Wednesday, October 22, 2008

IFRS Good for Everyone?

Eighty percent of US CFO don’t have experience using International Financial Standards (IFRS), but just over half of them want to be able to use them, according to a recent survey by Grant Thornton, LLP.

When asked if U.S. firms should be allowed to use IFRS instead of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in Securities and Exchange Commission filings (SEC), 55 percent of the 688 CFOs Grant Thornton surveyed said yes.

Yet, 59 percent of them disagreed with the SEC’s decision last year to allow foreign firms listed on U.S. exchanges to use IFRS. And, only 20 percent of the surveyed CFOs had experience preparing statements using IFRS.

“The results tell us that although the respondents don’t yet have a lot of hand’s-on experience, they can tell that U.S. companies should not be put at a disadvantage when it comes to reporting requirements that allow for the use of IFRS,” said Gary Illiano, partner-in-charge of Grant Thornton’s International and Domestic Accounting.

The survey also asked about eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) and found while more than half of the CFOs knew what it was, only 2 percent use it. A whopping 92 percent have no plans to use it at this time.

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