Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chief Accountant May Speak On IFRS Roadmap Next Week

In remarks before a FASB advisory group earlier today, an SEC staff member said that SEC's Chief Accountant is expected to speak about the status of SEC’s consideration of its IFRS roadmap when he speaks at an industry conference next week.

NOTE TO READERS: Since next week still falls before the ‘end of fall’ – the time period by which, SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro previously said, the SEC will speak publicly on this issue, and given that, as previously pointed out by SEC Chief Accountant Jim Kroeker in earlier remarks at various conferences this year, ‘fall’ ends by Dec. 21 – it is possible Kroeker will largely reiterate previous remarks when he speaks at the annual AICPA National conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments next week. However, given the high visibility of SEC staff remarks at the AICPA conference, it is possible Kroeker may use the opportunity to announce something more formal in terms of the SEC’s planned ‘next steps’ for its IFRS roadmap. (According to SEC’s listing of upcoming events, Kroeker is scheduled to speak at the AICPA conference on Mon. Dec. 7.)

“Next Steps” For IFRS Roadmap
Providing an SEC update at this morning’s joint meeting of FASB’s Small Business Advisory Committee (SBAC) and Private Company Financial Reporting Committee (PCFRC) SEC Senior Associate Chief Accountant Jenifer Minke-Girard reiterated key points that had been given by Kroeker at an AICPA-IASCF conference in October, and at FEI’s Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference in November, with respect to the status of the SEC’s IFRS roadmap, which was released by the SEC last November. For example, Minke-Girard noted that over 200 comment letters were received by the April comment deadline, and that the staff has been working since that time in reviewing the comments.

“Most respondents in general were in agreement with the idea of having one global set of standards,” said Minke-Girard; she noted that some commenters did not agree with that position, but that was the general consensus.

However, she added, there were still “a lot of different views whether U.S. companies should go to IFRS, different views on timing, whether we should just let the convergence process work.”

“Certainly a lot of commenters point[ed]] out issues that would need to be addressed,” she added, noting, “[SEC] staff are identifying what are the key issues in moving U.S. companies to IFRS – if that is what the Commission were going to do,” and that the SEC staff, will be “trying to put out some kind of next steps on that.”

SEC Will Be “Putting Out Something Soon”
Commenting on the pressure to announce something more specific, Minke-Girard told attendees at the FASB advisory group meeting, “I realize people have said to me, it’s just that there has been so little from Commission staff this year, people seem to parse every sentence, look for clues.”

After reiterating Kroeker’s earlier statements - that an announcement will be made ‘this fall’ and that fall ends on Dec. 21 - Minke-Girard stated, “For those who will attend the AICPA Conference next week, I expect Jim Kroeker will talk about this next week.” She added that the text of Kroeker’s speech is expected to be posted on the SEC website.

Parsers can take keep themselves busy with this statement offered today by Minke-Girard: “I am authorized to say we will be putting out something soon.”

UPDATE: You can listen to the archived webcast of the FASB PCFRC-SBAC meeting which took place on Dec. 3-4, 2009 at:

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