAAP with IFRS. He spoke at the American Association of Accountants (AAA) annual meeting in New York yesterday and figured he might as well call out the SEC, who seems to be stonewalling him. He’s giving them until 2011 to figure it out.
Tweedie has been making like some kind of financial reporting missionary, going all around the world preaching the good word of IFRS. He’s said he’ll have 150 believers by 2011. But everywhere he goes, all anyone can talk about is whether the U.S. is converted yet.
More, after the jump

“That is a question I am asked all around the world. The convergence program is designed to reduce the cost of transition. FASB is riding two horses: US GAAP and trying to converge at the same time, but so are we.”…If you’re going to have global standards, we need the US, but it can’t go on indefinitely,” he said

We’re impressed that the knighted bean counter is putting his foot down here. We figured the SEC and the FASB could just continue doing whatever it is they do and Tweedie would just keeping asking them about it every month or so like they owed him fifty bucks.
Tweedie Warns of 2011 Deadline for IFRS Choice [Web CPA via Accountancy Age]

Why IFRS is Similar to an Obscure Reality TV Program

jon-and-kate.jpgLate on Friday we told you about the rager that the IFAC was throwing over the weekend in London and today we get the less than surprising news that they want the governments of the world to push for global accounting standards.
“According to IFAC, participants at the conference agreed that the public interest would best be served by a single set of high-quality, principles-based financial reporting and auditing standards for listed and public interest entities.”
The problem with this whole push for IFRS is that getting anyone to care about accounting rules is like trying to get men interested in the whole Jon & Kate Plus 8 drama. They’re completely clueless at first mention and when you attempt to get into the details interest is immediately lost.
Leading accountants tell governments quicken pace of global standards adoption [Accountancy Age]

The Convergence Debate, Already Geeky, About to Get Geekier

Academics in the U.S. aren’t too psyched about the benefits of IFRS, according to Compliance Week:

The United States already meets a high level of reporting quality relative to other countries as a result of various “institutional features,” said [Peter] Wysocki [Professor at MIT]. Those include things like an active investor and analyst community, a rigorous audit process, and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission, among others, he said.
“It’s a little difficult to argue a move to IFRS will result in significant improvement in reporting quality,” Wysocki said. “We’re already at a high level because we already have those institutional features in place.

The debate over convergence has reached Biggie/Tupac fever and now that U.S. GAAP has got American bookworms shouting about how IFRS isn’t all that, we expect that academics on the other side of the pond will get involved and the debate will get fiercely geekier.
Academics: Move to IFRS Won’t Boost Reporting Quality [Compliance Week]

Score One for U.S. GAAP

two thumbs up.jpegU.S. GAAP just got a little boost in its image versus its sexy rival, IFRS, courtesy of Audit Integrity, a research services firm.
Audit Integrity studied filings by European companies from 2001 to 2008, looking at filings both pre and post IFRS adoption. The objectives were, “to determine whether IFRS has been implemented consistently across Europe, whether it has resulted in a common method of reporting financial data, and how the depth and comparability of data under IFRS compares to U.S. GAAP.”
At first glance, one might think that with all the bashing of U.S. GAAP in recent years that this was IFRS chance to prove once and for all that it was the new cock of the walk.
Well, not so fast GAAP haters:

“Based on our analysis, we are not seeing a significant improvement in financial reporting when companies shift to IFRS,” said Jack Zwingli, CEO of Audit Integrity. “We found that IFRS is a common standard, but there are significant variances in IFRS reporting, in the completeness of information, the timeliness and the filing frequency.”

Sounds like IFRS ain’t all that does it? You want more?

The firm says overall there are indications that financial reporting is more consistent and more comparable under IFRS than before IFRS adoption in Europe, but it’s not clear that IFRS represents an improvement over U.S. GAAP. In fact, the firm’s report says GAAP filers may have an edge over IFRS filing in terms of the timeliness, depth and breadth of financial data provided to investors.

Ouch, IASB. You want the best part? The Europeans disclose less on executive compensation than we do here in America. You’re all familiar with how popular corporate executives are. To wit:

[Jack] Zwingli [Audit Integrity CEO] said he was also surprised that the analysis revealed IFRS generally provides less information about executive compensation. “It’s not good in the United States, but it’s better than it is in Europe,” he said. “There is more consistency in reporting and deeper coverage of data under GAAP than under IFRS.”

Seems like IFRS has got work to do…IASB, you can call us when you want to get serious.

Study Pokes Holes in IFRS Reporting Quality, Consistency
[Accounting & Auditing Update/Compliance Week]