The SEC Drags Its Feet a Tad Longer on IFRS
Have you ever had a meeting about a meeting? The proposed adoption of IFRS for US public companies is just like that except with less conference room donuts and more chickens with their heads cut off. As Going Concern points out, the SEC is going to need a roadmap for their roadmap at this rate.
GC guessed there were only two possible outcomes:
1) the SEC decides that they will publish a statement (after more meetings) and give an approximate date that the statement will be released and it will be delayed for an indeterminable amount of time, or 2) the Commission decides it will not publish a statement that the IASB can take its self-righteous double-entry accounting attitude back to London-town and we’ll just do whatever the hell we want. THE END.
Aaaaand not surprisingly, it turned out to be #1. Oh SEC, you make it so easy to wildly speculate with your tame, all-too-predictable heel-dragging. Wasn't this whole IFRS thing the SEC's idea in the first place? I can't point you to any public company who thinks ditching LIFO is worth the estimated $35 million price tag (that's per company, mind you) to convert from GAAP to IFRS. If you know of one do let me know. Can you imagine the costs associated with restating all of that inventory just because the Big 87654 lobbied hard enough? It doesn't help that European accounting standards setters are corrupt enough to claim firsties and then try to shove it down our throats. Ooops, it's too bad the US owes the rest of the world one for that whole securitization, over-leveraging mess.
FEI's Edith Orenstein (via AccountingWeb) breaks it down for us:
At an open commission meeting earlier today, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously to issue a Statement:
1. reaffirming the Commission's support for a single, globally accepted set of accounting standards,
2. describing issues that need to be analyzed, falling under six categories, in an SEC "Workplan," and
3. describing events that need to occur between now and 2011, including by the SEC's study of certain issues identified in the "Workplan," and completion of the convergence projects on the FASB-IASB Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to faciliate the SEC's decision in 2011 on whether to incorporate IFRS in the U.S. financial reporting model for SEC issuers. (NOTE: we corrected earlier version of this sentence for typos.)
SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro said that although "we do not have all the information" to make the decision on wheter to move to IFRS at this time, "we remain on a steady path to make the decision in 2011."
Hahahahahaha. Is the SEC looking for said information? Taking prudent steps to collect and analyze such information? Have they done a single thing toward this goal in the last year and a half since Christopher Cox announced IFRS was coming like it or not?
Meanwhile, it goes without saying that JDA's main concern is how the AICPA Board of Examiners will deal with this information. What good is it testing standards we don't use on the CPA exam, especially now that we're about 99% sure the SEC will drag this out as long as possible?
Go on, just say "ooops", blame it on Cox, and let's move on with our lives, clutching our GAAP statements like our lives depend on them. Um, there's that or there's making the SEC cover that $35 million fee plus FAR retake fees for all the CPA exam candidates who fail an exam based on financial reporting rules that haven't made their way into the wild. Brilliant, people, absolutely brilliant.
A year and a half of waiting and what do we get? A statement on a statement from the SEC. Way to go, guys. Efficiency! Investor protection!