IFRS in the US

Importance of being financially bilingual

Most of the world’s more significant capital markets now require IFRS, or some form thereof, for financial statements of public-interest entities. For specific country data, see the IASB’s jurisdictional profiles (https://www.ifrs.org/use-around-the-world/ use-of-ifrs-standards-by-jurisdiction/#profiles).

The remaining major capital markets without an IFRS mandate are:

  • The US, with no current plans to change for domestic registrants (full IFRS allowed for non-US filers);
  • Japan, where voluntary adoption is allowed, but no mandatory transition date has been established;
  • China, which has continued to amend Chinese Accounting Standards so that many of its principles are generally consistent with IFRS.

Many countries require or permit IFRS for statutory financial reporting purposes which impacts multinational companies (e.g., US companies with non-US subsidiaries). IFRS requirements elsewhere in the world also impact US companies through cross-border merger and acquisition activity. In practice, US subsidiaries of foreign parents, non-US subsidiaries of US companies, global buyers of US companies, and US buyers of foreign companies all need to understand IFRS. Accordingly, it is clear from a preparer perspective that being financially bilingual in the US is important.

From an investor perspective, the need to understand IFRS is arguably even greater. US investors keep looking overseas for investment opportunities. Recent estimates suggest that trillions of US capital is invested in foreign securities. The US markets also remain open to non-US companies that prepare their financial statements using IFRS. There are currently approximately 500 non-US filers with an aggregate market capitalization in the trillions of US dollars that use IFRS without reconciliation to US GAAP.

To assist investors and preparers in becoming financially bilingual, we are pleased to provide the following PwC resources.

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Andreas  Ohl

Andreas Ohl

Partner, National Professional Services Group, PwC US

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