US Companies Taking Their Time to Adopt the IFRS

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
November 12, 2010 /

US companies are in no hurry to adopt the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards).

This has been revealed by a survey by Grand Thornton in the US market. Grant Thornton is a consultancy and auditing firm which is just behind the Big 4 firms in terms of the number of clients.

For this survey, Grant Thornton conducted a survey among chief financial officers and senior controllers of companies to find out what they thought about the IFRS.

Around a quarter of those surveyed said that according to them the IFRS should never be used.

Nearly half of the respondents to the survey said that their companies would in no way adopt the IFRS until after US GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) and the IFRS have converged to the point where the differences between them are inconsequential. When asked about the timeframe that will take for this to happen, they said it was between 5 and 7 years.

24% of those surveyed said that the IFRS should be adopted as early as possible. When asked what time frame they allotted for that to happen they said between the next 2 to 5 years.
81% of those polled said that the companies they work for did not prepare financial statements in accordance with the IFRS guidelines.

Stephen Chipman, who is the Grant Thornton CEO, said in a statement that while the firm has noticed a movement towards greater acceptance of IFRS based on its previous surveys, it is clear “that there is still much work to be done in educating the US financial community on the benefits of IFRS.”
Grand Thornton also found that 8 among every 10 CFOs were not currently reporting financial results using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). The survey also revealed that 76% of them have no plans to do so in the future.


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