Is the United States Ready for IFRS?

The SEC and FASB are considering when the time will be right to implement IFRS; however, a successful implementation will require preparedness. In 2011, IFRS topics will be included on the CPA exam, which means people are being trained on these new standards. However, are people being trained quickly enough? Americans might be able to learn from their European counterparts during their conversion. During the EU-IFRS conversion, Europe reported unexpected costs, the need to analyze fully the impact of the conversion, and the importance of training.

As early as 2015, the United States could adopt IFRS, which means that auditors, internal and external finance teams, and IT programmers need to be competent in order to remain compliant with the law. While companies get their internal resources up to speed with the new reporting, external consultants can help with the transition. Firms that provide financial consultant services stand to make a lot of money during this conversion period. The SEC estimates that this change in reporting will cost large companies $32 million and the average U.S. firm .125 percent to .13 percent of revenue.

The advantage the accounting major has in school is that the student will probably learn about the global standard ahead of most of his or her peers. Employers are seeking candidates with IFRS knowledge. Auditing professionals who are well versed in IFRS are in demand.