In a joint statement with China last week, the United States government reaffirmed its commitment to establishing global accounting rules. The goal has been in the works for more than a decade, and arguments and speculation about both the process and the timing continue.
The Securities and Exchange Commission
plans to publish a report on the adoption of international accounting standards in the next few weeks. However, there is concern that current S.E.C. chairwoman, Mary L. Schapiro may step down after the November election, and no action will be forthcoming until a replacement takes office.
A U.S. delay or partial U.S. adoption would have great impact on global adoption. If the United States continues to delay adoption, other countries will likely follow suite. Similarly, if the U.S. adopts international standards, but with a number of exceptions, other countries would follow their lead, creating a number of differing rules from country to country.
- Whether U.S. standards should be replaced with IFRS, or U.S. standards should remain independent but converged
- Who will bear the expense of adoption if IFRS standards are not an improvement to U.S. standards, and
- How will global enforcement of international standards be implemented.