By Michael Cohn
September 21, 2015
PricewaterhouseCoopers has released a useful report demonstrating the many differences that remain between U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards.
Despite more than a decade of work on converging the two sets of accounting standards, they are still far apart in many respects. When the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant was trying to provide guidance to the SEC commissioners on what to do about allowing U.S. companies to use IFRS, the staff compiled a report in 2011 showing the distinctions between the two sets of standards. The SEC has still not decided what to do about IFRS, so the question remains open, despite promises over the years that the commission will ultimately make a determination.
In the meantime, the PwC report provides probably the most comprehensive summary of the differences and similarities since the release of that 2011 SEC staff report. The goal is to help preparers and investors become financially “bilingual.” PwC acknowledged that a near-term mandatory change to IFRS for U.S. public companies appears to be off the table for now, but argues IFRS is increasingly relevant to many U.S. businesses, especially as they engage in cross-border M&A deals, report to their non-U.S. stakeholders, and manage their overseas operations.
To access the report, click here.