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September 29, 2009

US students disadvantaged by I

The US economy and students will be at a disadvantage if regulators do not adopt IFRS and universities do not take immediate steps to adapt coursework, according to a recent survey by KPMG US and the American Accounting Association.

Half of the 500 professors who responded to the survey, conducted in July and August, said they thought a low sense of urgency existed among US regulators to adopt IFRS by a certain date. Only 16 percent thought regulators had a high sense of urgency.

Nearly half of respondents believed the US should transition to IFRS to remain competitive in the global market and three-quarters thought IFRS needed to be immediately incorporated into their school’s curriculum.

A large percentage of respondents (74 percent) thought US adoption of IFRS will occur by 2015 or later and more than half said the CPA examination will include significant IFRS content by 2012/2013.

In November 2008, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a proposed road map for IFRS transition. In 2011, the SEC will consider whether all public companies should adopt IFRS on a phased-in basis from 2014-2016.

In January, newly appointed SEC chairman Mary Schapiro expressed concerns regarding the proposed road map but more recently SEC chief accountant James Kroeker indicated the regulator will prioritise the proposed road map in the next three months.

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