NY CPAs Don't Like the Current IFRS Roadmap

Lora Bentley

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants isn't happy with the Securities and Exchange Commission's current roadmap for International Financial Reporting Standards adoption. According to CFO.com, the group recently submitted a comment letter to the commission that detailed its objections.


Of utmost concern, the story says, is whether the decision-making process used by the International Accounting Standards Board in developing the standards is sufficient to create quality standards in the future. Specifically, the letter says:

One area of concern is the influence of various national regulators, users, and others who promote the interests of their specific constituencies, as opposed to the needs of the worldwide community. For example, in its recent actions, the IASB permitted retroactive reclassification of financial assets out of held-for-trading category, which allowed companies to "cherry pick" assets with significant losses and reverse those losses out of net income.

Secondly, the accountants say that in touting the comparability of statements prepared with IFRS, the SEC has failed to consider the fact that IFRS is implemented differently in different countries. Given that fact, it's likely that the level of comparability isn't as high as it may seem at first blush.


Also at issue is the uncertainty surrounding the length of our current financial crisis and whether it is wise to pursue IFRS implementation so quickly when we don't know how far the crisis will extend.


Interestingly, these are some of the same concerns that new SEC Chair Mary Schapiro raised when she took her position in January. If the NYSSCPA's comment letter is typical of those the SEC is receiving in this public comment period, there is no doubt the roadmap will be significantly revamped.

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