Exploring the convergence of IFRS and US GAAP Essay


In the beginning of twelvemonth 2010, SEC ( U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision ) issued a statement showing its continued support for the development of a individual set of high – quality globally accepted accounting criterions and recognized IFRS as being best positioned to function that function.

The thought of individual – globally recognized fiscal coverage system, has been around for rather some clip. The chief ends of such thought are the betterment of overall fiscal coverage cognition, therefore by, cut downing state – by – state disparity in fiscal coverage. This in bend, would ease cross – boundary line capital formation while besides assisting to supply investors with the comparable and material information they need to do informed determinations about investing chances. In my personal oppinion it is impossible to hold a existent planetary market, with 20 different accounting criterions, it is the best illustration of innefficiency. Clear, accurate, consistent and dependable accounting criterions are necessary for investors to hold the information necessary to do determinations. The worlds world is of globalisation and the integrating of capital markets and outgrowth of IFRS as a dependable and high quality set of criterions. What is most imporatant to recognize in this procedure of convergence, is that both accounting criterions ( the US GAAP and IFRS ) are taken a considerable portion in their integrating. Not merely one of the accounting criterion is traveling through a alteration, but from both of them a new criterion is emerging, which can give the best replies to the users of fiscal describing information.

The accounting profession is in the thick of a great alteration in the fiscal coverage system. US acceptance of International Financial Reporting Standards ( IFRS ) is speed uping at a rapid gait. This has been greatly influenced by the planetary economic state of affairs in the universe. Presents, about 100 states around the universe require or premit IFRS in changing grades. Since the twelvemonth 2007, the SEC allowed foreign companies to register their fiscal statements in the IFRS. The Financial Accounting Standards Board ( FASB ) and the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) have been working working to decide the differences between the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ( US GAAP ) and the International Financial Reporting Standards ( IFRS ) .

Accounting criterions around the universe have evolved over centuries of concern

and capital market development. In this procedure, accounting criterions historically

were designed to run into the demands of each state ‘s capital markets. Those criterions that were found to work good in the legal, cultural, political and economic

context of each state became the “ by and large accepted accounting rules, ” or

GAAP, for that peculiar legal power. Naturally, different norms in each state led

to different GAAPs in each state.

The turning moral force of globalisation presented a challenge to these “ bequest

systems. ” Global protocols for the cyberspace, electronic payments, package systems and cargo transportation demonstrated the possible value of unvarying planetary

systems. A treatment began among market participants over whether the planetary

capital markets would likewise profit by holding a individual set of high-quality accounting criterions that could be applied around the universe.

In order to make a unvarying planetary system for fiscal coverage, the IASB was

formed to function as the planetary accounting standard-setting organic structure. In 2001, the IASB initiated the first loop of IFRS, offering the possibility of a individual set of high-quality accounting criterions that could be used by all states. Since 2001, IFRS has become recognized or been adopted for public coverage intents in over 100 states, including the 27 member-states of the European Union. Others scheduled to follow in the following few old ages include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Korea, Singapore and Mexico. In add-on, in June 2009, Japan approved a roadmap for the acceptance of IFRS which includes an election for Nipponese companies to get down voluntarily utilizing IFRS instantly. As more and more states adopt IFRS, a robust conversation has begun about whether the United States should take this measure or otherwise take part in a procedure that leads to the credence of more unvarying planetary accounting criterions for usage in the U.S.

The end is that over clip the differences between IFRS and US GAAP could steadily be diminished and finally the two sets of criterions would be basically, if non wholly, indistinguishable. While advancement has been made to cut down the differences between IFRS and US GAAP, the velocity at which that advancement has been made has been well slower than originally anticipated. In add-on, there are some who believe that convergence is improbable to acquire to the point where the two sets of criterions are genuinely indistinguishable. This position has led some to name for the United States to follow IFRS outright to replace US GAAP. In that vena, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) in November 2008 proposed a “ Roadmap for the Potential Use of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with IFRS by U.S. Issuers ” ( the Proposed Roadmap ) .

This “ roadmap ” detailed a program, with associated mileposts and action points, by which public companies in the United States could transition from fiscal describing based on US GAAP to IFRS get downing in 2014. Under the roadmap, the passage to IFRS would blossom in several phases, with certain big companies being granted the ability to do the passage before 2014. In the coming old ages, a figure of mileposts would necessitate to be achieved in footings of fixing concerns, academic establishments, the accounting profession, and legal and regulative systems for the passage.

What are the chances of holding a planetary fiscal coverage system? A individual set of high-quality planetary accounting criterions would increase the ability of companies to raise capital in multiple legal powers around the universe while at the same clip leting investors to more expeditiously compare planetary investing chances. Already, as antecedently stated, more than 100 states have adopted or accepted IFRS, including most of the universe ‘s developed economic systems. At this point, it is just to state that IFRS is going the planetary norm. If the United States were to follow IFRS, it would be fall ining much of the remainder of the universe, which would supply a powerful push toward world-wide credence of a individual set of planetary accounting criterions. Cross-border investing and the integrating of capital markets may be easier among those states that adopt IFRS. By taking non to follow IFRS, the United States may run the hazard of seeing investors and concerns displacement to fiscal centres in those states that use IFRS, instead than accept the load of holding to run in both IFRS and US GAAP

Literature Review

IASB – The IASB is based in London and is overseen by the International Accounting Standards Committee ( IASC ) Foundation, which is a private, not-for-profit corporation. The IASC Foundation is governed by 22 legal guardians from geographically diverse backgrounds. The IASB is comprised of 15 members from different states around the universe. The current board consists of members from five EU member-states, China, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and five Americans. The IASB is funded through national levies every bit good as voluntary parts from around the universe, including big international companies, regulators, standard compositors and international accounting houses.

FASB – The FASB is the independent standard-setting organic structure in the United States. The FASB was established in 1973 with the end of guaranting greater objectiveness and independency in the standard-setting procedure. The FASB is organized as a non-profit, private sector organisation. The FASB is overseen by the Financial Accounting Foundation ( FAF ) , which selects the members of the FASB and financess its operations through appraisals on public companies. The FASB is comprised of five board members who all serve on a full-time footing and are required to break up ties to other private sector houses in order to continue independency. Current board members include representatives from academe, the accounting profession and the investor community.

IFRS – IFRS is a more “ principles-based ” set of accounting criterions than US GAAP. As such, it may let companies and hearers to concentrate less on rigorous attachment to detailed demands and “ bright lines, ” and alternatively concentrate on supplying a clear statement of an entity ‘s appraisal of the economic worlds of its concern activities. Some surveies have suggested that this principles-based attack allows for, and in fact, incentivizes companies to supply fiscal studies that offer a more crystalline image of the house ‘s economic status.

US GAAP – a set of accounting criterions, that is used in the United States of America. It is rather more rigorous set of regulations than the IFRS. A simple illustration would be the one in the instance of Microsoft. Microsoft has policy of giving their workers a figure of portions, after some period of clip. There is a wages of 100 Microsoft shres, for each employee in the chief offices of Microsoft, which he will be entitled to after holding worked for at least 5 old ages in the company. Harmonizing to US GAAP, this disbursal is disposed over those 5 old ages in equal sum. So if the NPV of the stock is $ 20, so the whole disbursal would be $ 2000 dollars for each employee. The one-year disbursal harmonizing to GAAP, is precisely 1/5th of the entire disbursal, and in this instance it will be $ 400. On the other manus IFRS, treats this disbursal, in my sentiment, in a more realistic mode. It shows a more accurate significance of the day of the month when this disbursal has occurred, which makes more sense to the users of this fiscal information. Harmonizing to IFRS regulations ( IFRS – 2 ) , the disbursal is depreciated over the 5 old ages, in such mode that the first twelvemonth will transport most of the disbursal, over 40 % in this exact instance. The concluding twelvemonth, or the 5th twelvemonth for us, will demo less than 5 % of the whole disbursal, which makes this type of fiscal describing more focussed on the historical happening of event.

Overview of Methodology

The information I intend to utilize in this thesis, will be largely secondary informations, which means I will utilize beginnings such as books ( published by verified writers ) , interviews from the experts in this field, every bit good as any other agencies of publications that I can make.

The nature of this subject doesnt let me to have informations from people outside this concern, even people closely working in the field, as non likely have an indepth – cognition as to what is precisely traveling on in fiscal describing systems outside their ain state or field.

The subject I think is rather an interesting one, is why did the United States of America, accept meeting their Generally accepted accounting principles to IFRS, and overall why did they accept IFRS as the criterion that will be used by the US companies, in non that distant hereafter? The grounds are legion factors, and throughout my surveies, I have seen that the US have been contending for the domination of GAAP in the planetary fiscal describing systems, but that merely said did non go on, as presents over 100 countires in the universe have or intend to accept IFRS as their system of fiscal coverage. The grounds for this may be in the turning power of states such as China, Brazil, etc. which have decided to meet to the IFRS. Those illustrations have evidently been followed by their surrounding states, and it had extended that much, that it is clear presents that IFRS is here to remain. So why did that many states decided to follow and follow or meet their system of fiscal coverage to IFRS? The reaason is foreign capital. States want to have tonss of foreign capital, and the best manner to make that is to hold the investors informed in the manner which they can understand. It will be inevitable to hold clear fiscal stantements in the hereafter, clear in a mode that they can be read and analyzed across the whole universe, without any 2nd conjectures what they could intend. A state that can follow universe tendencies, and the 1 that adapts to the investment states, will hold a bigger opportunity of pulling foreign capital, than the 1 that uses a fiscal coverage system which can merely be applied or read in a few figure of states. United States of America have recognized this job, and have made the determination to meet their ain set of fiscal coverage criterions, the GAAP, to the IFRS. Most of the US companies, which file their ain fiscal coverage statements harmonizing to US GAAP, in state ( USA ) , file harmonizing to the regulations and pratices of IFRS, in the states where they have their subordinates. When consolidations are made, or even any other sort of sharing the information between the chief company and its subsidiariez, huge work is needed to be done, in order to interpret the fiscal statements from IFRS to GAAP, or frailty versa. This creates a whole batch of work, that can be eliminated by holding a clear and planetary set of fiscal coverage criterions. However that entirely, will necessitate significant sums of investements, because systems that have been utilizing GAAP, which are rather complex to state at least, will necessitate to be modified or wholly changed with the 1s utilizing the IFRS. For many companies this passage will be rather lurid and expensive, but in the long tally it is rather clear that it is the right thing to make, in todays universe of planetary markets.

Preliminary Decisions

The determinations about the hereafter of accounting criterions in the United States involve complex and ambitious inquiries. While there are important benefits for investors, concerns, and the full economic system of holding all states

move to a individual, unvarying set of high-quality accounting criterions, there are a

figure of considerations that need to be evaluated in doing such a passage. In order for the United States to successfully transition to IFRS, it will necessitate a important attempt and investing from virtually all market participants in the capital markets system. Passage to IFRS would increase the demand for preparation and instruction for investors, comptrollers, hearers and others involved in the readying and usage of fiscal statements. Businesss would necessitate to incorporate new package platforms and adjust their coverage processes to reflect the demands of IFRS – this includes alterations to internal control demands and informations garnering systems that presently are designed to run into US GAAP criterions. Investors ( both persons and establishments ) and loaners would necessitate to go familiar with fiscal studies prepared in conformity with IFRS. For illustration, loaning understandings would necessitate to be modified to let for and see describing under IFRS.

Another facet I would wish to cover with this thesis are the cultural differences between the United States of America and the Europe. As we all know the most popular athletics presently in Europe ( every bit good as the remainder of the universe ) is Football. It is rather an initeresting subject as to why Football, as it is, is non one of the most popular athleticss in USA. It is non even in the top 3 most popular athleticss at that place. I have found a logical account, through my ain experiences at that place, every bit good as through negotiations with people populating at that place. The fact that the game of Football, is that much voulnerable to umpire errors, merely shocks the mean citizen of the USA. They are really vulnerable to injustice, and most of them do non see the point of playing a game, if it has such a high chance that the referee might do a error, which could wholly change the result of the game. As we know in the American football, about after every action, and when a referee needs to step in, the game is stopped and reviewed. After closely holding reviewed the drama, referee than announces his determination over a speaker unit so that every witness can hear what has happened, and what is the referees verdict on that instance. That is fundamentally the biggest difference in the two most popular athleticss in the USA and the remainder of the World. Which can be correlated to US GAAP and IFRS. US GAAP, as it is, is a more rigorous set of regulations. In my sentiment the convergence, when it happens in the US, will non be that flooring to most companies as to understanding the new regulations, because of the nature of GAAP which is already more rigorous than the IFRS, and those alterations will hold already been someplace in GAAP.

The procedure of convergence of US GAAP and IFRS, is inevitable and it is happeneing even as I write these pages. The Securities and Exchange Commision ( SEC ) has posted the program of convergence in the USA. By this program, twelvemonth 2015 is regarded as the get downing twelvemonth, in which companies could be mandated to describe fiscal consequences utilizing the IFRS. Currently we are in the passage old ages, and twelvemonth 2013, as stated by SEC, is regarded as the twelvemonth which will tag the beginning of the first comparative IFRS twelvemonth.