Convergence on track: Kroeker

The US securities regulator’s chief accountant remains optimistic convergence
talks are on track, but believes the converged standards should be an
improvement on current accounting rules.

James Kroeker, chief accountant with the US Securities and Investments
Commission (SEC),
told WebCPA
he is “cautiously optimistic” both the International Accounting Standards Board
(IASB) and its American counterpart, the Financial Accounting Standards Board
(FASB), can arrive at a set of converged standards by June 2011.

“It is an important milestone for which they need to press. That doesn’t mean
that they should finalize a standard based upon a date if, in fact, they are not
confident that they have a standard that’s an improvement to financial
reporting,” he said.

“However, I think they also need to have an aggressive, but realistic,
deadline. From what I’m hearing, they continue to be, and therefore I continue
to be, optimistic that is a goal they can reach, at least with respect to the
core of those standards.”

The IASB and FASB have been painstakingly harmonising their two accounting
codes, standard by standard, with a view to achieving full convergence by June

Meanwhile, the SEC is yet to release its road map, which will set a timetable
for US adoption of accounting standards.

Kroeker said SEC staff had spent “innumerable hours” over the late summer,
throughout the fall, pouring through the 200-plus comment letters.

“We’ve talked about how to address the structural, operational, and
transitional issues raised by those comment letters. The staff has been working
on developing a work plan to address all those issues. What does that mean in
terms of timing for some kind of public follow up? I’m hopeful that it’s in
early 2010,” he said.

Read the full interview:
L. Kroeker, Chief Accountant, SEC Office of the Chief Accountant

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