Deloitte Global chief executive Jim Quigley has urged the US
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to set a time frame for
the transition towards IFRS in the US in order to allow the market
time to prepare for the radical shift.

Quigley expressed his views to the International Accounting
Bulletin
as Deloitte’s US firm released research that
indicates companies are warming towards adopting the global
standards.

“What I would like to see happen is that we would have the SEC
move in that direction and I believe the pattern that has been
followed in other capital markets is a pattern that has enabled the
smooth and non-disruptive transition from one set of standards to
another,” he said.

“That pattern has been declaring a certain date when all
registrants would be required to file in accordance with those new
standards and having a very clear roadmap to arrive at that
destination. By providing a time in that declaration of, or
requirement for, movement to IFRS, it allows the supply chain for
that information to be built.

Quigley continued: “It allows companies to put in place the
policies that they need to have that allows them to deal with any
systems changes that will be required. It enables them time that
would be needed for training and development and coming up the
learning curve with respect to a new set of standards. Then you can
make that transition in a non-disruptive way.

“We are working with clients today as they prepare for IFRS
readiness in the US and helping them lay out their own individual
roadmap to enable a smooth and effective transition.”

Quigley’s comments on an IFRS schedule were recently echoed by
the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

There is speculation within the US profession that the SEC will
gradually phase in the choice for US companies to use IFRS within a
five-year period.

A new survey by Deloitte indicates that US companies’ interest
levels in adopting IFRS is on the rise.

Thirty percent of CFOs and other senior finance professionals
surveyed said they would consider adopting IFRS if given the choice
within the next three years. Another 28 percent of respondents said
they either lacked sufficient information to make a decision about
IFRS, or they were simply undecided, leaving room for IFRS use to
increase further.

Deloitte asked the same question in a survey six months earlier
and only 20 percent of respondents said they would consider
adopting IFRS if given the choice by the SEC.

Although this is only a 10 percent rise in IFRS interest, it is
a sign that the world’s largest economy is slowly but surely making
steps towards adopting global accounting standards.

Deloitte US IFRS Solutions Centre partner DJ Gannon commented:
“As analysts and investors continue to accept IFRS as a reporting
basis, the conversion to IFRS will impact the accounting industry
both at the professional level and at the universities.

“It is important that professionals are in place and are
equipped with the right education and training to support this
industry event. Deloitte recently announced its IFRS University
Consortium as a collaborative effort with the academic community to
accelerate integration of IFRS into college curriculums.”

Arvind Hickman