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SIFMA urges review of timelines for convergence between U.S. and international accounting rules

Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010
Author: Investment Executive

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association is calling on accounting standards setters to review whether there’s a realistic prospect of convergence between U.S. and international accounting rules by June 2011, as currently planned.

SIFMA sent a letter to the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board urging a review of implementation timelines for FASB and IASB convergence projects. It says that with approximately one year remaining before the convergence deadline established at the G20 meeting in September 2009, SIFMA believes “the FASB and IASB should conduct a realistic assessment of which projects should be prioritized to achieve substantial convergence and whether the deadline is achievable or whether a delay is warranted.”

The letter outlines SIFMA’s concerns that: the effort to address many projects at the same time risks not getting quality input from affected organizations; implementation of new, or different, standards requires time and investment; and, while the two boards are working jointly on many projects, there are others where they have already made some decisions establishing divergent accounting standards, which SIFMA warns is counter-productive.

While it remains committed to enhanced accounting standards, and to the process of convergence, SIFMA is calling for a realistic assessment of project priorities and whether the June 2011 deadline is achievable.