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IFRS Roadmap Milestones: Part 4

June 18, 2009

This post is the fourth in a series of posts about progress on the IFRS Roadmap milestones. As a reminder, here is a list of the Milestones. The SEC will judge progress on these milestones as a pre-requisite for moving forward with a mandate for IFRS adoption.

IFRS Roadmap Milestones

  • Improving Specific Accounting Standards
  • Improving the Structure and Funding of the IASB
  • Facilitating the use of interactive data (XBRL) under IFRS
  • Updating the Education and licensing of U.S. Accountants
  • Evaluating the early adoption experiences of a limited group of companies
  • Timing of future rulemaking
  • Sequencing of companies required to use IFRS

Updating the education of U.S. Accountants

University professors are beginning to analyze global accounting convergence and the potential adoption of IFRS by the United States. One such abstract is located here. A few IFRS textbooks are also becoming available including “IFRS 2008: Interpretation and Application of International Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards 2008” by Barry J. Epstein and Eva K. Jermakowicz and “Applying International Accounting Standards” by Keith Alfredson, Ken Leo, Ruth Picker, Paul Pacter and Jennie Radford.

Universities are beginning to prepare for inclusion of IFRS in their accounting curricula. Students are also beginning to realize that they will need to learn more about IFRS because it will be important in the future, even though it adds significantly to their curriculum.

In February 2009, a major CPA firm announced the awarding of $700,000 in grants to 26 colleges and universities to accelerate the preparedness of U.S. accounting students for eventual adoption of IFRS. Major CPA firms are also making a significant amount of information on IFRS available in the form of online materials and free webcasts.

Updating the licensing of U.S. accountants

In 2008, the AICPA issued an Exposure Draft that proposed inclusion of IFRS in the uniform CPA exam. The Exposure Draft proposed that the IFRS conceptual framework be tested and that additional testing of international standards occur if IFRS becomes generally accepted in the United States (the comment period has ended). The exposure draft proposing inclusion of IFRS in the CPA exam and comments to the exposure draft are available at http://www.cpa-exam.org/cpa/exposure_draft.html. The proposed content and skill specifications may be found there as well.

“The CPA Examination tests the knowledge and skills that are relevant for entry-level CPAs. In doing so, the public is protected,” said Craig Mills, executive director of Examinations for the AICPA. “That’s why the AICPA Board of Examiners, which oversees the exam, is already assessing strategies to incorporate IFRS into the exam.” Coverage of IFRS on the Exam is expected by the year 2012, but possibly sooner.

The AICPA published a request for volunteers to develop question on IFRS for the uniform CPA Exam. Volunteers will participate in a two-day workshop on preparing multiple-choice questions facilitated by AICPA test development experts. Additional development workshops will be organized throughout 2009 and 2010 (dates and locations to be arranged). A short presentation before each workshop will provide an overview of the CPA Exam and instruction on the multiple choice question development process. Applicants may send a resume or curriculum vitae to rwarias@aicpa.org

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