AICPA Applauds SEC Staff Report Reviewing IFRS; Presses for Decision

August 15, 2012

The American Institute of CPAs commended the staff report of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission analyzing the issues surrounding adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards in the United States and urged the Commission to decide whether U.S. public companies should be allowed or required to adopt IFRS for their financial reporting.

AICPA President and CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA said the July 13, 2012 report is a “thoughtful analysis” about the preparation of a comprehensive report regarding incorporation of IFRS into the financial reporting system for U.S. public companies.

“The AICPA has long supported the goal of a single set of high quality, global financial reporting standards to be used by public companies in the preparation of transparent and comparable financial reports throughout the world.” Melancon said.  “The AICPA believes that IFRS are best positioned to become those global standards.”
“We applaud the SEC staff for its robust efforts to review IFRS and we urge the Commissioners to consider the staff report with expediency because the world’s capital markets know no borders.  The participants in those markets need high quality, transparent, and comparable financial information to enable them to make sound investment decisions,” Melancon said.

To date, the SEC has not said when the staff would make a recommendation about IFRS adoption or when the SEC would take up the matter.

“We also urge the Commissioners to allow U.S. public companies the option to adopt IFRS,” he said.  An adoption option would provide a level of consistency in the treatment of U.S. companies and foreign private issuers that report under IFRS that does not exist today, and would facilitate the comparison of U.S. companies that elect IFRS with their non-U.S. competitors that use IFRS.

The SEC invited comments to its report. Use the SEC’s internet comment form or send an e-mail to

A detailed discussion of the SEC staff report appears in a July 13, 2012 Journal of Accountancy story.