Contact: William Roberts
AICPA RECOMMENDS U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION USE INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS
WASHINGTON (Nov. 14, 2007) — The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants recommended the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission take comprehensive steps to harmonize U.S. and international financial reporting, including allowing American public companies to report financial results using international accounting standards.
“The AICPA supports the goal of a single set of high-quality, comprehensive accounting standards to be used by public companies in the preparation of transparent and comparable financial reports throughout the world,” said AICPA Chairman Randy G. Fletchall and President and CEO Barry C. Melancon in a comment letter to the SEC.
“We believe one common accounting language would benefit investors, as well as issuers and the capital markets, because it would facilitate the comparison of reporting entities domiciled in different countries,” Fletchall and Melancon said in the letter.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is weighing whether to allow U.S. firms to report financial results using international standards (IFRS) rather than U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The AICPA recommended the SEC gather information on the likely number of public companies who would choose to issue reports using IFRS as part of a comprehensive SEC rulemaking based on responses to its current concept release.
Because IFRS are less detailed than U.S. GAAP, the AICPA encouraged the SEC to prepare for greater use of reasoned, professional judgment by CPAs in the application of IFRS.
The AICPA urged the SEC to solicit user feedback after giving U.S. issuers an IFRS option in order to gauge how well international accounting and reporting standards would meet U.S. investors’ information needs and determine what, if any, adjustments may be needed.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (www.aicpa.org) is the national, professional association of CPAs, with more than 350,000 members, including CPAs in business and industry, public practice, government, and education; student affiliates; and international associates. It sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies; federal, state and local governments; and non-profit organizations. It also develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.
The AICPA is the sponsor of a national public-education effort called 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy (www.360financialliteracy.org), designed to improve the financial understanding of Americans at all age levels. A related campaign, Feed the Pig (www.feedthepig.org), co-sponsored with the Ad Council, is designed to help Americans 25 – 34 save for long-term financial security.
The AICPA maintains offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Durham, N.C.; Ewing, NJ; and Lewisville, TX.
Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Online Media Center at www.aicpa.org/mediacenter.
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