May 6, 2009

Global Accounting Standards: No Convergence for 10-15 Years?

As noted in this article, FASB Chair Bob Herz noted in a recent Financial Crisis Advisory Group meeting, consisting of accounting regulators from around the world, how hard it would be to push the convergence of global accounting standards in the US, mainly due to politics in the wake of the financial crisis. Herz’ statement that it make take 10-15 years to pull it off surprised the room since the so-called Norwalk Agreement, a memorandum of understanding between the FASB and IASB, calls for the completion of all “major joint projects” by 2011.

And who knows, that might be conservative when you read this other article in which it notes that CFOs are urging the SEC to drop a proposal mandating US companies to adopt IFRS. Here are the comments made on the SEC’s IFRS proposal; the extended deadline ended last Monday.

IASB: IFRS Rules Are Freely Available

It’s good to see that the International Accounting Standards Board is following the FASB’s lead and allowing free access to summaries of its core International Financial Reporting Standards. Unfortunately, the IASB’s additional guidance – which includes its rationale for its conclusions – are still subscription-based.

An IFRS’ E-Learning Website: This can be useful for those of you struggling to get up to speed on IFRS: Deloitte has an IFRS’s e-learning website. The site contains a series of IFRS training modules which are offered free once you register.

More Proxy Season Developments

If you haven’t signed up to get our new “Proxy Season Blog” pushed out to you, here are a few of the items you’ve missed during the past week or so:

– Swine Flu: Time to Have Electronic Shareholder Meetings?
– Survey Results: Number of Section 16 Officers
– Latest Trends: CEO-Chair Separation
– Barclay’s 2009 Annual Report Survey
– Dissecting the Citigroup Annual Meeting
– My Ten Cents: NACD’s “New” Key Agreed Principles
– Broadridge’s Latest Implementation of Householding
– Proxy Season Update
– Facing an Unpredictable World: How to Change Earnings Guidance Practices

Members can sign up to get that blog pushed out to them via email whenever there is a new entry by simply inputting their email address on the left side of that blog (just like you can accomplish that functionality for this blog).

– Broc Romanek