Co-authored by James B. Anderson
On June 2, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) announced modifications to their timetable for, and prioritization of, standards being developed by these boards in connection with improving U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and achieving convergence of GAAP and IFRS. According to the joint statement issued by the FASB and IASB, these boards had previously set June 2011 as the target date for completing all major convergence projects. During the past few months, stakeholders voiced concerns about their ability to provide input on the large number of exposure drafts of standards planned for publication in the second quarter of this year. In response, the FASB and IASB are developing a modified strategy to take account of these concerns that would prioritize certain major projects and stagger publication of exposure drafts, resulting in the extension of the target completion dates for some convergence projects to the second half of 2011.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Chairman, Mary Schapiro, issued a statement on June 2 in which she indicated that the modification by the FASB and IASB to the timing for completion of certain convergence projects should not impact the SEC staff’s analyses under the Work Plan issued by the SEC in February 2010, the results of which will aid the SEC in its evaluation of the impact that the use of IFRS by U.S. issuers would have on the U.S. securities market. Chairman Schapiro also stated that the SEC remains on schedule for its determination in 2011 of whether and how to incorporate IFRS into the financial reporting system for U.S. issuers.