Earlier this week, Financial Accounting Standards Board Chairman Robert Herz told those who comprise the Financial Crisis Advisory Group that U.S. Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards won't be reality for another 10 to 15 years. Not that this surprises many people, given the more pressing matters financial industry regulators are facing in the current economy.
CFO.com reports.that though IFRS is still an important goal, "politicians will focus on the 'exigencies of the day,' which may, or more likely, may not advance the convergence project." And though FCAG members feel for Herz as he and the FASB stand up to political pressure with regard to accounting standards changes, FCAG co-chair and former Securities and Exchange Commissioner Harvey Goldschmid said the United States must "get on or off the train" when it comes to convergence. And International Accounting Standards Board Chairman David Tweetie said there will be "pressure to cut the U.S. loose" from the convergence process if significant progress is not made.
Given the reluctance of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Schapiro to follow the current IFRS road map and the reality of the more pressing priorities created by the financial crisis, I would not be surprised if the idea of IFRS convergence is tabled for the foreseeable future -- or at least until the markets are more stable. As Compliance Week's Matt Kelly put it in a recent Twitter post, "FASB Chair Herz: No Convergence for 10-15 Years. Gee, you don't say... "