IFRS Article Review
The title of the article that I choice to discuss for the article review is entitled “IFRS Adoption in the U.S.: Why the Postponement? ”, written by Qun and Kenneth Hiltebeitel.
The article came from the The CPA Journal, November 2010 Issue . In the article the writer’s main focus is on IFRS, which are principles based Standards, Interpretations and the Framework adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board. The article most importantly analyzes the survey results of the targeted audience to decide if IFRS will be ready by the proposed date.
The SEC initially created a proposed Roadmap, which outlined when IFRS, would be put into transition by small and large public companies to be changed from financial reporting based on the U. S. Generally Accounting Principle being in 2014 to 2016. The proposed roadmap stated if the filings of 2014 from large companies be made they would be required to include a certain amount of balance sheets, income statements, statement of cash flows, and changes in stockholder’s equity for specific dates. Also, those companies adopting IFRS for the first time would have to present a beginning balance sheet, v. . a. the date of transition. The IFRS adoption for the year of 2014 could really mean as early as 2012. After this decision made by SEC in 2008, just as any major decision in the U. S. , more than 200 letters and surveys were submitted by people in and affected in the accounting or financial world. These surveys helped to shape the decision of the SEC in regards to the date of transition. Hiltebeitel discusses three different types of surveys from different places and people: a survey of executive officers, a survey of accounting professionals, and a survey of accounting educators.
In the survey of executive officers three accounting firms were discussed in “Exibit 1” of the article. Each firm wad asked different questions but the overall message was conveyed as the same. The survey conducted at Grant Thorton LLP, it was taken of financial executives and CFO’s. When asked the question “ Do you believe the U. S. should require the use of IFRS” 50% of the executives selected the answer of “in 5 years or longer”. The second firm of the study was Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
The survey was directed to manager’s directors and CFO’s. 51% of the company was at the learning stage. Most of the companies’ executives had knowledge about the change to IFRS but had no plan to action for IFRS. Deloitte was the third to be surveyed and what was found out was quite the similar to the first two firms findings. After one survey was completed Hiltebeitel was already concluding in the article that most of the U. S. companies would not be ready for the switch in 2014. The second survey was conducted with accounting professionals.
The AICPA took an “IFRS Readiness Survey”. The survey was both done in the year 2008 and 2009 and were to be completed online. The percentages of the survey increased and decreased between the two years with regards to the many questions but the main one of if firms would be ready for the transition. Moreover, eventhough CPA’s were preparing for the change with IFRS, they still had a lot of evident work to do before the change. Lastly, the third survey in the article was of the accounting educators.
Educators argued points about not up to date textbooks, extensive needed case studies, and college administrators last minute and not so serious attitude, being the main issue for their hold up in regards to the transition into IFRS in the education sector. Educators were on the side that IFRS should indeed be apart of the curriculum (80%) due to the foresight of “the first graduating class of accounting students to enter the work force with a substantial knowledge of the IFRS education will be the class of 2015”. With that being said a lot of work needs to be done in the education side as well.
In conclusion, the SEC responded to all of the surveys, comments, and letters by a published statement . The surveys presented in this article helped to bring about the points of this article and helped to shape the most important factors of will the U. S. be indeed ready for the transition in 2014. The answer according to the writer is no. The surveys , comments, and letters did help to influence the SEC decision of IFRS ( as of Feb. 2010), and the exact date of timing of the transition of IFRS is unsure. Will the public companies, accounting firms, and educators be ready?