Thursday, December 04, 2008

IFRS is the Next SOX

Looking ahead, it’s easy to predict that International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) could become the next SOX – an area where the supply of accountants who know the subject falls short of the number of companies who need that expertise.

The fact that IFRS is coming to America is definitely sinking in. More than half of all CPAs nationwide say they’re getting ready to adopt IFRS, according to a survey released by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

"The Security and Exchange Commission’s proposed roadmap calling for U.S. adoption of international standards by 2014 is clearly getting people’s attention,” said Arleen Thomas, AICPA senior vice president for member competency and development. “What our tracking survey shows is that CPAs are increasingly aware that international standards are coming and are starting to feel a real need to get training and gain expertise in this new area.”

Fifty-five percent of about 1,500 CPA surveyed by AICPA said they were preparing in a variety of ways for adoption of IFRS. That’s up 14 percentage points from the 41 percent who were preparing for change according to an AICPA survey in April.

You’re going to have to learn IFRS anyway, so why not get a leap on the competition and pick up the knowledge ASAP. Start with the backgrounder on the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Web site .

Then take a class with your state CPA association or the AICPA (courses are typically open to non-members). The CPA review firms have also begun offering IFRS seminars.

Then, if there’s a committee preparing a set of test IFRS statements at your firm, get on it. If there isn’t, start one and viola, instant expert status.

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