Outgoing global head of
Pricewaterhouse-Coopers Sam DiPiazza is confident US regulators are
sticking to the IFRS road map proposed by the US Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) last year.

“Some question the US commitment to IFRS,”
DiPiazza told an International Accounting Standards Committee
(IASC) Foundation conference this month. “But I don’t believe
that’s what we’re hearing from the US.”

DiPiazza said he hears US regulators are
remaining true to the road map, which would see the decision
whether to adopt IFRS made in 2011.

When SEC chair Mary Schapiro took office at
the beginning of this year, she indicated she would not adhere to
the proposed road map, prepared during the time of her predecessor
Christopher Cox, without properly considering other options. This
raised fears the process of convergence between US GAAP and IFRS
might be jeopardised.

However, DiPiazza said that positive noises
have been coming from the US in recent weeks. He noted that
Schapiro said it was important to have a single set of financial
reporting standards, although she did make it clear they must suit
US companies.

Hopes for a US shift to IFRS were also given a
major boost by President Barack Obama’s recent proposals for an
overhaul of the US financial regulatory system. The plans recommend
the Financial Accounting Standards Board, International Accounting
Standards Board and SEC make substantial progress towards a single
set of high quality global accounting standards by the end of
2009.

DiPiazza said there is opposition coming from
some US preparers, who are complaining about the cost of adopting
IFRS and asking what is in it for them. But he added the SEC and
the Obama administration know adoption is essential and is
confident the time frame outlined in the road map is
attainable.