June deadline too tight for international standard setters

THE DEADLINE for international financial reporting standards convergence has been stretched by as much as six months, as the International Accounting Standards Board admitted its June target has slipped out of reach.

Instead, the body has said it will need “a few more months” to finalise the standards, before quantifying its position with “we intend to try to finish this convergence programme by end of 2011”.

Leslie Seidman, chairman of the US Financial Accounting Standards Board, laid out the issues still to be resolved; among them, the controversial rule on accounting for financial instruments.

IASB chairman David Tweedie will step down in June, and the body had been eager to complete convergence before his departure. However, the resolution of three key issues – revenue recognition, leases and financial instruments and insurance as a joint project – remains stubbornly out of reach.

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Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.