PwC’s 2013 edition of “IFRS and US GAAP: Similarities and Differences” highlights critical need to be financially “bilingual” in today’s capital markets

Understanding global accounting standards key as companies increasingly look overseas for growth opportunities

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 2013 PwC US today released the 2013 edition of its popular “IFRS and US GAAP: Similarities and Differences” guide which highlights the critical role of being financially “bilingual” in the US—fluent in both IFRS and US GAAP accounting standards.  It is designed to improve companies’ broad understanding of the major differences between International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP). 

Financial “bilingualism” - fluency in both US GAAP and IFRS - is becoming increasingly important from the investor viewpoint as companies look overseas to identify new growth opportunities. For example, recent estimates suggest that over $6 trillion of US capital is invested in securities of non-US companies, many of whom are IFRS preparers. For US preparers, public or private, big or small, knowledge of IFRS is equally important.

“Although a potential mandatory change to IFRS for US public companies is a longer-term vision, IFRS is increasingly relevant now to many US businesses as they engage in cross-border M&A, report to their non-US stakeholders, and manage their overseas operations,” said David Schmid, International Accounting Leader of PwC US.

Though US GAAP and IFRS continue to move closer together, there remain differences in accounting recognition, measurement, and disclosure requirements. These differences can be especially notable in the fast-paced world of global M&A.

“Understanding the differences and their impact on key deal metrics will lead to a more informed decision-making process,” said Schmid. “It can also help minimize last-minute surprises that can significantly impact deal value or completion.”

To assist deal-makers, investors and preparers in obtaining, maintaining, or enhancing this bilingual skill, PwC’s publication provides a broad understanding of the major differences between US GAAP and IFRS as they exist today, as well as an appreciation for the significant level of change on the horizon.


For more information and to download the PDF or online interactive reader versions of PwC’s complete 2013 guide on these issues, please visit:




About US GAAP Change & IFRS

For additional insight, resources, and updates on the US GAAP convergence projects, please visit PwC’s US GAAP Change & IFRS website at


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Krista Eccleston, Edelman