Commissioner Urges EU to Accept GAAP, Eliminate Reconciliation Requirement

Lora Bentley

Last week, the European Union's equivalent of SEC Chairman Christopher Cox praised the Securities and Exchange Commission's move to allow foreign companies listed in the U.S. to file with the SEC using the International Financial Reporting Standards. Charlie McCreevy, the European Union Commissioner for Internal Market and Services encouraged the EU to allow U.S. companies listed on European markets to file with the EU using GAAP rather than requiring IFRS reconciliation.


According to, the request to eliminate Europe's reconciliation requirement in the next year was met with mixed reaction:

[S]ome experts believe that by eliminating the reconciliation requirement regulators are rushing the convergence effort. They contend that the rulemakers' alleged haste leaves gaping discrepancies -- such as those related to lease and hedge accounting. The danger in accelerating convergence, some critics say, is that regulators would be forced to be more lenient with accounting oversight until a single set of standards were adopted.

And some in Europe, it seems, aren't satisfied with the SEC's efforts to accept IFRS, either. They say the U.S. regulator should accept two forms of the IFRS, according to the story -- the full set and a version tailored to Europe. To them, McCreevy says:

I am not sure if these [SEC] critics suffer from amnesia... [We have been] asking [the United States] with indefatigable stamina to accept IFRS ... so let us be serious here. We have got what we have been asking for. One hundred percent.

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