IFAC Conference – Support from US watchdog hangs in balance.

Supporters of international accounting standards, including many prominent UK accountants, see the attitude of the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a potential stumbling block in the move towards the acceptance of a single set of worldwide accounting standards. Such a move would remove the distortions and confusions that arise from each country using their own standards. Sir Bryan Calsberg, secretary general of the IAS committee was confident the move would improve the chances of US support. He said: ‘As an independent body the SEC now has greater confidence in us.’ He added: ‘We hope the SEC will give greater acceptance of IASs. It’s everybody’s hope.’ Publication of the results of a consultation exercise on international standards carried out in the US by the SEC is expected in two or three weeks. The IAS committee is hoping the recent endorsement of IASs by Iosco, the international stock market regulators club in Sydney two weeks ago, will add weight to their cause. IFAC president Frank Harding said: ‘I was in Sydney when the announcement was made that Iosco was endorsing IASs . It was a major coup and there was considerable excitement.’

Related reading