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SEC Commissioner calls for end to debate over US GAAP v IFRS

Tuesday 14 April 2015

US Securities and Exchange Commissioner Kara Stein recently called for an end to the ongoing debate as to whether or not the US should switch to global accounting standards, stating that alternatives which incorporate the best of both rules should be explored.

She stated: "To be frank, this debate between dueling standards needs to move on. Neither regime worked ideally in the financial crisis, and neither may serve investors well in today's post-financial crisis, technologically disrupted, and data-driven world".

During her speech on March 26, 2015 at the Brooklyn Law School, Commissioner Stein voiced her opinions on accounting rules for the first time since joining the agency in 2013. Her viewpoint addressed the long-running debate over whether the SEC should phase out US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in favour of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) - which are currently used in over 100 countries.

Stein said in her remarks; "I am not convinced of a need to abandon US GAAP in favour of IFRS," and added: "I'm suggesting that, post-financial crisis, we think about the next step - where should accounting be in the 21st century, a century in which technology and globalization are transforming the way the entire world does business? ... We can adopt the best of what we have here in US GAAP, in IFRS, and the best of the new thinking out there."

One option currently being considered by the SEC is to allow companies to report their financial statements using both sets of standards.

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IASeminars started its business over 12 years ago simultaneously in the UK and the USA, and we have since remained close to the issue of IFRS vs. US GAAP differences (we teach both topics anyway!) and FASB / IASB convergence efforts. If you are also interested in such matters, please consider the following courses or contact us for a discussion about your specific training needs:

  • Comparison Courses
  • IFRS Courses
  • US GAAP Courses

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