Friday, November 14, 2008

SEC Releases Proposed IFRS Roadmap; Important News for Subscribers

Props to Securities Mosaic’s subscription service which emailed an SEC Regulation Alert at 6:53 pm EST tonight that the SEC has posted (under proposed rules): “Roadmap for the Potential Use of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards by U.S. Issuers” (the IFRS Roadmap). There will be a 90 day comment period (ending 90 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.)

Excerpted below is the Summary provided in the first couple pages of SEC’s 165-page proposal:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is proposing aRoadmap for the potential use of financial statements prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board by U.S. issuers for purposes of their filings with the Commission. This Roadmap sets forth several milestones that, if achieved, could lead to the required use of IFRS by U.S. issuers in 2014 if the Commission believes it to be in the public interest and for the protection of investors. This Roadmap also includes discussion of various areas of consideration for market participants related to the eventual use of IFRS in the United States. As part of the Roadmap, the Commission is proposing amendments to various regulations, rules and forms that would permit early use of IFRS by a limited number of U.S. issuers where this would enhance the comparability of financial information to investors. Only an issuer whose industry uses IFRS as the basis of financial reporting more than any other set of standards would be eligible to elect to use IFRS, beginning with filings in 2010.”

Although perhaps coincidental, (after all, the roadmap was approved for release by the Commission on Aug. 27) issuance of the proposed IFRS roadmap today coincides with the start of the two-day G-20 economic summit in Washington, D.C. (Alan Rappeport of reported on Oct. 31, citing SEC spokesman John Nester, that the roadmap was expected to be published the first week in November, and Tim Reason of reported on Nov. 6 that the roadmap was expected to be published on Friday Nov. 7. I noted my personal opinion in this blog on Nov. 11 that, after reading the IASCF's Nov. 11 letter to the G-20, I believed "The likelihood [of issuing the roadmap coincident with the G-20 meeting] may have increased in light of the imminent announcement of the formation of the IASCF Monitoring Board, which is expected to be announced 'during the next few weeks,' according to the IASCF letter to the G-20.")

In remarks welcoming the G-20 members tonight, President George W. Bush said, “Tomorrow's discussion will be the first in a series of meetings… focus[ing] on five key objectives:

1. understanding the causes of the global crisis
2. reviewing the effectiveness of our responses thus far
3. identifying principles for reforming our financial and regulatory systems
4. launching a specific action plan to implement those principles, and
5. reaffirming our conviction that free market principles offer the surest path to lasting prosperity.

Read the President’s complete remarks. Here is a list of delegates to the G-20 meeting.

Want to learn more about IFRS and the latest regulatory developments? It’s not too late to register for FEI’s Current Financial Reporting Issues (CFRI) conference taking place Monday and Tuesday Nov. 17 and 18 in NYC, with updates from the SEC, FASB and IASB - info is at And, for a deep dive in IFRS, register for the follow-on session, IFRS: Strategies for Adopting a Single Set of Standards, sponsored by Deloitte, taking place Wed. Nov. 19 in NYC.

Important News for Subscribers

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