US standard setters ‘move slowly to maximise success’

US STANDARD SETTERS have questioned the pace of convergence with international financial reporting standards, saying many key projects will stretch into the new year.

FASB chairman Leslie Seidman said the timeline on priority standards such as revenue recognition has been put back to boost the chances of successful convergence.

She told Accounting Today: “We want to maximize the likelihood that we have a smooth implementation of these new important standards when we feel that we have completed the process to our satisfaction.”

A revenue recognition standard will probably be released this month with a 120-day comment period. “That puts us somewhere in early 2012 for the redeliberations and then, depending on the feedback we get, our goal is to conclude that project in the first half of 2012,” Seidman observed.

An original deadline of late 2011 should have seen the outstanding projects completed. The FASB said the changes were made “directly in response to the nature and the extent of the feedback that we have received”.

US regulator the SEC has the final decision on convergence with IFRS, and it has not indicated a pushback in its end-of-the-year deadline.

Staff are executing a work plan that includes examining the preparedness of the US for convergence, comparing the quality of IFRS with US GAAP and looking at the degree of closeness between the two sets of standards.

Related reading

Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.