NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators are grappling with how to transition companies to international accounting rules and will not make the decision to do so before 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.
In its first report on the U.S. plan to converge domestic accounting rules with international rules, the SEC said: “Many of the staff’s efforts are currently in process and are not expected to be completed until 2011.”
That means the SEC will not be able to decide before 2011 whether to forgo U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which publicly traded companies now use, for international standards.
The international standards, also known as International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS, are used in more than 100 countries and the SEC is under pressure to allow U.S. companies to make the switch.
But the SEC has a list of concerns, including whether the international accounting rule maker is truly independent and whether IFRS is high quality.
In its report, the SEC said staff is trying to figure out how much time will be needed to transition to international accounting standards.
Public company executives are concerned about the cost of making the switch, but could be ready if given enough time, according to a survey released separately on Friday.
About 94 percent of executives polled said they could move to IFRS by 2016 if a decision were made in 2011, according to a survey by audit firm KPMG LLP. KPMG polled more than 900 executives in August.
Most executives would not adopt IFRS early if given the option to do so, the survey also found.
Reporting by Dena Aubin and Rachelle Younglai; editing by Tim Dobbyn and Andre Grenon
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