In a speech at the 32nd Annual SEC and Financial Reporting Institute Conference in Pasadena, California, Paul Beswick, SEC Chief Accountant, commented on the SEC’s interest in and efforts to ensure that “the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) continues to function as a strong and independent accounting standard setter.”
Bascially, Mr. Beswick’s comments focused on ongoing adoption of IFRS around the world and, therefore, the increase in international use of IFRS for financial reporting by public companies, including approximately 450 or so international companies registered with the SEC. (Note: In 2007, the SEC granted permission for international companies registered with the SEC to use IFRS in preparing their registered financial statements. Such financial statements can be issued in the U.S. without reconciliations of reported net income or shareholders equity to U.S. GAAP. Other international companies registered with the SEC that prepare their financial statements in other than U.S. GAAP must include schedules reconciling their reported net income and shareholders equity to U.S. GAAP).
In his speech, Mr. Beswick also discussed specific actions taken by the SEC to “protect” U.S. investors that rely on financial statements prepared in accordance with international accounting standards. Those activities focus on “working to help ensure that the IASB’s standards are the highest quality standards possible [and] helping ensure that IFRS is consistently applied.”
A transcript of Mr. Beswick’s comments can be obtained from the SEC website at: http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/2013/spch053013pb.htm