With SEC Decision on IFRS Anticipated by Year-End, PwC Releases New Guide Comparing Accounting Standards

Publication Highlights Major Accounting Developments in the Past Year

Oct 26, 2011, 10:00 ET from PwC

NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As the SEC contemplates changes that would significantly change the US financial reporting system, PwC US today released an updated edition of its popular "IFRS and US GAAP: Similarities and Differences" guide. The purpose of the guide is to improve companies' understanding of the changes to, and major differences between, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP). Previous editions have been among PwC's most-downloaded publications.

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The SEC has indicated that by year-end it will decide on next steps regarding whether, when, and how IFRS should be incorporated into the US financial reporting system. Meanwhile, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) continue to deliberate on key convergence projects, which they plan to finalize in the latter half of 2012.  

Although the future of IFRS in the US financial reporting system is uncertain, IFRS already affects US companies today due to cross-border mergers and acquisitions, through the adoption of IFRS for statutory purposes by non-US subsidiaries, and in business dealings with non-US customers and vendors.

The 2011 edition of PwC's guide "IFRS and US GAAP: Similarities and Differences" alerts companies to the timing and scope of changes that US GAAP / IFRS convergence, and the potential move towards IFRS in the United States, could bring about.  It also provides context showing how convergence with, or adoption of, IFRS can have ramifications far beyond the accounting department.

The guide has been updated to reflect the major changes related to market conditions and new accounting standards over the past year. Updates include:

  • Revised introduction reflecting the current status, likely next steps, and what companies should be doing now (page 2);
  • Updated convergence timeline, including current proposed timing of exposure drafts, deliberations, comment periods, and final standards (page 7);
  • More current analysis of the differences between IFRS and US GAAP – including an assessment of the impact embodied within the differences (starting on page 17); and
  • Details incorporating authoritative standards and interpretive guidance issued through July 31, 2011 (throughout).

Guided by the 2011 edition of IFRS and US GAAP: Similarities and Differences, both public and private organizations will gain a greater understanding of what their next steps should be to ensure they have allowed themselves sufficient time to prepare for the transition.  For more on PwC's US IFRS resources, visit www.pwc.com/USifrs.

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