Convergence timetable quietly put to bed

AS REGULATORS STEP up to the plate at the annual Meet the Experts conference, former SEC man Wayne Carnall is the latest in a line of experts warning that international and US accounting standard convergence is unlikely before the end of the year.

Progress towards US adoption is halting and it will be “virtually impossible for the SEC to come up with a proposal on convergence before the end of the year,” he warned.

Carnall added “the world will not end” if the US does not adopt by the end of the year, saying the standards “are too important to abandon if the US does not make a decision in the next few weeks”.

However, he is keen to emphasise the importance of IFRS, irrespective of convergence, despite hopes for a decisive move by the US before the end of the year dwindling.

He noted that the number of companies in the world registered with the SEC has grown from around one-third to almost 50%, saying “we are becoming increasingly global”, possibly by way of emphasising the weight and importance of IFRS adopters outside the US.

It now appears the probability of convergence by the original late-2011 timetable is so low that experts no longer feel the need to comment or apologise and, instead, “quality” and a “measured approach” are the words on everyone’s lips.

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