More CPAs prepared for IFRS today than a year ago

Feb 07, 2012

Aug 30, 2011

AICPA survey tracks readiness

Most CPAs have some knowledge of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and are building their expertise in the area, according to an AICPA survey gauging U.S. CPAs’ readiness for IRFS. The report comes as FASB and the world’s standard setters work on a plan to converge accounting standards.

However, more public companies are delaying preparations today than they were six months ago, when a survey showed that 63% were delaying, watching and waiting for an official timeline.

Survey highlights:

  • 78% of CPAs have some knowledge of IFRS. The level of familiarity ranges from a rudimentary understanding of high-level concepts to enough expertise to train others.
  • Approval of U.S. adoption of IFRS is strong: 53% support an SEC mandate requiring use of IFRS in the U.S. and another 23% think IFRS should be offered as a financial reporting option for public companies.
  • 70% of those surveyed said they were aware that FASB and the IASB were working this year to converge U.S. and global standards on revenue recognition, leases and financial instruments. However, large majorities were unsure whether the proposed new standards and accompanying guidance in these areas would be improvements over existing standards.
  • Only 16% of respondents said that they had heard of the SEC’s “condorsement” model proposal. The SEC has requested feedback on its “condorsement” framework by July 31.

FASB and the IASB plan to issue a revised proposal in the third quarter to overhaul rules on revenue recognition. Companies, investors and other observers will have 120 days to comment.

FASB and the IASB initially wanted the new rule and other major convergence projects to be done by the end of June. In April, the boards pushed that target back to the end of 2011. The latest move will delay the revenue-recognition rule further. Final issuance of the rule is now expected in 2012.