IFRS Foundation Issues Staff Analysis on IFRS

The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation’s (IFRS Foundation) trustees have published a staff analysis of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) final staff report on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs). 

The SEC staff report, issued on 13 July 2012, represented the culmination of almost two years’ work by SEC staff to analyse the issues related to the possible incorporation of IFRSs into the US financial reporting regime. 

Shortly after the SEC staff report was published, the trustees issued a statement indicating their commitment to give careful consideration to the report’s observations. Consequently, the trustees asked IFRS Foundation staff to conduct an analysis of the SEC staff report for the benefit of both the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the international community, which has now been posted to the IFRS Foundation website.

The staff’s detailed analysis addresses matters raised in the SEC staff report regarding IFRSs as global accounting standards, the IASB as a global accounting standard setter and the challenges for a US transition to IFRSs, including adoption and endorsement matters.

To assist staff in their analysis of the SEC staff report within an international context, the IFRS Foundation commissioned a study of existing academic research on the benefits and consequences of global accounting standards, which is published as an appendix to the staff analysis.

Commenting on the publication of the staff analysis, Michel Prada, chairman of the trustees, said: “In their February 2010 statement on global accounting standards, the SEC commissioners reaffirmed their strong commitment to a single set of global standards and the recognition that IFRSs were best placed to serve that role for US markets. The statement directed SEC staff to develop and execute a work plan to support this process and the final SEC staff report on IFRS was published in July 2012.

“The IFRS Foundation staff analysis…complements the findings of the SEC staff report with academic research as well as the experiences of other jurisdictions that have already completed their own transitions to IFRSs. Accordingly, the analysis should also be of use to other jurisdictions that are evaluating whether and how to adopt IFRSs.

“While acknowledging the challenges, the analysis conducted by the IFRS Foundation staff shows that there are no insurmountable obstacles for adoption of IFRSs by the US, and that it is well placed to achieve a successful transition to IFRSs, thus completing the objective repeatedly confirmed by the G20 leaders.”

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