US finance chiefs anticipate IFRS benefits

CFOs at listed US companies are looking forward to the conversion to IFRS as
an opportunity to transform their finance functions and create value, a new
study has found.

With the SEC proposing a switch to international financial reporting
standards, from US GAAP, for listed companies as early as 2014, finance chiefs
are rebuffing the political concerns being raised and anticipating improvements
from the conversion process.

A survey by Accenture
of over 200 CFOs at US-listed companies with revenues of over $1bn found
that while many expect the process to be complex and expensive, 83% believe
conversion will present an opportunity to make significant improvements within
their finance functions, particularly in performance management. Consequently,
they said they will invest in technology, process improvements and finance
workforce training associated with planning, budgeting and forecasting,
management reporting and metrics, and statutory reporting.

‘Although the conversion to IFRS is significant and complex, those companies
that view the conversion as an opportunity to upgrade their performance
management capabilities, addressing compliance and risk management, as well as
increasing operational efficiencies, are better positioned to drive value from
the conversion process,’ said Dan London, managing director of Accenture’s
finance & performance management practice. ‘Companies that prepare now and
examine their specific requirements will be able to make more comprehensive,
strategic decisions about how to emerge from this transition stronger and more

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