This publication helps readers get a broad understanding of the major differences between IFRS and US GAAP today — as well as an appreciation for the level of change on the horizon. While not every difference between IFRS and US GAAP is covered here, the differences we generally consider to be the most significant and/or most common are spotlighted.
Changes for our 2012 edition include:
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In July 2012, the Staff of the SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant published its final report on its IFRS Work Plan. The report states that adopting IFRS as authoritative guidance in the United States is not supported by the vast majority of participants in the US capital markets, and would not be consistent with the methods of incorporation followed by other major capital markets (e.g., the endorsement process used for the European Union). On the other hand, the Staff found substantial support for exploring other methods of incorporating IFRS (that demonstrate the US commitment to the objective of a single set of high-quality, globally accepted accounting standards).
Despite the unclear adoption timeline from the SEC, we believe the impact of accounting changes resulting from the FASB's and IASB's efforts will be significant and will have broad based implications. IFRS has already influenced US GAAP and we believe this influence will continue.
Four main challenges that merit companies' attention include: